The name Bobby translates as “Bright, Fame”, and on 9/12/2020, surrounded by family, Bobby Gerald Suggs, completed a bright life and famed adventure. We, his family, can only imagine too that he is now a bright point in heaven, reunited with our Mother, his wife who preceded him in death. Bobby was an inspirational leader who always cared about people, a great father and friend, and a giver. He is already so badly missed. Bobby was born in 1936, with humble beginnings in Erwin North Carolina, the son of a cotton mill worker and home maker. Bobby and his wife Janice knew each other as children in the same community and as young teenagers fell in love, married, raised three children, started a business and stayed together in life until Janice’s death in 2012.
Bobby remained active his entire life, until just days before his death. His last 18 months were spent at Harmony Assisted Living in Hope Mills where he was affectionately referred to as the Mayor and the General. He would often show new residents and employees around and was the first to always open a door for someone and offer help for any task. Bobby had been diagnosed with Vascular Dementia several years ago and as memory retention became more difficult, he made the decision to join a community. During his years with the illness, he remained highly active, never lost his memory of family, and was blessed with everyday starting new with few challenges following him into a new day. He was an incredibly happy man, living with a purpose and loved his life, friends, and family.
During Bobby’s life, he fulfilled many of his dreams and helped others along the way, always wanting to add value and be positive. He married Janice after high school and attending Louisburg College. Bobby and Janice raised three children, Bobby Jr., Angela, and Mark. Bobby enlisted in the US Army in 1958 and served active duty, National Guard and Army Reserves, serving with distinction, and retiring as a Lt. Colonel in 1996. Bobby’s early civilian work life, his start was operating and managing a family service station with his brother Edward. In 1956 he started working for the local Telephone Company, Carolina Telephone. Bobby began his career at Carolina Telephone as a Lineman, advancing through the years with increasing responsibility until his retirement in 1996 with 40 years of service; achieving the position of General Manager Military Affairs and Economic Development (4 state region). After retiring from the Phone company, Bobby and his Wife Janice founded SGI (Suggs Group Incorporated) a PR and Association Management firm. Bobby continued to manage SGI until 2014 when he formally retired from business.
Bobby’s life was full of community service and serving the military. He was an active Shriner and Mason, and in the Kiwanis. His service included memberships in the Air Force Association (serving as chapter and state president), Association of the United States Army (NC State President, Region Vice President, National Trustee), Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (Chapter President), Pope Special Activities Committee (PSAC President), Bragg Special Activities Committee, Association of Special Operations Professionals (Founder and CEO), Airborne and Special Operations Museum (past board member) and more than 28 civic boards, commissions, councils, and committees. One of his most memorable and honored actions was on December 21, 1983, after a successful U.S. Army operation in Grenada, Bobby organized and led a group of civilian business people and food caters on a thank you and Merry Christmas visit to our troops in Grenada. Bobby also received many awards and commendations during his professional career, most memorable being the AUSA Major General Anthony J. Drexel Metal, Department of the Army Commanders Award for Public Service, and AFA Medal of Merit.
Bobby is survived by his Son, Bobby Suggs, Jr., and daughter Mary Angela Suggs Bartos, and grandchildren Ashley Beatrice and Jessica Chapman, and four great-grandchildren. Bobby was preceded in death by his wife Janice (2012), and his son Kenneth Mark (1998). A private family funeral service will be held Thursday, Sept. 17th at 11:00 am at First Baptist Church. Graveside service will follow at Lafayette Memorial Park on Ramsey St. with military honors.
The family asks that in lieu of Flowers please consider a donation to the Tunnels to Towers Foundation to support our Military and First Responders. https://tunnel2towers.org/
Online condolences may be left at http://www.jerniganwarren.com
Arrangements by Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home, 545 Ramsey St. Fayetteville, NC 28301
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