Be like Robert

Published 12:59 pm Thursday, June 2, 2016

Last week, Heaven received a new angel as my great-uncle Robert Napier passed away.

Uncle Robert was the kind of guy who would help you with anything you needed. He volunteered every February for 34 years of his life as a missionary in Honduras, served our country in the military and always had a smile on his face when he walked into the Gazette every Wednesday to grab a paper.

Some of my fondest memories of him were in my earlier years as a teen.

I was fascinated when Granny Mary (Duffie) would take us to see Aunt TeeTee (his wife, Dorothy) and Uncle Robert. Uncle Robert was filled with joy and laughter as he told us tales of Honduras and what all the missionaries built. He would praise the Lord for helping him find these people to help and would teach song lyrics in Spanish, like “Because He Lives.”

The man lived his adult life striving to be a better person, and there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that he did just that.

At his funeral on Friday, you could see just how many people his goodness had touched. Drakes Branch Baptist Church was packed full for his funeral service; some people even had to stand. The church was bursting with tears as many were saddened that Uncle Robert’s life on earth had passed.

Many people stood and told their favorite memories of Uncle Robert and all of his grandchildren and immediate family smiled listening to the ways he touched others’ lives.

It was a sight to witness.

One man had changed lives all around our community and even in Honduras. He gave us an example of character to live by and he showed us how much one person can make a difference.

We are all in different places of our lives, but most of us will agree that we could spend more time volunteering or being nicer — or just working hard to become a better person.

I challenge the people feeling this way to be like Robert. Don’t wait around for opportunities to present themselves or to help only when asked.

Challenge yourself to be the better person you know you can be. Challenge yourself to be like my Uncle Robert and constantly search for more ways to help those around you.

Challenge yourself to do more for your community.

Hannah Davis is the editor of The Charlotte Gazette. She can be reached at