Bobby Scharber was a lifelong resident of Franklin County. He was born running in high gear and for 75 years he never looked back. His commitment to our county cannot be understated and should be measured in community progress. His efforts impact 100% of our county citizenry, have been positive, and will be everlasting. It was said his leadership style was unique and at times would make you extremely mad and leave you utterly bewildered, but when the smoke cleared, he made a truly positive difference.
As a youngster, growing up in a family of three brothers, two sisters and parents who were very active in their community, he was (arguably) the rowdy one of the bunch. Although as mischievous as he was he always succeeded in what he set out to do. He was the father of two sons, with 20 years- service to our country in the Tennessee National Guard, retiring as a Major. He went on to become a Lt. Colonel in the Tennessee Defense Force and was known for his belief in training and his ability to teach others. He trained many who have gone on to be successful leaders for our community and country. His most prideful accomplishment was, the protection of our citizenry. His accomplishments span a lifetime but are so lengthy that it is impossible to mention them all. In no specific order:
- Was affiliated with many service organizations but is particularly fond of his association with Rotary International with whom he was a member for over 20 years.
- He was one of the founding fathers of Operation Noel. The program originated at the Winchester Fire Department where they accepted used toys, repaired them and gave them to deserving children at Christmas. He started the famous Ham Breakfast that benefits Operation Noel.
- He served with distinction on just about every board and committee in the city and county government spanning five decades; he was a County Magistrate, a County Commissioner; Winchester City Councilman; served on the Winchester Utility Board; and County Solid Waste Management Board among many others.
- He was instrumental in the improvement of all our roads, including the U.S. 64 connector road, and quietly but effectively worked to bring industry to our county.
- His leadership was invaluable in building our new Franklin County High School, from concept to construction.
- He successfully guided our very well designed, although at the time he became chairman, floundering county solid waste program, (his Ah and Trash Department) into the top tier of solid waste programs in the state of Tennessee.
- He served on the committee to build state of the art Tennessee Fire & Codes Academy in Deason, TN. In fact, the one thing that set him apart from all others was his knowledge and commitment to the Fire Service Industry. He was a member of the Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association; International Association of Fire Chiefs; served ten years on the Southeastern Fire Chief Board of Directors and his direction was invaluable in the building of the Tennessee Fire & Codes Academy. He began his career in fire services in 1945 when he was 16 years old. He served along with his father, two brothers and two uncles as volunteers for the Winchester Fire Department. He became the Chief of the department in 1967 when there was no full-time firemen. In 1970, the first full-time fireman at the Winchester Fire Department was hired. He was not on the payroll at this time but was the Chief. He became a full-time employee of the City of Winchester in 1977 where he remained Chief until his retirement in 1995.
- He continuously owned and operated several businesses in Franklin County for over 60 years. (Dairy Queen, Fire Extinguisher Sales & Service and Golf Cart Sales and Service.