Robert W. Wales

After 83 years of service dedicated in parts to his family, to his country, and to his community, Robert Wales of Hattiesburg, MS was called home to Heaven on 12/2/2020. A cremation memorial will be set at a future date.

Born in San Jose, California to the late Joseph H. and Elizabeth A. Wales, Bob joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany where he somehow met and convinced a beautiful German lady, Carole Stoltz, that marrying him would be the best achievement in her life. After completing his service to his country, “Dr. Bob” as he was most affectionally known, and his bride soon moved back to the West Coast where he received his Undergraduate Degree and Masters Degree at Oregon State University and concluded his Doctoral Degree at Kansas University. Not to be one to let his knowledge stand and collect dust, Dr. Bob taught as a Full Professor for 32 years at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Geography & Area Development Department where he served as Department Chair, initiated many college funding grants, and authored some books on Geography/Area Development. During his tenure, he was a vital part of the Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation District for many years. His service let him to be inducted into the Mississippi Soil and Water Conversation District Hall of Fame as well as many other notable distinctions during his career. With 32 years under his belt and never having missed a day of work while at USM or serving /teaching others, Dr. Bob retired from USM.
However, his greatest hobby continued as he worked many years at his “home-away-from-home”, managing the Driving Range at Shadow Ridge Golf Course. He only wanted to work for Snicker’s Candy bars but somehow managed to collect a few dollars managing the range but he often let it be known that he would have quit in a heartbeat if he couldn’t get his Snickers reward.
Dr. Bob is survived by his beautiful bride, Carole, of 62 years, his 2 sons John and Tom from Texas, daughter-in-law Jennifer from Texas; grandchildren Sydney and Jayden of Texas and Christopher, Brittany, and Ashley of Georgia; his sister Linda Goldenberg of Oregon, as well as close relatives in Germany.
During his final days of life at home, Dr. Bob could still be heard saying, “My lunch break is over, it’s time for me to go back to the driving range.” Now, dad, you can go and work as long as you want at the driving range. Mom gives you permission.
Memorial Services for Dr. Wales will be held at a later date.