I don’t remember the year I met Mr. Stagner, but you can bet it was at a sporting event.

If I think hard, it must have been when I was in the second grade when my older brother started playing baseball.

Back then there was no T-ball or blast ball. There were no aluminum bats or whatever they make bats out of now. We played with wooden bats.

But Mr. Stagner was there helping organize the baseball team at Orr Elementary School.

My brother was on the team as well as Mr. Stagner’s son, Stuart. I was the batboy.

It began a longtime acquaintance with Mr. Stagner and his wife Carolyn, a very special lady, and their children.

The reason for this reminiscing was that Robert “Bob” Stagner passed away on Thursday.

He was a true sportsman. He loved to win, but he was always gracious - win or lose.

Services are set for 2 p.m. Sunday at Westwood Baptist Church.

Burial will follow at Catheral in the Pines Cemetery under the direction of Stewart Family Funeral Home.

Mr. Stagner was a 1947 graduate of Van High School. He played football and basketball for the Vandals. He then attended Tyler Junior College and North Texas State College before settling in Tyler and working in the insurance business.

As I grew up, it was always fun to run into Mr. and Mrs. Stagner. More times than not, it was at a sporting event at John Tyler, Lee and TJC as well as the TAPPS schools.

They were always on the go and always so positive, kind and encouraging whether it was on the field, the diamond, the court or in the classroom.

Their positive energy has been an inspiration for many Tylerites. I know they were to me.

They loved sporting events whether it was a middle school game or the Olympics.

They made sure to attend as many games as possible.

And one of their favorite events was the College World Series. No telling how many times the Stagners made the trip to Omaha, Nebraska. And they made so many friends there.

When the CWS starts Saturday, I know my thoughts will be about Mr. Stagner.

The city of Tyler and East Texas has lost a great man.


Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.

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