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August 16, 2023 Robert (Bob) Leland McMath, 93

Robert (Bob) Leland McMath, 93, of Lenox, passed away August 6, 2023, at home. Services were held 10:30 am Friday, August 11 at the Clearfield Methodist Church. Burial was in the Clearfield Cemetery in Clearfield, Iowa.
Memorials are to the Clearfield Cemetery and the Clearfield Methodist Church. Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr is in charge of the arrangements.
Bob was born on November 12, 1929, on a farm outside of Clearfield, Iowa, to Leland and Edna (Hartman) McMath at the start of the Great Depression. He was raised on farms around the Clearfield area, attending area rural school and Clearfield Community High School, graduating in 1947. He met the love of his life, Shirley Bailey, when he began attending Clearfield Community High School. They became a couple in 1944, marrying in 1949; they spent 79 years together, 74 years married. Bob would joke that he “thought he’d keep her” since they had spent so much time together. Two children were welcomed to the family, Michael in 1951 and Monica in 1954. Bob and Shirley lived on their farm east of Clearfield for 60 years before retiring to Lenox in 2008.
Bob spent his career farming. He especially enjoyed raising fat cattle for market. Bob considered himself a steward of the land, a caretaker here to use and preserve the land for generations to come. He was an active community participant, involved in the Clearfield Presbyterian Church until its closing, then the Clearfield United Methodist Church; Noble Lodge #458 (50+ year member); Clearfield Lions Club, serving as Iowa State Fair Shuttlebus Co-Chairman for two years; Taygold Co-op Board, and Cub Scouts.
Bob loved to connect with people and could always find someone fascinating to visit with. The family remembers waiting in the car for a half-hour while Bob visited with the gas station attendant. Shirley would joke that if no one was about, she swore Bob could talk to a fence post.
Music provided him with great joy throughout his life, from singing in church, to participating in large group choirs, to barbershop quartets, to dancing with Shirley to the big band music he so loved. He and Shirley spent many evenings with their close group of friends dancing at The Inn at Creston and playing bridge with several different groups.
Bob loved to travel. He and Shirley traveled throughout the US, to Mexico and Europe, gathering more friends as they went. Bob especially enjoyed spending the winter in south Texas, where he and Shirley developed many close friendships that remained for the rest of his life.
Bob adored his children, grandchildren, and great-grandson, who dubbed him “Papa Bob.” Bob and Shirley thoroughly enjoyed traveling throughout southwest Iowa to the grandkids’ concerts, ballgames, and school programs. He was Grandpa to many of his grandchildren’s friends. Children were drawn to Bob, delighting in him and his antics as much as he delighted in them.
Robert was preceded in death by his son, Michael; his parents, Leland and Edna McMath; parents-in-law Merrill and Agnes Bailey; siblings and spouses: Maralyn (Dale) Schlapia, Lavon (Paul) Brown, Dwight (Helen) McMath; and niece, Jeannette Scott.
Robert will be greatly missed by his wife, Shirley; his daughter, Monica (Kevin) Crouch; his grandchildren: Ben Crouch, Alex (Alyssa) Crouch, and Bailey (Aric) Bostwick; his great-grandson, Barrett Crouch; and his very special nieces and nephews, along with many other relatives and friends.
Although Bob will be greatly missed, the memories we hold will bring loving inspiration to our family. May he be at peace in God’s loving care.

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