COLUMBIA, Tenn. - Thousands of people will continue to be affected by the aftermath of the tanker explosion on Interstate 65 in Franklin. Four days later, no one is more affected than Bobby Bobo's family.
“It's just like he went to work and he disappeared,” wife Teresa Bobo said tearfully.
Bobo's family didn't need official confirmation Friday morning.
“He knew those roads like the back of his hand,” son Robert said. “That's one of the reasons… it was like the biggest shock.”
He wasn't home on time. He wasn't answering his phone, all unusual for a man loyal to his routine.
“And momma came in there and woke me up and she told me. She was like, ‘daddy got killed,’” son Nicholas explained.
For nearly 40 years, Bobby Bobo drove a semi filled with gasoline up and down the interstate for Edwards Oil. His family said he was a cautious driver.
“I remember as a little boy the smell of his clothes, of his boots,” son Daniel said.
Retirement was only two years away for the 67-year-old. More time to fish was on the horizon.
“This is how I know him, by him smiling,” son Steven said while holding up a picture.
Photographs only begin to paint the picture of this husband, father of four and grandfather of two.
“This is the day that my little girl was born,” Steven added while looking at another picture.
They said he never met a stranger.
“He can go into Walmart and he'll take forever to get out of there [be]cause he'll talk to random people,” Nicholas added.
Memories were made even in the mundane. Each son had their scheduled time with their father.
“Sunday night I was on the porch around that time just sitting there. I said, ‘yep daddy should be getting home here pretty soon.’”
Now broken routines are where this family is confronted with a painful reality
“It's like every other day I would call him and talk to him,” Steven said.
“I couldn't go back to my job because of it,” Robert said tearfully. “Because I would be expecting the phone call.”
Bobby Bobo is gone.
“People are going to be late to work, that's always going to be forgiven, forgotten,” Steven said. “But my dad didn't make it home.”
No matter what, their journey will take much longer.
“I loved him,” Daniel said. “I loved my daddy.”
A memorial service has been planned for Thursday at the Heritage Funeral Home in Columbia. Visitation begins at 4 p.m. and the service begins at 7 p.m.
The family is thankful for the outpouring of support.