Robert "Bob" Jamin Hoover of Pleasant Hill, TN, passed away peacefully March 6, 2016. He was born in the little town of Mingo Junction, OH, in 1925 to Ruth (Lesher) and Leo L. Hoover. He had one brother, Richard (deceased). After the death of his father when Bob was seven, his family migrated to Columbus, OH, where his mother, Ruth, became a seamstress for a local clothing store.
After graduating from Columbus Central High School, Bob enlisted in the U.S. Army during the early days of World War II. After boot camp, Bob became a member of the U.S. Army Airways Communications Service. His unit was in charge of air traffic control for flights across "The Hump," a high altitude military aerial supply route across the Himalaya Mountains. This team also coordinated search and rescue efforts to find downed aircraft.
After the end of the war, Bob returned to Columbus and married his high school sweetheart, Betty (Salts). He earned his bachelor's degree at Ohio State University and landed his first job as a medical illustrator at the Ohio Health Department. Two years later, Bob achieved his dream job as an illustrator for the Columbus Dispatch. He would spend the next 30 years at the Dispatch in a variety of roles such as illustrator, writer, movie critic, cartoonist, celebrity interviewer, graphical designer, and restaurant reviewer.
Bob and his wife, Betty, had four sons and daughters-in-law, Steven (deceased) and Janet, Eric and Pandi, Mark and Mary, and Keith and Mary. All except for one of the sons followed in his footsteps of forging a successful career in art. At the age of 62, Bob retired from the Dispatch and moved to Fairfield Glade.
Bob immediately became active in their adopted new home, building up the Fairfield Glade Art Guild as well as backing successful efforts to save the Palace Theatre and Train Depot in Crossville. His aim was to ultimately know everyone in Crossville, a goal that most people there would admit he achieved.
He embraced the history and culture of the Plateau, painting several works based on prominent historical figures or notable places in the region. His crowning achievement was the completion of a commission to paint a mural commemorating Crossville's centennial. This painting is on permanent display in the County Courthouse in Crossville.
As eyesight problems increased, Bob and Betty moved into the Uplands Retirement Center, a wonderful retirement community located just down the road in Pleasant Hill. After the death of his wife Betty in 2013, Bob moved to Cincinnati, OH, to be near family. After a two-year struggle with vascular dementia, Bob died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 90.
Bob will always be known for his unique painting style, his love of writing, his quick wit, and his ability to make the best of any situation. In addition to his sons and daughters-in-law, he is survived by eight grandchildren (Keith - Alison, Andy; Mark - Kelsey, Jenna; Eric - Zack, Ashley, Ben; Steve - Sara), and one great-grandchild (Sara - Ella), and many friends in the Crossville area.
A memorial service for family and friends is planned April 23 at 3:30 p.m. at the Pleasant Hill Community Church in Pleasant Hill. Donations may be directed to the Art Guild at Fairfield Glade, 451 Lakeview Dr., Fairfield Glade, TN 38558 (artguildfairfieldglade.net).
Later in 2016, several of his works of art will be donated to the Fairfield Glade Art Guild for local auction to support art education in the region.
Published on April 16, 2016