Robert Marshall Heflin, I, “Bob-O,” died peacefully in his sleep on Dec. 28, 2021, at his home in Point Marion, PA, where he had lived for the past eight years. Throughout his 76 years, he never met a stranger, and was a devoted sports fan (especially to the WVU Mountaineers), a history and music buff – he captained his own ship in life. He could quote the Bible, Civil War battle dates and Mountaineer game scores with equal skill and no access to Google.
Born August 10, 1945, Bob was the second of the four sons of Benjamin Marshall “Spot” Heflin (1924-1994) and Mamie Elizabeth “Peg” McCracken (1927-1994). He was raised in Bishop and remained in that McDowell County, WV, community for most of his life, graduating Big Creek High School in 1963, where he lettered in baseball and football, and was selected for All-Star honors. He attended Concord College before being recruited to play for the Bluefield Orioles, a minor league team baseball team.
He married his college sweetheart Judith Kay Hanks of Gary, and together they had five children, Cheri Heflin Callaghan (Mike) of Charleston, WV; Lori Austin of Charlotte; Robert Marshall Heflin II (Briana) of Morgantown, WV; Kriste Heflin of Charlotte; and Brandy Heflin (Kormah Padgett) of Charleston, WV.
He worked for Pocahontas Fuel Company, and later, Consolidated Coal Company. He was a member of the UMWA before working as a section boss. He worked in McDowell when it was the largest coal-producing county in the U.S. He was a third-generation coal miner and worked in the same mines as his father and where his grandfather was killed in a tragic mantrip accident in 1939.
He moved to Point Marion in 2013, just slightly above the Mason-Dixon line (which interestingly he claimed was relocated South during the Civil War) and a few miles from Milan Puskar stadium.
Preceding him in death were his father, mother, his oldest brother, Ronald Edward Heflin (1944-1944) and his youngest brother, Glen Edwin Heflin (1953-2010), his second wife, Brenda Carole Johnson (1945-2007), and sisters-in-law, Jennie Lyons Heflin (1954-2015) and Sue Marshall Heflin (1944-1999).
In addition to his children and their mother, Judi Heflin of Charleston, WV, he is survived by his brother, William Tarleton “Bill” Heflin (Mary) of Tazewell, VA; his paternal aunt Freda Wingfield Heflin Gibbons of Mt. Airy, NC, and several cousins including Keller O’Neal Whited (Dorothy) of Nashville, TN, and Timmy Ray (Heather) of Bluefield, WV.
He also leaves 12 grandchildren: Ashley Schiffman (Zach), Whitney Browning-Faille (Bradley), Jeremy Johnson (Kristen), Logan Austin, Sam Montgomery, Haleigh Heflin, Caroline Montgomery, Meredith Montgomery, Tatum DiManno and Marshall Heflin; and 7 great-grandchildren: Waylon, Cayson, Everly, Brice, Coleson, Sawyer and Aramis. He also leaves nieces and nephews including Zack Heflin (Kelly) of Wytheville, VA, and Brian Heflin (Kim) of Tazewell, VA, Jill Boyd (Brad) of Springfield, VA; Layla Thompson (Timothy) of Bluefield; Sarah Pennington (James) of Bland, VA, and Brad Heflin of Charleston, WV.
Visitation and services will take place at 3PM on Saturday, January 1, 2022, in Point Marion, PA. Louis Rudolph Funeral Home, Point Marion, PA, (www.louisrandolphfuneralhome.com) are in charge of arrangements.