Cover photo for Robert Lee Shervin's Obituary
Robert Lee Shervin Profile Photo
1933 Robert 2023

Robert Lee Shervin

June 15, 1933 — April 28, 2023

Jackson, WY

Robert Lee Shervin came to this valley at his birth on June15, 1933 and left the valley on April 28, 2023. In the years in between he raised his family, built businesses and served his community surrounded by the mountains he loved.  Bob was born to Robert J. Shervin aka Floyd Cummings and Margaret Hedrick. Robert J. came to the valley to hide his past. Margaret’s father, Charlie, homesteaded near the Triangle X and became one of the first county commissioners. Brother Harold and sister Doris soon joined their older brother Bob. During the war years, the family moved often following available work but Jackson was always home. For some time they operated the Twin Rock Dairy located in Porcupine Creek. Bob and Harold were doing the job of field hands while going to school but one of Bob’s favorite childhood memories was riding his favorite horse on Hog Island in those years.  In 1949, the dairy closed and Robert J. and Margaret took a job for the winter in 29 Palms, California, leaving Bob and Harold on their own in Jackson at 16 and 15. From this experience came Bob’s lifelong motto:

“The first thing you do is take care of yourself so that you aren’t a burden to anyone and then, as soon as you are
able, you reach back and help someone who is having a harder time than you are.”
Bob fed cows on Mormon Row that historic winter, skiing 10 miles back and forth from town on snow so deep
that he could rest on the cross bars of the telephone poles. They had to dig down through the snow to find the
top of the haystacks.


When spring came, Bob went to work for Joe Budd in Big Piney. Bob took the ranch truck to town and met the
love of his life, Barbara Jane Decker, pumping gas and washing windshields. They were married by Judge Lange
with only his wife Helen as a witness at the Lange’s home on Valentine’s Day, 1953. They were as poor as a
newlywed couple could possibly be but between the two of them they had enough strong will and grit to
accomplish anything. Barbara said the secret to their long marriage was that there was never a time that they
both wanted a divorce at the same time. Bob’s good looks always turned a head or two over the years. He said
he never had eyes for anyone but Barbara, but it was fun when someone else’s second look kept Barbara
interested. They tormented and sparred with each other through 66 years of marriage. Bob loved to exasperate
Barbara right down to routinely hiding the last few pieces of every puzzle. He wanted to have the last word and
put in the last piece!


Bob and Barbara wanted a large family and in no short order came Bobby, Darrell, Harold, Scott and Kristy. The
Shervin household was loud, chaotic and perfectly situated at 585 E. Hansen to be regularly overrun by cousins
and a large part of Jackson elementary. Brother Harold’s family lived across the street and their life long best
friends, John and Marge Ryan occupied the corner. Hot tempers and short fuses are a genetic predisposition for
Shervin’s, so life was not always idyllic. Bob’s upbringing did not prepare him for parenthood but the
grandchildren seem to take little notice of Bob’s voice rising, so over the years his rougher edges wore
considerably smoother.

Bob, like his mother, showed his love with his actions. When the kids were young he often held three jobs
simultaneously to make ends meet. The job he loved most was running the chair lift even though if he spent the
night in town with his family he would need to climb the ski hill the next morning to get the lift running. Summer
picnics were adventures in the Willys jeep with all the kids riding in the back. The red ford station wagon carted
everyone to the Aspen Drive Inn Theater to every family movie. Even though pricing was by the car load, Bob
always insisted that all the kids hide quietly under blankets in the back while they paid admission. He was no
doubt looking for a moment of peace. Bob always made sure to pick up his nephew and niece, Gary and Debbie
Dugdale, to join the fun. He found time to be a Boy Scout Merit Badge Counsellor and he was a Little League
Umpire for 25 years. When the boys wanted to wrestle, he put together the wrestling club and championed it for
years traveling to every match with son, Scott, and his grandsons. He took great delight in challenging every
referee causing Barbara to threaten to sit on the other side of the arena so she would not be red-carded with him.
Bob supported kids and grandkids in the 4-H program for many years as well and loved to engage in lively bidding
wars at the livestock auction with Barbara urging restraint to no avail. The Senior Center could count on stocking
their freezer every year.


Bob was well known for his business achievements, from leasing the station that originally sat near the current
Dairy Queen site to relocating to the current location on the west side of town. He began his political career
serving on the Board of Town Planning in 1966, heading up the Chamber of Commerce and serving on the Board
of First Wyoming Bank. Then came his years as Mayor from 1981-1987 and the County Commissioner years of
1994-2002. In the meantime, he served on the Teton County Fair board, worked with Rotary and gladly poured
beer for countless events. Bob had a passion for serving the community and keeping it a place where regular
people could live and raise a family. He was particularly proud of the Town Hall, the Clock Tower and his work
with Jackson’s sister city, Lienz, Austria.


Through it all, Bob somehow found time to ski Glory Bowl annually with a group of long-standing friends, fish with
John Ryan and Jim Lais, be on the National Ski Patrol, lead the torch light parade and participate in the hill climb in
the spring. He, Barbara and friends snowmobiled every inch of the valley and the National Parks. He was a life
long member of the Elks and he made sure his membership in Rotary was paid up until the very end. Bob enjoyed
people and his friendships most of all, especially time spent with Jerry DeFrance.


Bob’s lifelong project was the Senior Center where he committed his time and his resources. He joined the board
at the age of 38. Anyone who saw the photo gallery lining the walls of the station would know that the founders
and seniors of the community were close to his heart. Even at the end of his life, he was working toward new
goals to better the lives of seniors in the community.


Bob was preceded in death by his parents; his beloved wife, Barbara; son, Harold; brother, Harold and his wife,
Claudette Crisp Shervin and their son, Michael; and his grandson Cody. He is survived by his sister, Doris Dugdale
Taylor, his sons Robert V. (Julie), Darrell (Kathy), Scott (Lettie), daughter-in-love, Mary Smith (Eddie), and daughter
Kristy, his grandchildren: Katie (Kent), Courtney, Levi, Haley, Jay (Bliss), A.J. (Megan), Dan (Jenny), Mitch (Sarah),
Mandy and numerous great-grandchildren, his nephews, Dan (Laura) Shervin and Gary (Ginina) Dugdale and his
niece Deb (Dugdale) King. He will be missed by Cummings family as well. Bob valued his Cummings family
heritage, treasured his Cummings family and was proud to be a life member of the Isaac Cummings Family
Association.


In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to the Senior Center of Jackson Hole.
Memorial Services will be held on Friday, May 12, 2023 at the Fairgrounds Arena at 3:00 p.m.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Lee Shervin, please visit our flower store.

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