By Michelle Graff
Robert “Bob” Dee McIntire spent two decades managing the fine jewelry sections of department stores for Finlay Fine Jewelry and is remembered for possessing that “rare balance of professionalism, humility and commitment.”
Dallas—Robert Dee McIntire, a longtime executive with Finlay Fine Jewelry known for both his professionalism and his sense of humor, died suddenly July 25 after going into cardiac arrest.

He was 52 years old.

Born Sept. 25, 1967 in Las Vegas, McIntire, who was known as Bob, grew up in Leonard, Texas with his sister, Stacey McIntire.

He graduated from Leonard High School in 1986 and went on to study business at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth.

His widow, Michele McIntire, said Bob got his first job in the jewelry industry while still in college, working as a part-time sales associate in the fine jewelry department at Sanger-Harris (later Foley’s), which at that time was run by Finlay Fine Jewelry.

Michele and Bob married in 1990, and he stayed on with Finlay for the next two decades, managing fine jewelry departments at Foley’s and, later, Dillard’s stores, rising through the ranks to become director of stores for Finlay.

Michele said it wasn’t Bob’s lifelong dream to work in the jewelry industry but, “he just kind of fell in love with it.”

The McIntire family has an affinity for awards shows—the Oscars, Emmys, etc.—and she recalled how her husband would take copious notes of the jewelry the actresses wore on the red carpet because he knew the jewelry would be trending.

Bob stayed with Finlay Fine Jewelry all the way to the end—the company filed bankruptcy in August 2009 and shuttered for good the following year—then spent less than a year with Bailey Banks & Biddle before joining Asurion as senior business manager at the end of 2009.

In a statement emailed to National Jeweler, Rob DiRocco, Asurion’s senior vice president of client services and sales, remembered Bob’s “rare balance of professionalism, humility and commitment.”

“I am so grateful that I had the privilege to know him and work with him over the past 10 years,” DiRocco said. “Bob will be greatly missed by the many people he worked with at Asurion and our partners.”

Throughout his career, Bob remained active with Jewelers for Children. He served on the charity’s board for the past three years.

JFC Executive Director David Rocha called Bob “a true gem of a human being who always had a smile on his face.”

“He was extremely passionate about his involvement and never content to just be part of the group; he wanted to make sure that he made a difference and was always one of the first to step up when help was needed,” Rocha said.

Outside of the jewelry industry, Bob loved cooking, and traveling to food and wine festivals.

Michele said their middle son, Tanner, also got his dad into indoor rock climbing, and Bob became a part of the little community of climbers who frequent the rock-climbing gyms in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

But what she would most like people to remember about her husband of 30 years is his sense of humor and his infectious laugh.

She recalled a story relayed to her by one of Bob’s former employees.

One day at work, he came by to check on her showcases and spotted a ring she had accidentally put back in the necklace section. Without a word, he leaned over and returned the ring to its rightful place, all the while humming the “Sesame Street” teaching classic, “One of These Things (Is Not Like the Other).”

“He treated everything with humor,” Michele said. “With our own kids, he would constantly tease them and hide things from them and play games with them. Their whole lives, their dad was the fun one.”

Bob is survived by his wife, Michelle; sons Greyland, Tanner and Jaxon; sister Stacey; nephews Kolten and Brandon (Misty) Hall; multiple aunts, uncles and cousins; two silver Labrador retrievers, Zeus and Ashe; and numerous dear friends and extended family members.

He was preceded in death by his father, Jim McIntire, and his chocolate lab, Shiner.

A celebration of Bob’s life will take place at 2 p.m. today (July 30) at Abundant Life Church in Grapevine, Texas.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Jewelers for Children.

TAGS:   Obituaries
Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.