Robert Leon Shadle, 81, passed away in Huntsville, Texas on May 14, 2019. Affectionately known as "Bob", he was beloved by his devoted family, friends, colleagues, and former students at Sam Houston State University (SHSU) in Huntsville, where he served as an associate professor of history for nearly 50 years, retiring in 2011.

Bob was born Aug. 23, 1937 in Davenport, Iowa to Agnes White Shadle and Clarence Lee Shadle. After graduating from Davenport High School in 1956, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from St. Ambrose College in Davenport in 1960. Upon graduation, he gained admittance to The University of Iowa in Iowa City, where he earned a Master of Arts in history and embarked on doctoral studies in the same field. As a student, Bob was awarded the national Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, granted to outstanding young scholars in higher education and public service. Concurrent with earning his education, Bob served as a sergeant in the Iowa National Guard for over eight years prior to the Vietnam War.

In 1965, Bob left the great state of Iowa for warmer weather and his treasured faculty position at SHSU. As a professor, Bob shaped the minds of generations of students who were lucky enough to enter his classroom. With great passion, he taught many areas of history from U.S. history to his specialty, the British Empire. A talented writer, he edited countless articles, texts, and books in his field, including the Historical Dictionary of the British Empire, written by (which he called co-edited with) his dear friend and colleague, James S. Olson. Throughout his nearly five decade tenure in academia, Bob garnered numerous professional achievements, from establishing The Southwest Association of Canadian Studies to presenting at conferences in Montreal, Canada and Athens, Greece. However, Bob believed his crowning achievement was helping to shape the minds and characters of his two favorite students, his daughter Regina and his son, Juan Paul - and later, the minds and hearts of his grandchildren.

Supporting Bob on his journey was his beautiful wife of 52 years, Lidia, whom he cherished. Bob relished telling anyone who would listen the story of how he met "Mi Amor." Lidia was Bob's "rock" and inspiration every day of their lives together, and he loved her deeply.

Bob was preceded in death by his father and mother, Agnes and Clarence, and is survived by his wife, Lidia Hernandez Shadle of Huntsville; his son, Juan Paul Shadle of Tomball, Texas; his daughter and son-in-law, Regina Shadle Nolan and Christopher David Nolan of Houston, Texas; his sister and brother-in-law, Barbara and Tom Otting of Davenport, Iowa; his three grandchildren who were the light of his life: Oakley Fairbanks Martinez and her husband, Anthony Martinez; Caitlin Shadle; and Ethan Nolan, whom he lovingly called "My boy"; his only great-grandchild, Rowan Martinez; and a large extended family who had the great pleasure of showering him with love throughout his life.

Visitation with the family will be held Sunday, May 19, 2019 between 3 - 5 p.m., and a memorial service for Bob will take place Monday, May 20, 2019 at 2 p.m. at Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home. As many of his friends and family know, Bob was a lover of all animals, and his pet cats, dogs, and even a squirrel brought him great joy over the years. In lieu of flowers, the family asks those wishing to express their sympathy to consider donating to the Rita B. Huff Animal Shelter or a non-kill animal shelter in their community. Condolences to the family may be made at
Published on May 16, 2019
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1 posts

Becky Atkinson
Jun 08, 2019
What a special man. He loved a good historical debate. He could always make you laugh. He was a great pizza maker.