Robert Gene Stemock, known to everyone, even those who did not know him, as Big Rob passed away in his home in Apopka, Florida on September 4, 2019, surrounded by his wife, Teresa Upton Stemock, his other wife (laginappe wife) Cindy Mayo, and his oldest daughter Tara O’Neal Uhlich, who never really did listen to his request that she come back only when she can’t stay as long.
Rob was born in Homestead, Florida on May 20, 1964 or as his kids liked to call it, a day that will live in infamy. On the day he was born, he peed on a nurse and they knew a god was born (not entirely sure that’s how it happened, but I have to go off of what Rob told me). He’d grow up to have the physique of Budda, but he was a god nonetheless in his love, his sense of humor, and his overall personality.
Rob loved camping. His family loved it too, especially after Rob answered the age old question “does a bear shit in the woods?” He loved karaoke, drinking whiskey with his friends, playing cornhole, his dog Dallas, and time spent at the beach. But, most of all, Rob loved his family.
Rob is survived by his wife of 17 years, Teresa, who he gave 7 more years than he originally promised. Together they raised four children: Tara Uhlich, Michael O’Neal, Erin O’Neal, and Eric O’Neal. He also raised two children in law: Robert Uhlich, spouse of Tara and Stephanie Shaw, spouse of Eric.
But the true loves of Rob’s life were his grandchildren who fondly called him Paw Paw:
- Roman Uhlich, who he adored from birth, taught to headbutt (proudly giving his Nanny a black eye at the age of one), and would move the moon for instantly. Roman was his pride and joy. His first grandchild.
- Ryker Uhlich, who he worked so hard to connect with, so much so that all of the traditions he did with his own grandfather, he passed on to Ryker. Paw paw saw himself in Ryker and thought the world of him.
- River Uhlich, the apple of his eye, his “Sippy” who he named because of the Mississippi River, who can do no wrong. His final days were spent reading Sippy stories and playing games.
- Amberlynn O’Neal-Shaw who was his first granddaughter and melted the ice of his grinch level heart.
- Tabyn Augustas Theadore O’Neal, whose name is only so long because Paw Paw wanted to name him Argile Augustus and Paw Paw wasn’t much on budging, but after all these years, he finally learned to compromise.
- Jordon O’Neal-Shaw who once saved his Paw Paw’s life when he summoned his Paw Paw to the hospital for his birth. Paw Paw had a heart attack that day and would have died, had he not been in the hospital for Jordon. Paw paw had to make sure he passed before Jordon was old enough to drive so he could get out of buying him that car the doctor promised Paw Paw would buy him.
Rob is also survived by his mother Janice Stemock (who was not his biological mother, but his mother all the same), his Aunt Louise “Edna” Richardson and his Uncle Henry “Rooster” Richardson. He is also survived by many cousins, but adored his cousins Christopher Sansbury (who survived Rob tossing him into a ceiling fan) and Ronald “Ronnie” Byland who Rob remained close with until the end.
Rob was preceded in death by his father Robert Michael Stemock, who he thought was a pain in the ass, but who his kids thought was an exact replica. I suppose they have continued their fight over how boiled peanuts get salted or how to pronounce Home Depot. He was also preceded in death by his Mo-mo who was the reason he claimed to hate Christmas (he didn’t really, just liked to tell his wife that so she would rein in the decorations) and his Granddaddy Jack who he used to go with to the store and get a honeybun and a yoo-hoo. This was a tradition Rob continued with his own grandson Ryker.
He has arrived at rainbow bridge with his pup and loyal companion of 16 years, Sheba. Together, they will meet Robbie Roman Uhlich, a grandson Rob never got to meet.
Rob requested a party instead of a funeral after his passing. He made enough people promise to make it happen that it’s happening. Please join us on Saturday, September 7, 2019 at the Rec Hall for his Final Celebration.
Rob continues to be loved and adored by his family and his friends. He was a one of a kind man who lived life his way on his terms and wouldn’t have had it any other way. Please keep his family in your thoughts as they embark on their new lives without him being physically present.