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1938 Bob 2023

Bob Tumberlinson

March 27, 1938 — October 17, 2023

Robert Lake Tumberlinson, 85, passed away surrounded by the love of his family on Monday, October, 16, 2023.

Bob was born March 27, 1938 in New Haven, Connecticut to Leon and Grace Russell Tumberlinson.  Both parents were from Oktibiha County, Mississippi where their large families settled in the early 1800s and established the farming community of Morgantown.  Bob celebrated his 5th birthday on the road to San Benito where his paternal grandmother owned land.  Growing up on a farm in San Benito, Bob found the study of plants and animals a natural path when he reached Texas A&I College after graduating from San Benito High School in 1956.   This love of growing things stayed with Bob throughout his life, which he passed down to his children, until the early 1980s when the family sold most of its farm holdings in what became the Industrial Park.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Don, his maternal uncle John (Jean) Russell, his paternal uncle Reuben (Frances) Tumberlinson and his in-laws, Raul and Celia Longoria.  He is survived by his wife Sandra; his children- daughter Janice and son Robert, Jr. (Mary) from his first marriage to Jahn Locke; his sisters-in-law Arlene Tumberlinson and Dolores Ramirez; his cousins, Carol Tumberlinson Seavey, Jimmy, Lee and Johnny Russell and his nieces LeAnn (Tom) Jaeger and Andrea (Sean) Dvoran.

While a student at SBHS, Bob was very active in FFA, and was awarded the highest state award, the Lone Star Farmer Degree.  He was a charter member of the SBHS Key Club and a life-long member of Kiwanis Club, serving as president, and Lt. Governor Division 11 of the Texas Oklahoma Division.  The highlight of his term as Lt. Gov. was when he installed the Matamoros Kiwanis Club officers in Spanish.  While at A&I, Bob graduated in 1960 with a commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army.  He served on active duty in New Orleans, and upon completion, was employed by the USDA in Alvin, TX where he planned soil conservation activities with local farmers and ranchers.  After active duty, Bob served in the U.S. Army Reserves for nine years.  He completed his military obligation in 1969 with a rank of Captain and the position of Commanding Officer with the Harlingen U.S. Army Reserve Unit.  In 1962, Bob accepted a position with the San Benito CISD, teaching science at San Benito Junior High.  He later became an assistant principal and eventually, principal of San Benito High School for fifteen and a half years, a tenure which has not been equaled.  Bob Tumberlinson became SBCISD business manager in 1995 and after a 41 year career, retired in 2002.  He was elected to the school board for 9 years, where as president, the board named the new stadium in honor of native son, Olympian Bobby Morrow.

Following in the footsteps of his father, Bob served on the Dolly Vinsant Memorial Hospital Board and Scholarship Board for many years.  For his dedication to working with agricultural students at SBHS, he was awarded Honorary Chapter Farmer and Honorary State FFA Degrees.  As principal, Bob, with teacher Sonny Brazil's help, and the agriculture classes, designed, set out and planted all the palm trees that line Williams Road in front of the high school.  In the year that followed, each time he passed the school, he'd marvel at the growth and beauty of those palms he helped to plant.

An outdoorsman, Bob excelled at gardening, fishing and hunting.  His travels out west were the most fun, where he looked for arrow points, studied the geology of the mountains and dug for fossils which he mounted in the walls of his house. His vegetable garden was extensive and his citrus trees yielded enough fruit to share with friends.  Visiting his extended Mississippi family also brought him pleasure, especially their good home cooking.

Bob grew up in the San Benito Methodist Church where his parents attended.  Bob and Sandra Tumberlinson are members of the 1st Presbyterian Church where he was a ruling elder for many years as well as serving on the building and grounds committee.

Bob will always be remembered as a kind, fair and generous man who chose to be an educator in order to, in his words, change and improve the lives of hundreds of future adults.

The family thanks Ms. Victoria Aguilar, LVN, for her care and devotion in Bob's last weeks and Mrs. Angela Sierra, family friend.

Visitation will be held Wednesday, October 18, 2023 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Buck Ashcraft San Benito Funeral Home, 1400 W. Business 77, San Benito.

The Celebration of Life will be held Thursday, October 19, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of San Benito, 566 N. Reagan St., followed by a graveside service and military burial at Mont Meta Memorial Park.

Pallbearers include Joe Salinas, Jr. class of 1979, Oscar De La Fuente, Jr. class of 1979, Brad Peak family member, Richard Brotzman Kiwanis Club President, Sean Dvoran family member, David Hugo Garcia family member, David Saul Munoz family member, and Oscar Medrano Class of 1990.

Honorary Pallbearers include Bobby Cantu, Philip Oliver, Ben Fry, Chuck Ratliff, Donnie Shafer, Gerald Haak, Bill McNutt, Stephen Haynes, Lonnie Davis, George McShan, Frutoso Gomez, and Ray Martinez.

Funeral arrangements are under the care of Buck Ashcraft San Benito Funeral Home, 1400 W. Business 77, San Benito, Tx. 956.361.9192

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bob Tumberlinson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, October 18, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Buck Ashcraft San Benito Funeral Home

1400 West Business 77, San Benito, TX 78586

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

First Presbyterian Church of San Benito

566 North Reagan Street, San Benito, TX 78586

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Interment following service

Thursday, October 19, 2023

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