Robert was born on March 8, 1946, in Cleveland, Texas, to Milam Wesley Haltom and Tommie Lee Haltom. He was their only child. Milam passed away early the following year in 1947. Robert’s family was later expanded when his mother married Kenneth Bazzoon in 1948. Robert’s relationship with Kenneth was truly special and he considered Kenneth as his dad.
Robert’s childhood was filled with many happy memories, especially those with family. He had an especially strong bond with his grandparents, aunts, and cousins. Robert and his cousin Kathleen were as close as siblings all throughout their lives. Throughout his early years and adulthood, Robert nurtured his relationships with the Hanks, Haltom and Bazzoon sides of the family.
While growing up in Cleveland, Robert studied many instruments and obtained a high degree of proficiency with the trombone, piano, bass guitar, and string bass, but was most enthusiastic with playing the tuba. His cousin Randy Mays from the Haltom side of the family remembers Robert as a music legend within the family. Just as music became an essential part of Robert’s life, his brother, Billy Bazzoon was born in 1962.
After graduating from Cleveland High School and earning the honors of All-State Band, Robert attended Sam Houston State and later graduated with a B.A. in Music from Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music. Robert pursued his passion for music by enlisting in the Air Force Band and started his career at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas. He married Robin Redman during this tour. Together they enjoyed tours at Hickam AFB in Honolulu, Hawaii; Chanute AFB in Rantoul, Illinois; and Einsiedlerhof AS in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Their daughter, Jennifer was born in 1977 in Champaign, Illinois.
Robert later returned to the states and married his second wife, Jean, after being stationed at Scott AFB east of Belleville, Illinois. Throughout his accomplished 22-year service in the Air Force, Robert always enjoyed music, photography, gardening, and even creating stained glass art. He continually encouraged his daughter to participate in music with her own chosen instrument, the string bass.
Robert later returned to the Cleveland area after his retirement and worked as a substitute teacher for many years. He continued his joy of music by participating in multiple community bands and later in the church choir at Kingwood Christian Church for several years. Robert also developed a passion for connecting with family and friends from all over the world through Facebook. His relationship with his brother, Billy, strengthened during this time. Robert’s kindness and sense of humor were always loved by those who knew him. Robert is survived by daughter Jennifer McDonald and John McDonald of Kingwood, TX; brother Billy Bazzoon and Jamie Bazzoon of Cleveland, Texas; niece Victoria Holston and Logan Holston along with their beautiful children, Paisley, McCray and Dally Holston of Cleveland, Texas.