Memorial services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, May 18, 2013, at the First United Methodist Church for Robert Lynn "Bob" Chewning, age 96, of Roswell, who passed away Saturday, May 11, 2013. Dr. Douglas Mills and the Rev. Jim Bignell will officiate.
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Bob was born Nov. 16, 1916, to a pioneering family that helped originally settle the Pecos Valley. He was born and raised on a small family farm 3 miles east of Roswell on the Berrendo River. His parents, Henry and Sally Dunnahoo Chewning, instilled in him his love of family and friends, sense of community, love of music and nature and a strong work ethic.
Bob attended school in Roswell and, while growing up, worked on the family farm and for his brother at Clardy Milk. He went to work for JC Penney's in the late '30s. He married his wife, Louise Jones, on Sept. 6, 1940, and soon thereafter joined the 8th Air Force and was stationed in England during World War II. Upon his return from the war, he returned to work at JC Penney's and later worked for Everybody's Department Store.
In the late '40s he partnered with Raymond Richmond and they formed Richmond and Chewning, and together they operated the shoe department in Knadle's Department Store at the corner of Third and Main. In the early '60s, they moved their shoe business to the Broadmoor Shopping Center. During this time, Bob became very involved in the community, being an active member in Sertoma Club, Elks Club, Southeast New Mexico Fair Board and the Roswell school board. Richmond and Chewning opened their second store in the Monterrey Shopping Center on the same day it was announced that Walker Air Force Base was closing in the mid '60s.
After Mr. Richmond died, Chewning Footwear moved to one location at the corner of McGaffey and Main, and later built a new store at 301 W. McGaffey. Bob and the Chewning Footwear "family" met the footwear needs for residents of the Pecos Valley and beyond for more than 60 years. Bob's love of people and genuine interest in improving the quality of life of those around him could be seen in every aspect of his life. Through the years, he supported countless youth organizations and events, as well as a multitude of other worthwhile causes. His first wife, Louise, precede him in death and he married Lorraine Cavanaugh in 1993, who passed away in 2010.
Bob is survived by his proud and loving family: MaryLou Davis and husband, Jack of Scottsdale, Ariz., Susan Siepel and husband, Norm, of Carlsbad, N.M.; and three grandchildren: Brian Davis of Portland Ore., Dr. Joshua Siepel and his wife, Shelaine of Brighton, England, and Jennifer Cassidy and husband, Kevin of Houston, Texas. He has one great-granddaughter, Astarte Davis of Portland, Ore.
His extended family includes nieces and nephews: Lynda, Tim, Mike and Steve Whalen, Charlie Chewning, Patricia Chewning Galbraith and all their families. In addition, he is survived by his Chewning Footwear family, step-children: Tim and Belinda Cavanaugh, Cathy and Luther Jones, Colleen Blackwell, Dina Cavanaugh and their children, as well as the multitude who considered him their "second Dad."
The family wishes to thank the "Chewning Angels" who so lovingly cared for Bob over the last three years: Julie and Mike Adams, Mona Dunn, JoAnn Juarez, Lupe Portillo, Karen Knecht and Julia Dillard. A very special thanks goes to Silvia Mein, his "adopted daughter" who literally dedicated the last three years of her life to seeing that he was well cared for, comfortable and content.
Memorial donations can be made to the Historical Society and Foundation of Southeast New Mexico "Chewning Footwear Exhibit" at 200 N. Lea in Roswell, Roswell Sertoma Clubs, Bob Chewning Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 202, Roswell, NM 88202.
Condolences maybe made online at www.laqronefuneralchapels.com. Arrangements are under the personal directions of the professionals at LaGrone Funeral Chapel.
Published in Carlsbad Current-Argus on May 17, 2013
LaGrone Funeral Chapel
900 South Main Street Roswell, NM 88201