He usually had a smile on his face and a greeting on his lips, more than likely a light-hearted, “How you doing, kiddo?”
When he was tending the store, Cathcart and Company in Scottsburg, Robert “Bob” Cathcart could be counted on slipping out of the shop for some refreshment and conversation with friends at Hancock's Drugstore a couple of times a day.
The 80-year-old retired teacher and businessman passed away on Saturday, November 7, at the Greg and Noreen Wells Hospice Care Center in Bonnyman, Ky. Bob and wife Nancy Napier Cathcart had retired to Perry County, Ky., some years ago after Nancy, also a longtime teacher for Scott School District 1, finally left the classroom for good.
Bob was the son of the late Lynn William Cathcart and Kathleen Perry Cathcart. His dad was a barber, and it was in his shop that Bob started a coin and jewelry shop on North Second Street in Austin. Adept at business, Bob moved the shop to Crothersville and then, finally, to its Scottsburg location at the corner of West McClain Avenue and South Railroad Street.
He had a good time operating the store, becoming extremely familiar with the fluctuating values of coins, precious metals and gems. The couple's son, Robbie, grew into the business, becoming his dad's partner. He now operates the Scottsburg store.
What set Bob Cathcart apart, though, aside from his perpetually friendly manner, was his ability to teach all types of mathematics to scores of Austin High School students over the years. He was a math whizz. Bob got his undergraduate degree from Cumberland College in 1963 and joined the Austin High School staff that same year. He received his master's from Purdue University in 1970.
Bob handled a large teaching load and the shop for years, also serving as the District 1 athletic director from 1976 to 1981. He also stepped in and served as assistant principal for the high school in 1986-87.
Bob retired in 1992 and then devoted all his attention to the store before he and Nancy retired to Kentucky to be close to other family members.
He was a U.S. Army Reserve veteran and a member of Austin Christian Church.
His survivors include his wife of many years; son Robert “Robbie” L. Cathcart and his special friend Stephanie Sears; a son, Gabriel Cathcart; a sister, Carolyn Johnson and husband Robert; and sister-in-law, Von Boggs.
Calling and a celebration of life was conducted on Monday evening, November 9, at Maggard's Mountain View Chapel in Hazard, Ky.
Locally, visitation was held on Tuesday evening, November 10, at the Buchanan Funeral Home in Austin.
The funeral will be conducted at 11 a.m. today (Wednesday) at the Buchanan Funeral Home. The Rev. Don Watts will officiate.
Cremation has been requested by the family.
Memorial donations may be arranged through the staff of the funeral home to benefit the Napier-Pollard Relay for Life Fund.