Bob Bone of Weatherford was a professional fiddler who played
with many well-known musicians. But he also kept his day job and
stayed close to home to support his family.
"He had lots of opportunities to travel, but he didnít want to do that,"
daughter Tonda Bone, 45, said Friday in a phone interview. "He wanted to stay
here and be able to come home and be with his family. He played every single
week and a lot of times two or three times a week, but it was never anything
that was going to replace his day job."
Mr. Bone, who also worked many years as an account executive for General
Electric and Black and Decker before his retirement, died about 1 p.m. Wednesday while
his wife Bobbie held his hand. He was 80.
Robert Eldon Bone was born Jan. 27, 1929, in Shinewell, Okla.
He taught himself fiddle at age 8.
Over the years, Mr. Bone shared the stage with Willie Nelson and Bob Wills,
relatives said. He led a house band at Panther Hall that backed stars
such as Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette and Charley Pride.
He played in many bands, often outside Texas. He was inducted into the
Cowtown Society of Western Music Hall of Fame in 2006.
About two years ago, Mr. Bone and his wife began attending Palo Pinto County
Cowboy Church in Santo, southwest of Weatherford. Mr. Bone joined the 11-piece church
band and immediately began making new friends.
"Bob had an incredible sense of humor. The first day in, he was cutting jokes,
and it kind of set us back a little bit," Pastor Roger Keck said. "He loved to
jab anybody he could get to with the end of that bow."
In April, Mr. Bone was diagnosed with chronic myelocytic leukemia, relatives said.
Even so, he played fiddle at the Parker County Peach Festival in Weatherford
on July 11.
"He went up there in the blazing heat and did a short set," his daughter said.
On Sept. 20, friends and fellow musicians held a fundraiser for Mr. Bone
at the Finish Line Club in Fort Worth. They sold tickets to a beans-and-cornbread
meal to help offset his medical bills. It was the last time he got
together with many of his friends.
Bobbie considered it a "nice sendoff."
A few days later, Mr. Bone fell, struck his head and never recovered,
Mr. Bone was preceded in death by a son, Robert.
Survivors include sons Randy of Weatherford and Gary and Larry
of Broken Bow, Okla.; nephews Bob of Hugo, Okla., Charles of Boswell, Okla.,
and James of Weatherford, whom Mr. Bone helped raise while his brother
was in the military; and several grandchildren and nieces.
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