Macon County Chronicle

Community Says Goodbye to Bobby Joe Carver

The sun was spreading its golden light across Middle Tennessee and there was a hint of spring in the air on Friday afternoon, March 5, as Bobby Joe Carver was quietly laid to rest in Pitcock Cemetery, at the age of 68.


The man with the gentle voice and soft laugh, Bobby Carver graduated from Hermitage Springs High School in 1959 and a few years later he received his Masters Degree from Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville. He was a former teacher and principal in the Macon County School System, and business partner of the late Burford H. Tooley, owning and operating Tooley & Carver Insurance Company in Lafayette, for many years.

Born on Monday, June 2nd, 1941, the son of Blanche McLerran Carver and the late Joseph Brown Carver, Bobby resided on the family farm most of his life, enjoying every aspect of rural Tennessee including riding on the tractor, rolling hay, getting thrown by his horses and tending the cattle.

“I remember when he was a little boy helping his father pick up buffalo rocks out of the pasture one afternoon,” Blanche smiled, “and he said, ‘I’m not going to grow up to be a farmer’ but in his later years he came to cherish the farm and his cattle.”

Family, beloved friends and those mourning the loss of such an admirable man, attended the services held for Bobby Carver last Friday morning at 11:00 a.m. from the chapel of Anderson & Son Funeral Home in Red Boiling Springs with Jimmy Cook, Paul Biles, John Cook and Doyle Gaines graciously remembering their friend and colleague.

“I always figured Bobby Joe would speak at my funeral,” Doyle Gaines said last Wednesday afternoon as we sat talking and reminiscing about our mutual friend who passed away suddenly on March the 2nd at his home in Hermitage Springs. “Bobby and I first met when we were students at Tennessee Tech before he came to work in Macon County. He was definitely a very gifted man, as well as a very supportive and conscientious principal, who expected nothing but the best from his teachers and students. Anyone who was fortunate enough to have Bobby Joe Carver for a friend, was definitely blessed, because his friendship was real and sincere.” 

“Macon County has lost a great friend in Bobby Carver,” said Bro. Jimmy Cook. “He always kept himself informed on civic matters, and was always ready morally and financially to support a worthwhile project in our county. His friendly and unselfish spirit will be remembered by those who knew him. He was a special friend to me, and I will certainly miss him.”

“If Bobby Carver were your friend, you got the whole package,” John Cook commented, when speaking of his long-time buddy. “He was loyal and true, and his friendship endured the test of time. He was always ready to quietly lend a helping hand, and his commitment to those who knew him will be greatly missed.”

An avid hunter and fisherman, Bobby Joe was described by his brother-in-law, Harry Matthews as a man’s man, who would stand up for his friends and was good to those less fortunate. “Every year Bobby would go hunting for wild bore in Montana, Arkansas and Texas,” Harry said with a sad look in his eyes, “and elk hunting in Colorado, always carrying along good friends including Benny Doss, David Gaines, Luke Collins, Joe Russell, Darrel Wilson, Carroll Copas, Jerry Ford, Lewis White, and myself. He also enjoyed fishing on the stocked ponds he had on his farm and his buddies were always welcome on Sunday afternoons”.

“One thing about Bobby a lot of people may not know,” said Carman Matthews, Bobby’s only sibling, “was his desire to be a pilot in the Navy. But diagnosed with inner ear problems, he realized his days of flying off into the wild blue yonder, just weren’t meant to be. However, when he witnessed our daughter, Julie, get her wings, and became a pilot with American Airlines, it was the next best thing.”

Carver was a veteran of the United States Navy, attended the Hermitage Springs Church of Christ, was a member of the American Legion Post 117, and was also a former member of the Lafayette Rotary Club and Lions Club.

“There were no farewell words spoken and no time to even say goodbye,” Blanche softly whispered. “Bobby certainly touched a lot of lives, and he tried to make life better for everybody. He was a hard worker, who loved his family, friends, and being outdoors. My son’s life was definitely full, but his time here seemed too brief and the pain of his leaving has left a deep void in my heart. For those of you who never had a chance to know Bobby, his most outstanding trait lay in his giving spirit & the care and concern he lavished on the people around him. The world was definitely a brighter place because of him.”

Survivors include his mother, Blanche; sister & brother-in-law Carmen and Harry T. Matthews, of Lafayette; niece and her husband, Julie & Mark Derrick, Lakewood, Ohio; nephew and his wife, Phillip & Ashleigh Matthews, of Hermitage Springs; great nephew, Luke Carver Derrick, Lakewood, Ohio; great nieces, Mallory Derrick, Lakewood, Ohio, Paige & Kendall Matthews, of Hermitage Springs.

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”—Kahlil Gibran

Arrangements by the Anderson & Son Funeral Home, in Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee.