LAWTON, Okla._Family and friends are mourning the loss of longtime city leader Bob Shanklin who passed away Thursday.
Shanklin served in Lawton city government for nearly a quarter century, including a single term as mayor from 1989 to 1991. From there, he went on to become the Ward Five Council Representative until 2011, when he stepped down from his seat.
During his time as a city councilman, Shanklin earned a reputation for being rather outspoken. Friends and family both agreed that if Bob Shanklin had an opinion on something, you were going to hear about it.
"There's two kinds of people in Lawton, those that liked and loved Bob, and those that can't stand him," said Bob's son, Robert Shanklin.
The family said anyone who knew Bob Shanklin, and worked with him, will remember him as a good man.
"Some people view him as hard to get along with, but the truth of the matter is he loved the city of Lawton, he wanted the best for the city of Lawton," said Bob's daughter, Mikel Shanklin.
As a councilman, Shanklin was passionate about how his influence on the city government could make a difference in the lives of the people he served.
"Just to make sure that everybody, not only those people in his ward, but all the people in the city of Lawton were treated fairly, and respected," said former Lawton Mayor Cecil Powell.
Bob Shanklin leaves behind six children, who said they he will remember their father as a family man with a big heart.
"He used to wrestle with us, and tickle us, and play with us," said Mikel Shanklin.
"He always was helping someone, whether it was getting rid of the birds out of their trees, or shoveling snow somewhere he was always helping someone," said Robert Shanklin.
And while the loss of their father leaves an impossible hole to fill, the Shanklins said they will never forget the lessons he taught them such as the importance of respect and the value of education.
"He was all about teaching us worldly things, we grew up listening to classical music," said Mikel Shanklin.
"He taught us all to stand our ground, not back down and if we we're right, we were right," said Mikel Shanklin.