Robert Junius Love, age 81, of Lenoir, N. C. passed away Thursday, September 27, 2012 at Shaire Center, after a lengthy illness. He was born Dec. 18, 1930 in Statesville, N. C. to the late Robert Fletcher Love and Nellie Dellinger Love. He was an only child. Mr. Love was a 1949 graduate of Lenoir High School. He developed an early and lasting interest in music in the 6th grade and continued under the direction of George Kirsten and Capt. James Harper. He attended Appalachian State Teachers College and graduated in 1953 with a BA in Music Education. He was immediately employed as Band Director at Granite Falls High School. After teaching one year his career was interrupted briefly when he was drafted into the United States Army. After serving his country for two years, he returned to Appalachian and completed his Master's degree in Music Education in l957. In that same year he became the Band Director at Hudson High School and its feeder schools. While serving in this position for 20 years, he brought the band program out of obscurity, leading Hudson High School to its first superior rating and increasing student enrollment and raising the musical standards within the program. In 1977, he established and directed the first band program at South Caldwell High School. After much success in district and statewide superior performances at the most challenging and difficult levels, Love retired in 1984 with 28 years of outstanding service. During his tenure, he established a retail business in 1968, The Music Center, which provided services, employment and resources throughout the county. What began as a part time endeavor, expanded over the years into six, full-time thriving business establishments serving music educators, students and musicians within Western North Carolina. Love has received recognition for his countless contributions and numerous awards for his leadership, teaching and service to the Caldwell County Schools. Some of the most notable awards for his musical expertise include induction into the American School Band Directors Association in 1965, an organization founded by invitation only membership; recipient of the Award of Excellence in 1984, presented by the North Carolina Bandmasters Association, an award presented annually to six band directors who have developed and maintained outstanding band programs: and the 2009 induction into the North Carolina Bandmaster's Association Hall of Fame, one of 48 band directors in North Carolina to receive this distinction. The Harper Youth Ensemble dedicated a concert in his honor to recognize his legacy of musical superiority and selfless service to the development of music education. In April, 20l0, he was inducted into the Caldwell County School's Hall of Honor. Bob touched so many lives during his years of teaching and so many of his former students have written him or visited him to let him know what an influence he was on their lives, especially those who chose a career in music.