Robert L. Depper Jr., 1952-2016

Bob Depper

Bob Depper

Robert “Bob” L. Depper Jr., 63, of El Dorado, Arkansas, passed away Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016, following a sudden illness.

He was born in Wood River, Illinois on Sept. 8, 1952, to Robert L. Depper Sr. and Nelda JoAnn Hooper Depper.

Bob attended high school in Wood River, graduating in 1970. He subsequently attended Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, on an R.O.T.C scholarship. While at Westminster, he met his wife of over 40 years, Mary Spencer Depper. They were married in 1975. Following college he served four years in the United States Army at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He began his career in the law in 1978, attending the University of Arkansas School of Law, Fayetteville, Arkansas. Following graduation in 1981, he joined the law firm of his late father-in-law, James V. Spencer, Jr., in El Dorado, Arkansas.

Faith and family were the foundation of Bob’s life. He watched his wife, children and grandchildren grow in their personal lives and careers with such pride and excitement. He could be counted on for wisdom, courage and kindness in any situation. His family was not limited by blood. He welcomed friends with open arms to Depper family Christmases, Thanksgivings and beach vacations. He was known lovingly by those who knew him as Bobby D.

Bob’s passion was the law. Above everything else, he sought justice for his clients. There was never a fight too difficult or legal issue too complicated. If someone was in need, Bob was more than willing to take on their case. He advocated for them zealously, while always maintaining his integrity as an officer of the court.

Even while focusing on his clients, Bob took time to work in his community. He coached many high school mock trial teams, taking joy in seeing young people learn and practice the law. He took on many cases pro bono and was active with the Arkansas Volunteer Lawyers for the Elderly. As a member of First United Methodist Church, he worked with the youth. They referred to him as B-O-B. He was on several committees, and enjoyed reprising his role as “Andrew” in the yearly Easter play.

Bob was preceded in death by his father, Robert L. Depper, Sr.

He is survived by his wife, Mary, a part-time local pastor in the Arkansas Conference currently appointed to Junction City UMC; their children, Robert L. Depper III (Aimée Papazian), Annie Depper, Mary Candace Depper and James Spencer Depper (Grace); their grandchildren, Lucy and Bodhin; his brother, Paul (Marsha) Depper; his sisters, Deborah (Glenn) Cooper, Penny (Matt) Raymond and Trisha Depper; his mother, Nelda JoAnn Hooper Depper; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016, at First UMC El Dorado, with the Revs. Keith Dodson and Jim Polk officiating. Burial with military honors followed at Arlington Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Arkansas Legal Aid; First UMC Junction City, Arkansas; or Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute (CARTI) to aid cancer patients.