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Mena Arkansas News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

Robert “Bob” Brock

Robert “Bob” Brock made his last code-three response from this world to his Lord on June 15th, 2022 in his home, surrounded by his family. He was born July 28th, 1939 to William T. Brock and Lois Irene Brock in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

As a boy, he helped his parents operate their hardware store and lumber yard, Brock Builder’s Supply. At seventeen, he married his beloved wife Jeri, and joined the U.S. Navy, serving on the U.S.S. Lenawee, APA195 attack/transport ship stationed out of San Diego, California. After being honorably discharged a Petty Officer First-Class with two years of service, he and Jeri moved back to Tulsa where their daughter Meri was born.

There, Robert worked at Saint Francis Hospital as Assistant Operating Engineer. As a master-level steam operating engineer, he oversaw the use and maintenance of high-pressure industrial steam equipment for heating and medical purposes. He later left Saint Francis Hospital and went to work remotely for Johnson Controls, designing circuit boards and relays for use in heavy machinery and complex electrical systems for use all over the world.

In 1976, Robert and Jeri decided to pack up their daughter Meri in a Greyhound bus he had converted into a motorhome and leave the rush of the big city to settle in the first friendly town they came to: Mena, Arkansas. It is here that they met and homesteaded with the Walstons at Shady and became lifelong friends, sharing many wilderness adventures. Robert became the head of maintenance for Mena School Systems, head of maintenance for Mena Hospital, and also an EMT-Intermediate for R.D. William’s Volunteer Ambulance Service, the first modern EMS service in Polk County.

He then joined Mena Fire Department under Chief Russel James, and quickly rose through the ranks, eventually becoming Chief himself. Robert wrote grants for the fire department to better their equipment and response capabilities, including Nomex turnouts, modernized air packs, their first-ever Jaws of Life, and many other specialty rescue/extrication tools that were generally considered unobtainable by small departments at the time. In addition to being Fire Chief, he was an Arkansas Fire Training Academy Adjunct Instructor, the Arson Investigator, Fire Marshall, Code Enforcement Officer, and an Auxiliary Police Officer with Mena Police Department. In 2003, he retired from his capacities to help raise and homeschool his Grandson, Collin.

He loved his family, his occupations, his God, and was a lifelong woodworker and metalsmith, master plumber, master electrician, avid outdoorsman, and superior marksman.

He is preceded in death by his parents and his wife Jeri of 64 years.
Bob was surrounded by family in his last hours. His daughter Meri, grandson Collin, and his wife Brandi miss him terribly

In lieu of flowers or gifts, donations may be made in his name to the Mena Fire Department, the Arkansas State Firefighter’s Association, and the Mena Police Department.

No services are planned at this time.  Cremation services are entrusted to Bowser Family Funeral Home in Mena.  

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