Joan Pepper and her daughter Jessica have created a t-shirt display in their Coffee County garage to honor the lifesaving work of loved one Bob Pepper.

“So yeah, this one ‘Heroes in Disguise’ so it’s probably one that he wore a lot, and it speaks huge volumes to me because he was so quiet um, but he definitely was a hero in disguise,” said Jessica Pepper.

That’s because Bob loved giving the gift of life. He started donating blood at Blood Assurance in 2005.

He made 61 blood donations and there were plasma donations too, which in total saved nearly two hundred lives. In that time Bob collected nearly 50 Blood Assurance t-shirts.

“He was amazing and very dedicated to it. One thing he did tell me was, that it only hurts just a little bit for me but just think of all the people that we’re helping and they’re in so much more pain,” said Joan Pepper.

Pain is now what Bob’s family is experiencing after the 69-year-old passed away earlier this year in the hospital after battling COVID-19. Word of Bob’s passing at the Blood Assurance Donor Center in Tullahoma impacted staff tremendously.

“I was beyond devastated. I felt like I lost a friend,” said Wendy Sears.

Wendy Sears is the team leader at the facility. The two became close as Bob visited every few months.

“Just a wonderful, wonderful person. I can’t explain how wonderful he was. Very personable, very sweet, just most definitely if you are going to call someone a hero, he would definitely fall under that.,” said Sears.

“The kids and I decided we wanted to do something special in honor of Bob and we thought a bench would be great and we were trying to decide the exact place we wanted to have that put in his memory of course Blood Assurance was what we thought of,” said Joan.

Joan and Jessica hope the bench representing Bob’s lifesaving spirit will influence others to take a few minutes to step in Blood Assurance and give as Bob did.

“I’m extremely proud of him,” said Jessica.

So, we posthumously honor Bob Pepper as our News 2 Gives Back Hometown Hero for the month of October, presented by Trevecca Nazarene University, for donating blood over a fifteen-year period saving nearly two hundred lives.

If you would like to donate blood, click here.