To people in the county, Robert Revert, also known as “Bobby,” was a hard-working businessman and a passionate county commissioner.
But for his family, his legacy is something far more valuable than business and politics – the quintessential family man. To his family, he wasn’t known as Robert or Bob, but dad, daddy, pops or even Bobby.
Revert was a county commissioner in the early 80s and early 90s, serving as a commissioner for three terms, for a total of 14 years and was known as the last county commissioner from Beatty.
He made his living as a test-site worker and also kept the family fuel business going, taking over the family business in the early 1981-82 time frame. This business is now KC’s Outpost in Beatty. He then opened another gas station and truck station across the street in 1992-93, which is now the current Rebel station.
Regardless of the politics and how he made his living, his family remembers him for the things the public didn’t see.
He is survived by Mary, his wife of 54 years; his children, little Bobby Marchand, Joannie Revert, Vincent Revert, James Revert and Amanda Revert. And each one had something to say about the man they all called dad.
Joannie Revert remembers her father as being a caring parent. When she was a little girl, like any child, she overstepped her boundaries. She recalled one time she was in trouble for something bad. It was so bad her mother didn’t want to deal with her.
“I was in trouble for some horrible infraction,” Joannie Revert said. “I remember my mom saying to dad, ‘You spank her because if I get my hands on her I am going to kill her.’ He took me in my room and I was terrified. He took off his belt. And I don’t think he had ever spanked me before. I am looking up at him and he says to me, ‘Here’s the deal, I am going to hit the bed and you scream.’ I was giving my very best academy award performance and I am wailing and he was whipping the bed. And in she came with a very mad mom face. There we were caught red-handed. So he said, ‘now will be a good time for us to leave.’”
According to Joannie and Vince Revert, their dad had a way of making each of the kids feel like they were his favorite. “We all had our special thing,” Joni said.
One key component of being the best dad, according to Bobby Revert, was humor. He loved to make his kids laugh, both as adults and as children.
Bob Marchand remembers fishing with his dad as one of the fondest memories he had with him and of course, there was laughter involved.
“We went up to Chadovich,” Marchand said. “When we were setting up camp I saw a big old spider in the trees above us. This was characteristic of his sense of humor. Just as I was drifting off to sleep he said ‘wow, there’s a big spider on your pillow.’ And I wound up in the creek. I was six or seven years old at the time, but there’s tons of memories like that.”
James Revert remembered that the humor of his dad could also be dangerous.
“I got to spend the last 15 years working side-by-side every day with him,” James said. “He taught me what work ethic was all about. How to be a man, how to make decisions. And we had a lot of fun. You had to keep your guard up when you went to the bathroom though at their tire shop because someone would release a bottle rocket under the door. He did things like that constantly.”
Amanda Revert said making light of things is what he did.
She said the family dog, Casey, eats lots of shoes.
“Dad hid my shoes from me and made me think that Casey had eaten them,” she said. “Dad did a scavenger hunt around the house. Had me looking in freezers and ovens and stuff like that for my shoes.”
Joannie Revert said there was also a serious side to her dad for he was also all about the life lessons.
“He would say, ‘My word is my bond.’ He always had a lesson for you,” Joannie said. “‘You may not win the war today but you can win the battle and keep going tomorrow,’ was another.”
Her dad believed that in life you had to stand up for what you believed was right. And when he felt he was wronged, he used that as a life lesson to teach his kids.
Vince Revert recalled one such incident.
The two of them went to check a trap line and noticed that a military vehicle had been to one of the traps. Bobby Revert was like an Indian and had figured that someone had stolen his trap and cat. To him that was wrong and so he needed to right the wrong. The trail led them to the Air Force base, where Vince’s dad demanded the trap.
“‘Give me my cat and trap or I am going to whup every one of your guys’ asses,’ he said to them. About that time this big black guy picked up a big 2×4 and my dad hit him so hard that his feet didn’t touch the ground for 15 feet. About 30 seconds later here comes those Air Force guys with the cat and the trap. I was just a young kid, but my dad had just whupped the Air Force.”
James had a similar story about his dad. Ironically, it also involved the Air Force.
On a different day, with his son James in high school, the Reverts again went onto Air Force land to check traps. While doing this, they inadvertently stumbled onto some Air Force instrumentation in a box, but after spending the whole day tending the traps, they quickly forgot about the box. The problem was, the Air Force didn’t.
“I was cleaning up my pickup, the one we took out there. I looked up and there’s this colonel with then-Captain Sullivan (now justice of the peace) standing right behind me. This guy is eating me alive. And this Air Force guy was screaming at me that if he could get a chopper right now I would be in jail and it would cost me $10,000 to get out.” James said he was scared and the Air Force officer wanted to know the other person he was with, so he took them to his dad’s house.
“Dad comes out, no shoes on, no shirt on, and Levis half-buttoned and he’s on his front porch. After some yelling, dad said, ‘Wait a minute, who the heck are you?’ And he said, ‘I am colonel so and so.’ Dad said, ‘Colonel, get me a damn general — I don’t need to talk to you. We never opened a gate nor saw a sign. You don’t want us in there, post it and kiss my ass,’ and he walked back into the house. That day my dad was the toughest man on the planet. Dad never backed down for a second.”
After that, it was United States Air Force “0”, Reverts “2”.
There was also a gentler side of Bob Revert. He wasn’t all “piss and vinegar.” His wife, of course, would always remember his gentler side, his caring for the community.
“His touch always calmed me down,” she said.
“You know, he could see things that people couldn’t see,” Vince Revert said. “He saw the town booming and he built businesses and he made a lot of money. And he shared that with everyone here, whether you realize it or not. He spread the wealth all over this town. People fell on hard times and he made sure they were taken care of.”
Vince Revert added, “His politics were about what he could do to really help the folks that he lived with. Carol Stephens, a longtime resident and friend, asked me how he was doing and she said people really don’t know all the things he did to help out people in the community. It wasn’t just schools. It was people around the community. He lent money to people, helped coach Little League or helped with the town museum. He just gave a lot back.”
“He never shied away and was never embarrassed about showing that love to us,” Joannie Revert said. “None of us ever questioned that, ever.” In fact, Mary Revert said he never thought of himself and was probably upset right now for he really loved his grandson and now he would miss his graduation.
“I know he was looking forward to being there,” she said.