Bobby L. Cockerham

June 28, 2020

CHARLOTTE – Bobby L. Cockerham, 88, of Denver, NC died on June 28, 2020 due to complications from cancer. Bob was born on December 27, 1931 in Elkin, NC and grew up on a farm in State Road, NC. He was the son of Alice Wallace Cockerham and Winiford Folger Cockerham. Bob graduated from NC State University with a BS in Agricultural Education. He spent two years on active duty in the US Army and seventeen years in the Reserves earning the rank of Major during his service.

Bob and his wife, Ruth, have been residents of “Beautiful Lake Norman” since 1979. Bob founded Charlotte Tractor Company in 1966 and as it grew, they opened branches in Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Lake Norman.  Bob was a self-made man, he loved going to work every day and took great pride in the business that still thrives today.

Bob and Ruth have been members of First Baptist Church of Charlotte since 1957 where he served in many capacities including Chairman of the Deacons and Finance Committee. He was a proud member of the NC State Wolfpack Club and could often be seen with a Wolfpack tie, pin, or even jacket. He was a member of the 4-H Honor Club, Kappa Phi Kappa, Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity, Blue Key Member, Golden Chain Link as well as a past member of the Alumni Board of Directors. Bob was a former President of his Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. He was a member of the Oasis Temple of Charlotte and a member of Scottish Rite Bodies. Bob was also a former President of the Executive Association of Greater Charlotte.

Bob’s interests were many, but none greater than his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was famous for “Bob’s Ski School” on “Beautiful Lake Norman.”  In recent years, Bob enjoyed spending time at his cabin on his grandfather’s farm which the family named “The Cockerham Olde Place.”

Bob will be greatly missed; he never met a stranger. Bob is survived by his wife, Ruth Gay Cockerham; three children, Bobby L. Cockerham Jr. and his wife, Carol, Timothy Neal Cockerham and his wife, Debbie, and Dr. Teresa Gay “Terri” Cockerham and her husband, Lou Clendaniel; grandchildren, Dr. Bobby L. “Tripp” Cockerham III and his wife, Traci, Elizabeth Grace “Betsy” Cockerham, Brett O’Neal Cockerham, Shelby Nicole Cockerham Crate and her husband, Dan; great-grandchildren, Bobby L “Court” Cockerham IV and Cameron James Cockerham.

In addition to his parents, Bob was preceded in death by a beloved grandson Tyler Braden Cockerham, Bob’s brother Wallace Irvin Cockerham and Bob’s twin sister Mary Virginia Cockerham.

Memorials may be sent to First Baptist Church, 301 S. Davidson Street, Charlotte, NC 28202 or Levine Children's Hospital - The Torrence E. Hemby Pediatric Hematology Oncology Center c/o Atrium Health Foundation, 208 East Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28203, (704) 355-4048.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at


Share your memories & condolences


  • Rose Gillespie

    To Mrs. Ruth Cockerham and Family: So sorry to hear the loss of Mr. Cockerham. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you during this most difficult time. May God always keep you in his loving care.
    Deepest condolences, Rose Gillespie.

  • Marcia Venable Holcomb

    Ruth and family.
    My sincere condolences on the loss of Uncle Bob.
    He was a very kind man and had my respect.
    Love to all.

  • Hart Hutchison

    I am saddened to hear this about Bob. I have so many good memories from years of working for him, his family and his business. He was a man of such good character and integrity, so likable and fair in his dealings. My heart goes out to you Ruth, Bobby and Carol, Tim and Debbie and Terri.

  • Robert (Bob) A. Carpenter

    Prayers and condolences to the entire Cockerham & Charlotte Tractor family.

  • Don & Cindy Haston

    Dear Cockerham family, our sincere and deepest sympathy to the family. Bob was a true legend of a Godly man and an inspiration to all who knew him. He will be sorely missed by many people who knew him throughout his life.We are praying for you and your family in the days ahead.

  • Audrey Metcalfe

    Dear Cockerham family, I am so sorry for your loss of Bob, I have good memories of him and each of you. I am praying you. May God hold you in His everlasting loving arms, give you His perfect peace, comfort and bless you with His presence. In Christian Love,

  • Kim Overman

    Words cannot express my sincere sympathies to the whole Cocherham Family. Mr Bob was an exceptional human being. He has left a tremendous legacy in his kids, grand kids and lovely wife Ms Ruth. My heart aches for the loss you are all experiencing right now. You are all in my prayers.

  • Josephine silvey

    Our sincere condolences on the passing of your father, Terri. We’ll keep you in our prayers!

  • Mike Vaden

    Dana and I are saddened to learn this news about a wonderful man. It was a pleasure to live next door to the Cockerham family during my last two years of high school college years, then to see Bob so often during visits after returning to live in Charlotte. He encouraged and promoted my involvement (along with my Dad) in work with the NC State Alumni Association and Wolfpack Club. He was truly a loyal supporter and huge fan of the Pack sports teams and of our great university. He was a good friend to my parents (along with Ruth) and was always available to lend a helping hand and offer that friendly smile and word of encouragement. Most importantly, Bob was a Christian and strong family man who set a great example for his family and friends to follow. He will be missed in a large way and we mourn your loss with you dear Cockerhams.
    Mike Vaden

  • Greg Clewis

    Life well lived.

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