Robert Wayne Sokoll

Feb. 16, 1940 –

Dec. 28, 2011

Robert Wayne Sokoll, 71, of Waxahachie passed away Dec. 28, 2011 at home surrounded by his loving family after a long, brave battle with cancer.

Bob was born Feb. 16, 1940 in Idalou, Texas, to Benard and Lillian Sokoll.  He is the brother to Carol Sue Kitten and Roger Sokoll of Slaton, Texas, where he spent his childhood and graduated from high school.  Bob caused his share of mischief as a youth, simulating car crashes downtown with his buddies. Bob attended St. Mary’s University in San Antonio where he was a proud member of the Barons Men’s Fraternity. He graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Bob met Susan Perkins, the yin to his yang, at a mutual friend’s wedding and they were married in Lubbock, Texas on July 10, 1965. Together, they proudly raised three daughters, traveled domestically and internationally, created loving homes as his career took them across Texas, and then kept up their historic home.

Bob began his long, successful career as a city manager in Abernathy, Texas. He spent 10 years in the same role in Levelland, Texas and tried out creative ways to solve the town’s water shortage problems. While serving the community of Paris, Texas, Bob led the citizens through recovery from a major tornado.

In 1982, Bob moved his family to Waxahachie, where he continued his career as city manager for 24 years. During his long tenure, he oversaw a rejuvenation of the downtown area, development of the Waxahachie Civic Center, expansion of the fire and police department facilities, creation of the hike and bike trail, local airport, and Senior Citizens’ Center, and the excitement and disappointment surrounding the Superconducting Super Collider project. He ensured prosperity and growth of the town through hiring and developing amazing leaders, managing a frugal budget and exhibiting a strong work ethic. He not only talked the talk, he walked the walk.  He took great pride in local projects and development, as well as planning water for citizens.  Having the Robert W. Sokoll Water Treatment Plant named on his behalf is testament to his work in municipal government.

Upon retiring from the city of Waxahachie in December 2006, Bob contracted to Gallagher Construction Company as a business developer for the public sector. He also continued to serve his community through involvement in various boards and charities. Most notably, he diligently worked for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul through St. Joseph Catholic Church of Waxahachie, providing confidential, tangible assistance to those in need on a person-to-person basis. This aid took the form of intervention, consultation or often through direct dollar or in-kind service. Bob’s faith in God gave him strength and peace to overcome many challenges and obstacles throughout his life.

Bob received numerous awards and acknowledgements, including Citizen of the Year by the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce, Outstanding Public Official by the Texas Municipal Utilities Association, Lifetime Member Award by the Texas City Manager’s Association and recognition as the youngest City Manager in Texas, back in the day.

Bob enjoyed maintaining his beautiful home and yard, going for long walks through town and along the trail, traveling and learning about new places, following Texas Tech athletics, spending time with friends laughing and brainstorming ways to solve the world’s problems, classic country and 1950’s music, monitoring the projects and good work of the people in the community and keeping up with his daughters and grandchildren.

Robert, also known as Bob, Bobby, Bobby Wayne, Mr. Sokoll, Daddy, and PoPo, is survived by his wife, Susan; children: Tobin Sokoll Davis and her husband, Kirk, of Waxahachie, and Katha Sokoll of Austin; grandchildren: Jake and Emma Davis of Waxahachie, and Leo and Max Melton of Austin; sister, Carol Sue Kitten and her husband, Clarence; brother, Roger Sokoll, and his wife, Barbara, all of Slaton, Texas. Bob will also be missed by numerous nieces, nephews, relatives, friends and colleagues. He touched so many lives and paved a path of love, peace and success for all who knew him.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Ben and Lillian Sokoll, and his beloved oldest daughter, Shanna Sokoll.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Waxahachie with Bishop Mark Seitz serving as celebrant. Interment to follow at the Waxahachie City Cemetery.

A prayer service and visitation for family and friends will be held from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30, 2011 at the Pat Boze Memorial Chapel of Wayne Boze Funeral Home.

Those serving as pallbearers include Doug Corley, Paul Crews, Gene Ehlem, David Hudgins, Larry Felty and Gerry Heine.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to St. Joseph Catholic Church of Waxahachie on behalf of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, 512 E. Marvin Ave., Waxahachie, TX 75165.