Robert C. “Pastor Bob” Johncox
December 13, 1945 ‒ December 04, 2010
Mount Gilead, Ohio
The chorus of angels in heaven are rejoicing as they have been joined by the uplifting bass voice of “Pastor Bob”, whose upbeat and joyous spirit was an inspiration to all who knew him.
Robert C. “Pastor Bob” Johncox, age 64, of Candlewood Lake in Mount Gilead, Ohio, went to be with the Lord Saturday morning, December 4, 2010, following a five month battle with pancreatic cancer.
On December 13, 1945, Bob was born in Batavia, New York, one of three children of the late Richard and Eleanor (Cutler) Johncox. He graduated from Alexander Central High School in the Class of 1964.
Shortly following graduation, Bob enlisted in the U.S. Army and served three years, while being stationed in Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. The Vietnam War era began just before he was honorably discharged.
Immediately upon his return from the Army, Bob married his high school sweetheart, Rosemary Gorecki, on July 15, 1967, at the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Batavia, New York.
For over ten years, Bob worked as a carpenter for their family owned business Dayton and Johncox Builder’s Inc., making custom built homes. In 1983, he then sold their business to pursue an opportunity for him to serve as facilities manager at the Darien Lake Theme Park. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Delaware, Ohio, to become director of engineering at Wyandot Lake, who had just leased the old Columbus Zoo Park. He was instrumental in their starting from scratch as they razed the old park and began building up the new park. He was in charge of all aspects from hiring crews, to overseeing all of the building projects. He then became director of engineering at Geauga Lake for a year before becoming the vice president of the Patterson Companies in Hilliard, who specialized in construction of Olympic size municipal and collegiate swimming pools.
All the while, Bob was feeling “nudged, then pushed, having a yearning to serve the Lord.” He was encouraged by his pastor, Rev. Valerie Stultz, first by reading scripture in church and later becoming more and more involved in various ways. It was at this time when he was attending the Asbury United Methodist Church and the Kilbourne United Methodist Church that his ministry began.
Continuing his steps towards becoming a minister of the Gospel, Bob left work and began studying the Ohio Valley Course of Study through the Methodist Theological School in Delaware.
Feeling more alive and closest to God behind the pulpit, when Bob finally became “Pastor Bob” he knew he was honoring himself by honoring God. He served the Lord at Blissfield and Layland United Methodist Churches in Coshocton County, then came to the Mt. Gilead area to serve the Canaan United Methodist Church and the Martel United Methodist Church. Since 2002, his latest charge has been with the Boundary United Methodist Church and Denmark United Methodist Church, and he felt blessed to have their support until the end.
Pastor Bob was always the first to admit, “I love to sing!!” He seized every moment possible to sing for the Lord, and his passion for the Lord was so evident as he made the music upbeat, joyous and moving. Everywhere he went, Bob truly loved singing in the choir and leading everyone in worship. Also, he loved to sing with his beloved singing groups, the Kilbourne Gospel Singers, and with “Breath of Heaven” which consisted of Marlene Shipman Vance, Teresa Davis and himself.
Always working two jobs, Pastor Bob said he “had always been a carpenter and always will be.” As time within his ministry permitted, he would make furniture and cabinets that he would sell to furniture stores, because, he would say, “the salary of a part time minister just wasn’t quite enough to live on”, so he carried his ministry into the work place.
In 1999, Bob was proud to design and build his own home at Candlewood Lake with the loving help of “a couple of good young carpenters” and of his two “highly skilled” sons. His skill as a carpenter and cabinet maker is evident through out their entire home; he custom built the cabinets and nearly every piece of furniture.
With a love for the outdoors, Bob looked forward every year to his annual November hunting trip to the cabin he built in the 1960’s in upstate New York with his friends and former classmates Allen and Gary. He was more of the “cabin boy and chief cook” than he was a hunter, but they all appreciated each other’s gifts. He also loved going “musky fishing” in the St. Lawrence River in Massena, New York, and after he caught his first “monster” which was over 35 pounds he knew he was hooked.
A truly amazing man, Pastor Bob simply had a way about himself. Words can never do justice to how special he could make everyone feel. Further, his love for the Lord will be an inspiration and when he sang for the Lord he made sure it “had to move” he would say with a smile. He was a good and faithful servant.
Pastor Bob will be dearly missed by his beloved wife, Rosemary Johncox of Candlewood Lake; four children: Jeffrey (Cheryl) Johncox of Richwood, and their son, Elias; James (Jody) Johncox of Marengo, Jennifer (Richard) Denny of Delaware, and their children: Joshua and Kirsten; and Jessica (Jeremy) Fetty of Delaware, and their daughter, Olivia; a brother, James (Elaine) Johncox of Alexander, New York; a sister, Betty “Bunny” (Edward) Basher of Bennington, New York; several nieces and nephews; by his cherished congregations at Boundary and Denmark United Methodist Churches; and many dear friends.
Pastor Bob’s family will greet friends from 2 – 4 and 6 – 9 p.m. on Tuesday, December 7, 2010, at the Snyder Funeral Home, Craven Chapel, 67 N. Main St., Mount Gilead. Services celebrating his life will be held on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., at the Trinity United Methodist Church, 75 E. High St., Mount Gilead, with his minister Rev. Valerie Stultz officiating with the assistance of Rev. Peggy Streiff. Family and friends will be encouraged to stay for a meal of fellowship in Bob’s memory. Burial will take place at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Morrow County, Boundary United Methodist Church, or Denmark United Methodist Church, and they may be sent to the funeral home.
Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead is honored to have been chosen to serve the family of Pastor Bob.
For those wishing to express their condolences to Pastor Bob’s family, you may do so by visiting www.snyderfuneralhomes.com.