Rob (don’t call me Robert Addison or Bob) Beatty emerged as the bright-eyed and happy son of Winifred and Martin Beatty in Winona, Minn., on June 4, 1943.
Rob careened through life in Winona, playing his guitar, water skiing behind the boat he helped build, and playing football and wrestling on the Winona Senior High School teams. He graduated in 1961 as class president and enrolled in Winona State College, earning a degree in political science. He was accepted in the University of Minnesota Law School, where he spent a year getting restless, wondering about being a lawyer. Soon, a calling surfaced to go to Nashville to pursue a songwriting career. However, the Army got ahold of him after he gave up his law studies and instead sent him to Korea and Huntsville, Ala., as an air traffic controller to keep airplanes and rockets in line. Rob took to a bit of wandering after an honorable discharge where he met Marion and her children, Terri and Danny. Marion soon became the love of his life. They bought property in Joelton, Tenn., a few miles north of Nashville, 100 feet south of the Davidson County line, so Rob was able to join the Nashville Fire Department and be a father to Terri and Danny. He served the NFD for over 30 years, sometimes being the department cook. That’s another story. Rob retired with distinction as a Captain. The 24-hours on and 48-hours off enabled him to pursue his music. He often said, “No one invited me here, but I could never live with myself if I didn’t try.” It says a lot about the guy. He pursued the songwriting career with a dedication and perseverance that everyone came to admire.
Rob died on November 26, 2019, in a Nashville hospital. He had been dealing with increasing dementia for some time and an intestinal issue since early spring. He returned home last summer, but recent complications sent him back to the hospital. The word is that along with some of his failing parts, his heart finally gave out.
Rob was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Marion (2014); and daughter, Terri Bryan (2015). He is survived by his son, Danny Hargrove (Joelton, Tenn.); and sister, Barbara Beatty (St. Paul, Minn.).
Private services will be held in the spring.