Robert I. "Bob" Kincaid

Jun 2, 2019
Kincaid, Robert


11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 8, 2019 at Antioch Baptist Church, 426 Sumner Street, Waterloo


5:00 - 7:00 p.m. on Friday, June 7, 2019 and one hour prior to the service on Saturday, June 8, 2019,  both at Antioch Baptist Church, 426 Sumner Street, Waterloo.


Elmwood Cemetery, Waterloo, IA


In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Bob Kincaid Scholarship Fund


Robert Irvin Kincaid was born March 23, 1943 in Charleston, Mississippi to Mose and Allie Pearl Kincaid. The Kincaid family moved from Charleston to Waterloo, Iowa in 1944.  Robert, also known as Bob, was one of five children; John, Cynthia, and Gregory. Later, in Waterloo, Calvin Jones, when adopted, became the eldest son.

Robert’s spiritual life began at an early age; and in 1953, he accepted Christ at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Waterloo. As Bob grew older, he became a diligent bible student.    Each day, he would put on his armor; his morning devotion, bible study and prayer. When his schedule permitted, he could be found Wednesdays at the Bible Study.  On Saturday evenings, he would always take time to study his Sunday School lessons.

As a youth he attended, Grant Elementary, Logan Junior High and graduated from East Waterloo High School in 1961. He later completed a dual Bachelor degree in Secondary Education and Physical Education from Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado. He also completed Graduate coursework in College Student Personnel and Recreation Administration from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley.

Even though he was a tall man at six foot four, he was always willing to lower himself to be of greater service to others. Robert’s early days in his career were long and full as a Juvenile Officer for Black Hawk County. His stern yet gentle nature helped to provide structure and direction no matter what time of day or night. He once stated’” what kids need is someone who really cares.” He was vitally concerned about the welfare of the 40 to 50 juveniles he was responsible for.

Bob’s passion for service motivated him to be a strong force in the development of the Head Start programs in Iowa.  He served on the Head Start Board of Directors for many years.  His desire was to see that young children were equipped with a strong foundation and placed on roads that would lead them to bright futures.

As he transitioned into the Academic and Athletic environment, many young men encountered Robert on the sideline of the sports fields.  It was there where he instilled life lessons that transcended far beyond athletics. Robert’s influence was witnessed by generations and his profound impact on young people was manifested in their families and communities. 

Many student athletes on the campuses of Missouri State University Springfield, University of Kansas Lawrence, University of Northern Iowa and University of Northern Colorado were blessed by the kindness and guidance Coach Kincaid provided.

The encounter Robert James Waller; an instructor at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI), had with Bob, led Waller to name the primary character in his book and movie, The Bridges of Madison County, Robert Irvin Kincaid.

Robert’s love to travel led him on many road trips. For years, he could be seen rolling out of a Volkswagen, a small truck or station wagon that could be used for his travels or service projects.  His travels were devoted to finding “his people” throughout the country. He would spend his time and gas going to meet or unite with relatives, young and old in Mississippi and throughout the south. Bob often ended his travels by returning to Iowa, Kansas and Missouri with a trunk full of melons; melons to be delivered to relatives and seniors in the community. 

Big Bob, or Big Boy as his mother and older brother loving called him, always planned meals that allowed friends and families to enjoy the results of his culinary skills.  He was known to family and friends as the “Master Griller.”  He took pleasure in prepping and cooking grill delicacies that provided toe-tapping eats to all.  He guarded and kept his secret Rub recipe, even from his Mother.  

He had a positive and profound impact to those who knew him. His strength, kindness and passion has forever changed us, and those qualities shall never be forgotten. 

Robert made his transition into God’s presence on Sunday, June 2, 2019.  He leaves to cherish his memory his brothers John Kincaid (Suzie) and Gregory Kincaid both of Waterloo; sister Cynthia Harrington of Detroit, MI and Judy Jones of Waterloo.  Fiancée Marcia Schemmel of Sioux City, IA.  Nieces; Lisa Kincaid of Phoenix, AZ. Carmen Harrington of Reno, NV. Kelli Kincaid of Phoenix, AZ. Jozetta Burrell (Tony Sr.) of Des Moines, IA. Deidra Greer of Waterloo. Kristi Kincaid of Phoenix, AZ.  Hattie Willoughby (Heath), Chesterton, IN. Tamara Edmonds (Devin) of Pittsburg, PA and Jenni Kincaid of Abu Dhabi, UAE.  Nephews; Tony Holland of Los Angeles, CA. Mark Holland of Los Angeles, CA. Barry Jones of Des Moines, IA and John Robert Harrington of Phoenix, AZ. A host of great-nieces, great-nephews, and great-great nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; Mose and Allie Pearl Kincaid, brother Calvin Jones and brother-in-law, Gerald Harrington.


Panther greats remember the late Robert 'Bob' Kincaid
by Jim Nelson

WATERLOO — Carl Boyd underestimated Robert “Bob” Kincaid just once, and once was all it took.

Before there was David Johnson, Boyd was considered the best running back to ever play for Northern Iowa, starring for the Panthers from 1983 to 1987.

During his time in Cedar Falls, like many Panther football and men’s basketball players, Boyd considered Kincaid, the two programs’ academic advisor, a mentor.

Now a Cook County district court judge in Chicago, Boyd fondly remembers the greatest lesson Kincaid ever taught him.

“Well, I always respected people in authority positions, and coach definitely was big in stature, too,” Boyd related. “But one day, we were laughing. He challenged me to a game of racquet ball.

“I did not know he had an athletic background, and I was a premier student-athlete, so I didn’t think he had a chance. That day, I learned a valuable lesson about not judging a book by its cover. ... So needless to say, he beat me in racquet ball.”

That lesson made Boyd laugh back during his athletic career. It made him chuckle again Tuesday as he remembered Kincaid, who at the age of 76 died Sunday after a battle with cancer.

Kincaid, the Waterloo East Hall of Fame athlete who was also inducted into the Adams State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014, served UNI football and men’s basketball teams, first under Darrell Mudra and then Terry Allen, before following Allen to Kansas in 1997, and then to Missouri State, all in the same capacity.

“He had an impact on so many,” Allen said. “Carl Boyd. James Jones. Dedric Ward. Kenny Shedd and many more. He impacted so many, and many, many would not have made it in school if not for Bob.

“His impact is all over Northern Iowa athletics.”

Jones, who spent 10 years in the NFL (1991-2000) after his all-American career at UNI, frequently talked with Kincaid. Jones was succinct in what Kincaid meant to him.

“I loved him. I’d tell him I loved him every time before we got off the phone,” said Jones, who now resides in Phoenix. “He’s the reason for me being able to have the success that I have had in my life so far.

“He’s the unsung hero for so many of us at UNI. He was behind-the-scenes guy. His impact was so great, I don’t think a lot of people understand or appreciated what he did.”
Boyd said Kincaid had the unique ability to understand every individual who came through his office, knowing each student-athlete came from a different walk of life.

“He had a unique way of catering to the needs of the UNI student athletes,” Boyd said. “That is what I loved about him is he understood everybody comes from a different space. Bob was persistent, resourceful, very compassionate and stern.

“He was invested in the lives of many, hundreds if not thousands of student athletes, and he treated us all with the same dignity, love and respect, and for that I’m certainly grateful.”

Another aspect Boyd respected about Kincaid: “He never beat his own drum. He never bragged about how many athletes he helped graduate.”

Jones added, “He always had others’ best interest in heart over his own. A lot of people he helped along the way probably took him for granted because he was always there.”
For example, Jones added, “About a year ago, I had a speaking engagement in my hometown of Davenport, and he just showed up, catching me off guard. That reminded me of the type of person he was.”

He also served Eldon Miller’s men’s basketball teams.

“Bob Kincaid was a great friend to college students, a wonderful influence on young people,” Miller said. “The real measure, in my opinion, on people is how you impact the growth in other people, and Bob was just tremendous with that.

“He was a great believer in education. He was just phenomenal in making sure kids stayed on track. There weren’t many excuses with Bob. There would be some who’d try to get something by on him, and he’d catch it right away.”

There is something else all of Kincaid’s pupils and colleagues remember about him.
“He taught me a lot about barbequing,” Miller said. “He was a barbeque master.”

“He brought me some ribs once, and I asked him where the sauce was, and he responded back, ‘If you make them like I make them, you don’t need barbeque sauce, and yeah, his ribs were tight, I’m not going to lie," added Jones. 



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  1. Brian Looby | Jun 05, 2019
    Sorry to learn of Bob's passing.  I worked with Coach at UNI.  I thoroughly enjoyed the conversations we had.  Coach was always uplifting and entertaining.

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