Robert Douglas “Bobby” Alder, 74, of Fayetteville passed away on March 6, 2018 at Saint Thomas West Hospital in Nashville after a brief illness.
Mr. Alder was born Feb. 3, 1944 in Lincoln County, Tennessee, son of the late Robert Clay Alder and Helen Lindsay Alder.
Alder graduated from Fayetteville Central High School in 1962. A lifelong diehard fan of the University of Tennessee Volunteers, Bobby graduated from the Knoxville campus in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. While at UT, he was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and served as an officer for two years.
Upon graduation from UT, Alder served in the United States Army from 1967 to 1969, stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He returned home to Fayetteville in 1969 to join his father’s construction company, Robert Alder, Inc. The company was responsible for building numerous bridges and structures throughout Lincoln County and across the state, including the first bridge on the Interstate highway system in Tennessee.
On June 28, 1969, Bobby married Cynthia Claire Groce. The couple had two children, Robert Douglas (Doug) Alder, Jr., 47, of Seattle and Michael Jeffrey (Jeff) Alder, 46, of Fayetteville.
After selling the family construction business in 1989 following his father’s passing, Alder entered the education ranks as a Drafting teacher at Lincoln County High School from 1989 to 1993. He received his Master’s degree in Vocational-Technical Education from Middle Tennessee State University in 1992, and was later awarded an Educational Specialist Degree in Administration and Supervision.
In 1993, Bobby accepted the position of Supervisor of Engineering, Construction and Maintenance of the Lincoln County Department of Education. He remained in that role until his retirement in 2011.
Alder was very active in the Fayetteville community, serving as a mentor and coach to countless young people. He coached baseball in youth leagues for 11 years, leading his teams to multiple championships. He was also a Scoutmaster for Cub Scout Pack 329 for three years, receiving the Long Rifle Award for Outstanding Service to Scouting.
He also undertook many civic duties, serving as Chairman of the Fayetteville Regional Planning Commission for three years and a member of the Fayetteville Recreation Board for six years.
Bobby devoted a large portion of his retirement to genealogy and documenting his family’s story through photos—a passion that stretched over 40 years. His efforts have connected the Alder family tree across many generations, states and countries.
Bobby was preceded in death by his parents Bob and Helen, and sister Carolyn. He is survived by his wife Cindy, sons Doug and Jeff, daughter-in-law Brooke Browning Alder, grandchildren Dylan and Kyndal Alder, and son-in-law Eric Middleton.
The First Baptist Church in Fayetteville will host visitation with the Alder family on March 8 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., as well as the funeral on March 9 at 11:00 a.m. Burial will follow at Riverview Memorial Gardens in Fayetteville. Arrangements are being handled by Higgins Funeral Home.