Robert Stanley Viall died Friday, October 5, 2018, at his home in Pinehurst, N.C.
Robert S. (Bob) Viall was born January 21, 1927 in Southern Pines, N.C. and lived a life full of love and selfless giving to his family, friends, and community. The second son of Wesley R. Viall, Sr. and Elsie M. Parsons Viall, he grew up in Pinehurst on Short Road.
He was a lifetime and the oldest living member of Community Presbyterian Church in Pinehurst. His great grandfather, Philander Pond, and his grandfather, Nathaniel Viall, were early settlers and founders of Southern Pines, N.C.in the 1800’s. They built many of the historic homes in Southern Pines and the Philander Pond home is still located on Bennett Street in Southern Pines. Bob’s father, known as Pappy Viall, opened the first drug store in the Village of Pinehurst called the Carolina Pharmacy in 1925; his mother was a homemaker. The residents and visitors enjoyed the Carolina Pharmacy complete with a soda fountain, pharmacy and various sundries. Many famous golfers visited the drug store during the Hall of Fame Classic years held on Pinehurst #2 course. Both young and old alike loved to frequent the pharmacy to enjoy conversation, an ice cream float or a fountain drink. He and his brother Bill, Wesley R. Viall, Jr., had a wonderful childhood growing up in the Village of Pinehurst with many close friends. In High School Bob was voted “Best Looking” and “Biggest Flirt” of his senior class.
After graduating from Pinehurst School in 1944, at 19 years of age, Bob went immediately into the Navy serving two years in California. He returned to Pinehurst North Carolina and graduated from Presbyterian Junior College in Maxton (now St. Andrews University). In 1950 he enlisted again in the Navy spending the next three years as a courier out of United States’ headquarters in Grosvenor Square, London. He served during the “Hot Years” of World War II from 1944-1946 and the Korean War
1950-1953. Following his second Navy tour, he returned to Pinehurst, where he met a newly arrived, young school teacher, Miss Matel Royal who taught elementary grades at Pinehurst School. Set up on a blind date, they were soon married in August 1956. Bob and Matel celebrated their sixty year anniversary in 2016. Matel Royal Viall passed away in January 2017.
Bob’s early career included working for Field’s Plumbing and Heating until he returned to manage the Carolina Pharmacy with his father and brother Bill. After Bill moved to Laurinburg to work for Revco and large chain drug stores opened in the area, the family changed the store to Pinehurst Sundry maintaining the soda fountain and the spirit of a community center until they sold the store in 1981.
He was a dedicated fireman for the Village of Pinehurst for 41 years. He began his career with the Pinehurst Fire Department in 1953, became Captain of the Volunteers in 1964. When Pinehurst was incorporated in 1975, Bob became Assistant Chief. He was hired as Pinehurst Fire Chief of Stations 91 and 92 in 1986 and retired in February 1995. Chief Viall was instrumental in the planning and building of Fire SubStation located off of Highway 5 in Pinehurst. He was honored as Fireman of the Year in 1976. The Pinehurst Fire Department renamed the annual Fireman of the Year distinction, the Robert S. Viall Fireman of the Year award. He created the Fireman’s Relief Fund for his beloved firemen in need. Chief Viall received a commendation from the Village of Pinehurst for his outstanding leadership, dedication and service. He is still known as Chief.
Bob actively participated in the Boy Scouts of America for 17 years. He was Scoutmaster of Troop No. 7 for ten years. He was a member of the Pinehurst Lions Club, the Old Timer’s Club, and the National Rifle Association winning many awards for his marksmanship and serving as president of the Southern Pines Armory in the 70’s.
Bob is survived by his three children; six grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. His family includes daughters, Dr. Robin Viall Calcutt, of Southern Pines, Martha Viall, of Greensboro, and son, Russell Viall, of Valley View, Texas.; Robin’s husband, Randy Calcutt, daughters, Amy, (Ralph Fields) and their daughter, Chloe; Anna Calcutt and Shelby Sadler (Mickel); Russell’s wife, Shannon, daughters, Ella, Gretchen and Norah. He is survived by his sister-in-law, Pauline Strickland and her husband, Bobby, sister-in-law, Gladys Royal and many loving nieces and nephews.
A celebration of his life is scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday, October 10, at the Community Presbyterian Church, in Pinehurst N.C, with a reception following at the church in the Fanny B Grey room.
On behalf our father, the family extends their sincere appreciation for the many prayers, the dedication and support of his loving caregivers, friends and members of the Community Presbyterian Church, Pinehurst Fire Department and First Health Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in honor of Bob Viall to the FirstHealth Hospice, 150 Applecross Road, Pinehurst, NC 28374; the Pinehurst Fireman’s Relief Fund ? Pinehurst Fire Department, 405 Magnolia Road, Pinehurst, NC 28374 or the Community Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 1449, Pinehurst, NC 28370.
Services are entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Pinehurst.
To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Robert Stanley Viall, please visit Boles’ Tribute Store.