Legendary Fan ‘blessed’ to be a Gamecock

Legendary Fan ‘blessed’ to be a Gamecock

Before the kickoff of the Texas A&M game, Bob Maxwell of Irmo was honored as the Gamecock Club’s Legendary Fan of the game.

“It was a really nice experience and it is great to be able to celebrate with family,” Maxwell commented.

Maxwell came to South Carolina from Wisconsin in 1950 and he was able to spend the following weekend with family who made the trip from the midwest.

“Dad had a great time,” Maxwell’s son Tom said. “He appreciated the attention and he’s still talking about it. We had family come down this past weekend and that was the big topic of conversation.”

Before his time in Wisconsin, Bob, 95, was a commander in the Navy and served as a pilot during World War II. Maxwell was credited with seven kills and two probables to qualify him as a “flying ace” and he is currently the oldest living flying ace in the state of South Carolina. Maxwell also survived 11 days at seas after being shot down on May 2, 1943 while serving in World War II.

Following his service Maxwell went to the University of Wisconsin and received his degree before getting a job with the Wausau Insurance Company. Through that job he was sent to the south which he said “was quite a change, but it was a positive one.

“They sent me to Atlanta as claims manager for Georgia, Florida and Alabama. Then in 1950 they sent me over here as a salesman and I just had a wonderful success. That’s when I started with the Gamecock Club and I’ve been going strong ever since,” Maxwell said. 

Maxwell is a 64-year member of the Gamecock Club and served as a chapter president in the 1960s. He said the chapter used to meet every Monday morning and he never missed a meeting for years. He also has attended Gamecock football games since he was sitting on wood benches in the stadium and he has watched the program grow throughout the years.

He has enjoyed watching the Gamecocks get to the national prominence they now enjoy and reiterated that moving to South Carolina has been excellent for him.

“This whole experience in coming to Columbia was just one of the nicest things that happened to me,” Maxwell said. “I always kept saying that I was lucky, then at one of the meetings some came over and said ‘you’re not lucky, you’re blessed.’ That’s exactly what it was; a blessing. 

“I was blessed when I got here and I really didn’t realize it until I retired and saw how wonderful everybody treated me from the football field to any place that I went. This has truly been a great place and I have loved my experiences here,” Maxwell concluded.

**Story by Mike Kucharski/Photo by Allen Sharpe**