Robert ‘Bob’ Alphin

Published 2:40 pm Friday, January 13, 2017

Robert 'Bob' Alphin

Robert ‘Bob’ Alphin

ZUNI — After 89 years of working the soil, watching October sunsets dip behind the horizon on his farm, searching the sky for July thunderstorms, picking the last row of peanuts to finish the fall harvest, pulling calves on February nights, swimming in the Blackwater River, repeating a well-told joke; after 62 years married to a good woman, raising three children who raised 13 grandchildren, who raised 19 great-grandchildren; after rooting for Virginia Tech against whoever the opponent, especially Virginia; after dancing the night away in his youth and offering uncommonly graceful advice in his later years; after squeezing out, to the last day, that which makes life rich and deep and meaningful and beautiful, Robert Alphin passed away on Jan. 9, 2017.

“Bob” Alphin was born in Whaleyville, Virginia, the 13th of July, 1927. One of nine children, he planted his roots in southern Isle of Wight County on a plot of land bordering the river. It was that farm that moved his being and fueled his dreams. In that soil his toes were planted and in the sky above it his vision cleared. If ever a man found “place,” it was this man and that place. The area around that farm, the people on his road and the towns within distance became his community as he became involved in clubs and organizations too numerous to mention. My goodness, how we loved him!

He is predeceased by brothers, Leon Alphin, John Alphin, Marvin Alphin and Thomas Alphin; and sisters, Edith Anderson and Aileen Cox.

He is survived by his wife, Juanita; his brother, William “Billy” Alphin of Culpeper, Virginia; and sister, Tony Willis of Windsor, Virginia. Children include Ruffin Alphin and wife, Dorothy, of Suffolk; Rex Alphin and wife, Debra, of Walters; Trena Hill and husband, Steve, of Driver; and two foster children, Paul and Peaches Sopko of Emporia.

The memorial service will be on Sunday, Jan. 15, at 5 p.m. in Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church, 3488 Godwin Blvd, Suffolk, Virginia.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Westminster Church.

Condolences may be registered online