‘One of the greatest Bobcats,’ dead at 91

Sandra ClarkFountain City, Obits

Whether he was moving dirt to expand the North Side Y or hammering walls for another Habitat for Humanity house, Bob Temple was almost always working, working hard, and working to help others.


Robert H. Temple, 91, died on March 26 at his home in Halls. Friends posted more than 500 tributes on Facebook, but Ken Carringer said it best, “One of the greatest Bobcats ever. What a man.”

Bob was a self-employed builder and subdivision developer. He graduated from Central High School in 1948 and from the University of Tennessee in 1951 with a bachelor’s degree in business. He served two years in the U.S. Army.

Bob and Helen Boring Temple had three children: Linda Temple Wise and husband, Steve; Ginger Temple Baxter and husband, Bill; Rob Temple and wife, Sandy. Grandchildren are Anne Wise Kann, Janie Thompson, Elizabeth Baxter-Stanczyk, Jennifer Reynolds, Joe Baxter, John Baxter and Brad Rose. Granddaughter Tiffany Rose predeceased him.

Bob was an active member of Fountain City United Methodist Church. Athletic achievements included playing basketball at UT, Knoxville city diving champion, high school basketball and football player. He waterskied until the age of 85 and won the state doubles tennis  championship, senior division, in his 70s.

He was named Fountain City’s Man of the Year in 1985, and the North Side Y was named for him in 2002. He was a founding member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Knoxville.

Roger Sexton wrote to son Rob: “Your Dad touched more lives in a great way than you will ever know.”

Former KPD Chief Phil Keith wrote: “Just glad he was a friend and I am a better man because of him. He has a great legacy (in his) children and family.”

State Sen. Becky Duncan Massey said she met Mr. Temple when going door-to-door in 2011. “We hit it off immediately. He even worked the polls for me. I’ll never forget his friendship.”

Rob Temple posted: “We don’t get to pick our parents. … I hit the parent lottery with both my Mom and Dad.”

A celebration of life service will be held later. Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel is serving the Temple family. Obituary here.

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