SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - Students at Sikeston High School are getting a chance at a new scholarship all thanks to an unprecedented donation from a man who dedicated his entire life to the district.
"I was astounded, I mean, he just – he was such a great guy," said Sikeston High School senior Brett Johnson. "And for him to give that much money, and care that much – it was just humbling to hear that he cared about us that much."
Bob Depro became a teacher at Sikeston High School right out of college and was the voice of Sikeston Sports for about half a century until he died suddenly on December 12, 2016.
"I had no idea. I think he had planned that for quite some time," said his cousin Gerald Settles.
Settles says Mr. Depro never married and had no children.
Sikeston Schools was his life.
"It was an honor to him," Settles said. "He was very dedicated to that, and tried his very best to make every game."
Coach Greg Hollifield says he knew Mr. Depro planned to take care of the kids in some way but gave them far more than money.
"Mr. Depro calling their name out when they'd make a shot," Hollifield said. "Especially a three-point shot. He had a very specific way of announcing it, and all of our players and fans just truly loved that."
"It was just Bob," Settles said. "That's who he was."
Now. the kids that loved him so much have the chance for Mr. Depro to impact their lives one more time through The Bob Depro Scholarship.
"I would be honored to know that even though he worked so hard he still Is working hard, and I could have his name on something that would help my future," Johnson said.
"There's no doubt it's going to give kids an opportunity to do great things, and the students are excited about it, and what an opportunity and Mr. Depro's made this possible," Hollifield said.
The Sikeston Public Schools Foundation is currently forming a committee to organize the scholarship.
They hope to have it ready for students to apply by the end of this year.
Settles says Mr. Depro also donated large sums of money to other organizations that impacted his life. Mostly in the Sikeston area:
- $1.7 million to The Sikeston Public Schools Foundation
- $250,000 to Southeast Missouri State University where he was an instructor and received his undergraduate degree.
- $250,000 to The University of Mississippi at Ole Miss where he received his master's degree.
- $100,000 to Historic Downtown Sikeston.
- $100,000 to The Sikeston Public Library.
- $100,000 to The YMCA of Southeast Missouri.
- $100,000 to Delta Medical Center in Sikeston.