Robert William Allard, 74, died peacefully on Dec. 16 after a courageous battle with illness. A proud former Marine, Bob was a hairstylist by trade and had owned a chain of hair salons and a flooring company. After a long and varied career, Bob retired but wasn't one to sit at home and became a bus driver for special education students who called him "SpongeBob."
Bob loved working around the house, reading history, boating, and spending time with his dogs. He developed septic arthritis in August, underwent several emergency surgeries and beat the odds by surviving. He was told he would never walk again but no one who knew him was surprised when he did just that – first with a walker, then with a cane, then unassisted. The day before his death, he was overjoyed to learn he could return to work in January as a bus aide for the students he adored.
Bob is survived by his wife of 24 years, Linda; sons Tim and Jake and Jake's fiancée Ashlee Parnell; sister Sally; three beloved dogs, two godchildren and more friends and admirers than he knew.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Bob's birthday, Jan. 2, at 11:30 a.m. at Cheswick Park, 498 Forest Ave. in Henrico.
Donations may be made to the Arthritis Foundation Mid Atlantic Region, 2201 W. Broad St., #100, Richmond, VA 23220.Condolences may be left at www.woodyfuneralhomeparham.com.