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A man of fairness and faith

Bob McCrea, shown with his wife Robyn, is a local attorney and champion for fairness in all that he does. A man of faith and hard works, he is clearly honored to serve Roswell. (Submitted Photo)

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Fairness doesn’t happen by itself. It requires people to step up and to take conscious effort. Some do so as activists and volunteers. Some defend fairness as a profession.

Bob McCrea does both. He serves on the board of directors for the Roswell Commission on Aging, the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, the New Mexico Youth ChalleNGe Foundation and the Historical Foundation for Southeastern New Mexico. His profession is the law.

“I was a CPA for seven years,” he said. “I enjoyed the people, the tax work, but the rest of the time was auditing, and I didn’t care for that. My little brother had just finished law school and said, ‘You’d really like it, Bob’ and so I applied to law schools and went to Washburn in Topeka, Kansas.”

The adjustment was real.

“Accounting was so much more black and white,” McCrea said. “Law has been much more difficult in that way. When I first started as a lawyer, I didn’t enjoy the amount of conflict, but I’ve grown to absolutely love law. I primarily deal with probates, estate planning, guardianships and conservatorships.

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“I hope I die practicing law because I love meeting the elderly people of this town. The stories that they tell are fascinating. There are such wonderful people in Roswell that I wouldn’t meet otherwise. I feel like I’m getting paid to help society and I like that. I feel like I’m making a difference. I’m hooked.”

McCrea’s views on fairness have been largely informed by his love of travel.

“When I went to Pepperdine, I spent a semester in London and then a summer in Buenos Aires,” he said. “Ever since then, travel’s been an enormous passion of mine. I’ve been to 60 countries. I like meeting other people outside the U.S. In a lot of ways, we’re all the same. When I’ve met the people, eventually there’s music involved. I like trying different foods and seeing different cultures.”

McCrea and his wife Robyn enjoy showing their children different parts of the world.

“The last place we went was the Dominican Republic,” he said. “I was born and raised in Roswell and I love this town, but I want my children to know that there is more to life than what they see on a day-to-day basis. There are great people everywhere you go. It doesn’t matter race, color, religion, there’s a lot of neat people in this world.

“I’m fascinated about what’s out there. I want to see it with my own two eyes. I’m blessed that I’m able to.”

Seeing the world always makes home a bit sweeter for McCrea.

“Traveling makes me appreciate Roswell and the United States,” he said. “I always get a sense of peace returning home.”

McCrea’s love of Roswell is a driving force behind his works.

“I truly love this community,” he said. “Roswell has been wonderful to me since I was born here in 1972. I want to give back to the community. I want everything to be fair.”

An area of concern for him — something he has seen the effects of personally — is a recent decision by the Roswell Independent School Board to give administrators a significantly larger raise than they gave the teachers. His wife teaches in the local schools, and he’s seen how it affected her and many of her peers.

“It sends such a bad message to the teachers,” he said, “that they think they’re that much more valuable than teachers on the ground. There’s no way that they can justify that. It seems backward. It seems to me the 14-percent raise should have gone to the teachers. It’s all about the student. What is the point of education but to help the students?”

As one who married in his 30s, McCrea has a profound appreciation for the changes that marriage has brought to his life.

“I didn’t get married until I was 35,” he said. “It was a blind date. A former student of Robyn’s, whose grandmother is now married to my dad, set us up. That was 11 years ago last June. It’s wonderful being married late in life, but I was set in my ways.

“Now we have two children, David and Anna. David is 9 and Anna is 6. I always said I wasn’t going to have kids, but I’m glad God had bigger plans for me. We’re blessed that we can send our children to private school.”

McCrea is a man of strongly held faith, and one of his favorite ways to commune with God is at his ranch.

“We have a family ranch 30 miles West of Roswell and I spend two or three days a week out there,” he said. “I’m not a horse cowboy, but that’s probably my biggest passion. I love being out there. It’s very calming to me. I go out and check water, put out mineral and salt, and do the feeding. I love seeing the mule deer, the quail and whatever else I might get to see that day.

“I could see myself worshiping at the ranch. I’ve felt closest to God when I’m at the most peace. I’m grateful that Jesus died on the cross so we might be forgiven in his grace. God’s grace is just amazing to me. I lose sight of it a lot, but there’s no doubt it’s God in his forgiveness that keeps me going. The times God’s grace is the easiest to see are when I’m with my family and on the ranch. I hope when I die, people say that I loved God.”

It is his faith that makes McCrea such a determined champion of fairness. He hopes to see more people stepping up for fair treatment of all.

“I think that part of the problem with America is that we take all our freedoms for granted,” he said. “In Africa, people wait days to vote, and we take it for granted.”

McCrea is a quiet, unassuming man who is an exquisite listener. He sees more than he says. His work addresses what he sees and all of Roswell is blessed for it.

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