Corbin is mourning the loss of one of its most staunch supporters, as Bob Terrell Jr. died Monday at age 86.
“He was one of the most community civic minded people for Corbin that I have ever met,” said Rob Miller who serves on the Corbin Library Board. “If he saw something that needed to be done, or something that needed help, he tried to help.”
Miller pointed to the recent funding crisis at the Corbin Senior Center as a prime example.
In April the center was facing a financial crisis after federal and state aid was cut.
Terrell, who was frequently at the center, contacted the judge-executives in Knox, Laurel and Whitley counties, and was able to secure funding to help the center continue it’s meal program.
In 2003, CTA Acoustics was reeling following the explosion and subsequent fire at its Corbin facility on Feb. 20, 2003, that killed seven workers.
Company officials elected to keep production in Corbin, relocating to the Southeast Regional Business Park off of the Corbin bypass.
Terrell served as economic development director at the time, working with other local leaders in an effort to keep the company in Corbin.
When the decision was announced in March, Terrell credited numerous other people involved for their efforts.
“And thank the good Lord for giving us the energy and stamina to work through the complexities that always arise when you deal with important projects,” Terrell said at that time.
Corbin Mayor Suzie Razmus praised Terrell for his efforts on behalf of the community.
“He loved this town,” she said. “He worked tirelessly to make it better.”
The Corbin native excelled in athletics, especially basketball and baseball.
He earned a basketball scholarship to the University of Louisville, and went on to Georgetown College.
While at Georgetown, he played baseball and eventually played professionally in the minor leagues.
Terrell also served his country as an officer in the United States Marines Corps.
Following that he took a job with Ford Motor Company where he worked for 30 years, rising to become the General Sale and Marketing Manager for Ford’s U.S. and International Glass Sales.
Terrell’s eldest son, Robert Terrell, III, said while his father may have left Corbin to live elsewhere, Corbin remained very important to him.
“Whether it was Houston, Dallas or Detroit, his friends, neighbors and employers all knew about Corbin,” Terrell said. “That has always been his pride and joy, growing up here.”
The younger Terrell said his dad made it his mission in life to treat everyone equally.
“He never looked down on anybody,” Robert said of his dad. “He treated everybody with respect.”
In 1997, Terrell returned to Corbin, helping to found Hometown Bank and serving as the city’s Economic Development Director.
In addition, he was an active member of the Corbin Varsity Club, which supports the school’s athletics programs.
In August, members of the Corbin Kiwanis Club visited Terrell in his room at Baptist Health Corbin where he had been admitted due to illness.
There he received the 2019 Kiwanian of the Year Award for his exemplary service.
“He is irreplaceable,” Razmus said of Terrell Monday night.
Terrell is survived by his wife, Phyllis, and their children, Robert Terrell, III, Patricia Terrell, Linda Tate, Marcy Harrison, and Ron Terrell.
Visitation will be held from 4-8 p.m. Monday at First Baptist Church in Corbin.
The funeral will follow with Rev. Austin Carty presiding.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Corbin Senior Citizens Center.