Remembering Bob “Cotton” McBryde

memorial for Bob "Cotton" McBryde

My father Bob “Cotton” McBryde passed away in July 2022. This post includes the video of his funeral as well as the eulogy that my sister Stacey and I shared during the service.



Hi. I’m Stacey McBryde Valley, and this is my brother, Rob McBryde. We’d like to begin by thanking you all for being here today as we celebrate the life of our dad, Robert Cotton McBryde, or Bobby Carroll as he was known growing up. Barbara (our mom), Rob, and I are grateful for the cards, messages, food, and flowers many have sent. And for the overwhelming number of family and friends who traveled here from out of town and out of state! We are grateful.

From Paula Waters, Dad’s sister:

My first memory of Bob was on the day he was born. It was January 1941, and I was just shy of 10 years old. That morning, as I was leaving for school, Mother told me that, probably by the time I got home in the afternoon, we would have our new baby which we were all excited about.

Of course, all day long at school, this was all I could think about. I rode the school bus home as usual and got off at the bus stop, which was about a block from our home in White Hall. I remember I ran all the way home as fast as I could — bounding into the house. Sure enough, there was a 9-pound healthy baby boy waiting for me there! Mother, Daddy, and I had chosen the name Robert Carroll if it was a boy — and we all were hoping for a boy — and I called him Bob. I fell in love with that baby right then, and it lasted a lifetime. Thank you, God!!

Reading of obituary 


Bob “Cotton” McBryde of North Little Rock, AR, passed away at the age of 81 on Monday, July 11, 2022. Bob was born in 1941 in Pine Bluff, AR, to Guy John and Lillian McBryde. He graduated from White Hall High School in 1958 and was named “Most Handsome” in his class. He received his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Arkansas State University (ASU) in Jonesboro in 1963. Bob was a charter member of Lambda Chi Alpha at ASU, # Iota Zeta 98. Bob worked as a door-to-door salesman for WearEver cookware during college and was the company’s national college champion one year and first runner-up the following year. He served in the Air Force Reserves from 1963-1968 and worked in pharmaceutical sales in his early career. 


In 1964, Bob married Barbara Jean Reid of Weiner, AR. He said he knew he would marry her the first time they met at a drive-in pizza place in Jonesboro. They raised two children, Stacey and Rob, and spent many years in El Dorado, AR, where Bob worked in automobile sales and management. He and Barbara enjoyed traveling the world on Ford Motor Company award trips including Monaco and Rome. In 1991, at age 50, Bob made a career change to insurance sales with Farm Bureau Insurance becoming the oldest “Rookie of the Year.” He won two award trips with Farm Bureau as well. He retired in 2015 at age 74. 


Bob was passionate about mountain music and often attended the Ozark Folk Festival in Mountain View, AR. He also enjoyed deep-sea fishing, watching the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Dallas Cowboys, and spending time with friends and family. He was crazy about his grandchildren. Bob was fun-loving, generous, and kind. He was a great storyteller and natural-born salesman. “He was the absolute best car salesman who knew absolutely nothing about a car,” says Bill McHaney, a long-time friend and coworker. 


Bob was preceded in death by his parents, brother Sonny, and brother-in-law Roy Waters. He is survived by his wife Barbara; children Stacey (Anthony K.) Valley and Rob (Inés) McBryde; sister Paula Waters; grandchildren Destin, Hailey, Charitey, Kennedy, Madison, Maya, Nash, and Quinn; and a large extended family. Dad was a long-time supporter of the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches. Donations may be made in Bob’s name to this wonderful organization that helps protect children from violence and abuse. 

Devotion to Wife/Family/Friends

Our dad was crazy about our mom! You could see it in his eyes… at how he looked at her… probably still amazed that she said yes way back when. And Mom was goofy over him too. Their love story is like an old-time romance movie: Cute Couple meet at a drive-in. Cute Boy falls in love that night. They married in 1964 and were together for over 58 years. Of course, their marriage wasn’t without challenges, but their love for one another was undeniable. He loved him some Barbie! 

I’m a Daddy’s Girl. This past week looking through old photos, I found dozens of pictures with me in my dad’s arms, or with my arms flung around his neck giving him a big kiss. His love for us was evident through his hard work to provide for his family, his advice (which he gave often unsolicited, but was usually correct), and just how he had our back through the years. Neither one of us felt like we could fail… he was there for us when we were on top and when we messed up. He was always in our corner. And he treated extended family, friends, and clients the same way. He was a generous, loving, funny man. 


Dad lived with integrity and believed in doing right by people. He believed that a person’s word was important.  When I was a cadet at the Air Force Academy and had let a long-distance calling card bill go unpaid (it was like $85), I vividly remember him getting on to me about it saying that when you make a commitment to someone (or a company) you keep your word. That your word was your reputation and how people associate one’s reputation with their name. He told me, your name is all you have. I paid the bill.

His tenacity for doing right by people went the other way, too. He expected others to do the same. And when they didn’t, he kept on moving. When I lived in Chicago in 2001, I wanted to trade my car in for a Jeep Cherokee. So I called dad who immediately went to work in Arkansas negotiating some trade-ins through his extensive dealership network. I went to a Jeep dealership in Chicago and told the dealer the trade my dad worked out in Arkansas. The Chicago dealer gave me a lowball trade-in offer and said the Arkansas dealer wouldn’t really give me what dad had worked out after seeing the car in person. Dad said, “You tell him that I’ve sold more cars over the phone than he’s sold in his entire career, and we’ll do the deal down here.” I drove to Arkansas and did the deal, exactly as my dad had said. 

The selling cars over the phone comment wasn’t just bravado, though he had plenty of that. Dad was just the kind of guy who could sell a fleet of Ford Tauruses to the El Dorado Police Department over the phone. People knew Cotton McBryde would take care of them. Whether it was giving people fair and honest car deals for a couple of decades, or the 24 years of being a Farm Bureau Insurance agent where he was known to go to people’s homes after a bad storm or flood to help them in any way he could, dad spent his life taking care of others.

Devotion to family and friends and living with integrity. These are the things we wanted to remember about our dad, honoring him for a life well lived. We hope you will share your own stories about him during the reception after the conclusion of this service.

Thank you.

Bob "Cotton" McBryde visitation - table with US flag, dad's ashes, and an old photo of mom and dad
Bob “Cotton” McBryde visitation – table with US flag, dad’s ashes, and an old photo of mom and dad
Stacey Valley and Rob McBryde co-sharing dad's eulogy
Stacey Valley and Rob McBryde co-sharing dad’s eulogy
McBrydes-Valleys - three generations
McBrydes-Valleys – three generations
McBrydes-Reids - Mom's side of the family
McBrydes-Reids – Mom’s side of the family
McBryde-Waters family - dad's side of the family
McBryde-Waters family – Dad’s side of the family
McBryde grandchildren
Cotton’s legacy – the McBryde grandchildren

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