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Bobby Lee Gant Ph.D. passed away on December 4, 2023, at the age of 72 in Fairfax, Virginia. Funeral services will be held at 1:30 PM on Friday, January 12, 2024, followed by a reception and time for those gathered to visit and remember Bobby. Both will take place at Hiett’s LyBrand Funeral Home in Wills Point, Texas. He will be buried among 3 generations of his family at nearby Cana Cemetery.
Born on January 2, 1951 in Dallas, Texas, Bobby was the beloved son of George and Nellie Gant. He grew up with 3 siblings (Mary Jane, Ronnie, and Jackie). His father subsequently married Glenna Hoover Shannon, adding 4 step siblings (Norman “Wes”, Cheryl, Angela, and Mary Ellen), and half-brother (Anthony) to the family.
After graduating from Mesquite High School in 1969, he earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas in Austin in 1972, a Master's degree from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth in 1974, and a Doctorate from the University of Missouri in Kansas City in 1977.
Bobby started his professional career in Lincoln NE working with families and the hospital burn unit. In 1980, he returned to Dallas to begin his private practice. This practice eventually became the Institute for Clinical Neuropsychology, where he focused on assessing patients with brain impairments, often testifying as an expert witness in state and federal civil and criminal cases.
Bob L. Gant Ph.D., ABN, FAPM, FABS, AAPM, FACPN, as he was known professionally, was a recognized expert in the fields of head injury care, pain management, psychological rehabilitation, and neuropsychological testing. He worked and was licensed in Texas and Colorado and was a Diplomate in both Clinical Neuropsychology and Pain Management. Among his many leadership roles, he served as the Chief of Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation Psychology at Baylor University Medical Center and Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine, as Director of the Institute for Theoretical and Clinical Neurosciences and Medical Psychology at the Colorado School of Professional Psychology, as President and Interim Executive Director of the American Academy of Pain Management, as President of the Clinical Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association, and as Vice Present of the International Academy of Behavioral Medicine, Counseling and Psychotherapy.
Committed to professionalism and educating the next generation of psychologists, he served on both the Texas and Colorado Psychology Examining Boards. In addition to taking a leading role in training programs at several universities, he supervised post-doctoral students working in his practice every year. He taught classes and directed fellowship and residency programs at several universities and medical schools and institutions in Nebraska, Texas, Colorado, China, and the Philippines.
High school sweethearts, Bobby Gant and Deborah Drom were married in Seagoville, TX while enrolled at the University of Texas in Austin. They raised their children, Christopher (born 1971) and Hillary (born 1975), primarily in Dallas, Texas until they divorced in 1992. In 1999, he found love again, marrying Sharon Hathaway in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. They lived in Dallas at first, moving in 2006 to Colorado Springs and in 2011 to Boulder, Colorado. They raised their daughter, Lenora (born 2000), together until Sharon’s death in 2016. Bobby and Lenora continued living in Boulder until 2022.
Beyond his professional pursuits, there was only family – camping trips, Scouts and Indian Princesses, road trips, holiday dinners, board games, excursions to museums and colleges, philosophical discussions, watching movies, and dining together. His father’s example grounded his actions in compassion and inclusiveness. He was accepting of both his mother and older sister, who had health and life challenges, ensuring they were taken care of and included wherever he was. The first in his family to get a college degree, he encouraged and was proud of all his children’s academic successes.
Bobby loved learning, was deeply curious, and had a phenomenal memory. He was the family Google before it existed, the computer expert,and the one everyone wanted on their Trivial Pursuit team. When he found something that interested him, like photography or cars, he enthusiastically threw himself into it until he had mastered it. He was a film buff, a Star Trek fan, an unabashed lover of low-brow humor. His musical taste ran the gamut from The Chipmunks and Burl Ives to Jimmy Buffet and John Denver. He had the first personal computer in the neighborhood and in those early days taught himself to take them apart and soup them up with everything he could add - memory, speed, more drives. Always ready for a trip (“Where should we go next?”), he traveled to Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, the United States, China, and the Philippines. Above all, he was comfortable with who he was, accepting the contradictions and celebrating the complexities.
In 2022, when Bobby was diagnosed with dementia, he went to live with and be cared for by his son Christopher and his family in Vienna, Virginia. His death, at a Virginia hospice, was precipitated by a large stroke and complications from the dementia.
Bobby is preceded in death by his parents, George Gant and Nellie Jane Gilstrap Gant Sypert; stepmother Glenna Lucille Hoover Shannon Gant; wife, Sharon Dalene Hathaway; sister, Mary Jane Gant; and stepbrother, Wesley Norman “Wes” Gant.
He is survived by his son, Christopher George Gant and wife Christine Grace Romero Gant of Vienna, VA; daughters, Hillary Tyler Gant of Dallas, TX, and Lenora Dalene Gant of Boulder, CO; former wife Deborah Ann Drom Gant of Dallas TX; brother Ronald Mark Gant and wife Dorothy of Palco KS; sister, Jacqueline Ann Gant Martin and husband Robert of Bristol, TX; half-brother Anthony George Gant of Seagoville, TX; stepsisters, Cheryl Ann Shannon of Rockwall, TX, Angela Kay Shannon Brownrigg and husband Johnny of Rockwall, TX, and Mary Ellen Shannon Brookshire and husband Dean of Seagoville, TX; grandchildren Mayumi Raine Gant, Kidlat Keen Gant, and Buhawi Forge Gant all of Vienna Virginia, and many nieces and nephews.
Bobby Lee Gant's legacy lives on in the memories of those who loved him, those he taught, and those patients he treated. May he rest in peace.