By Lou Phelps, Savannah Business Journal
March 16, 2015 – 12:22 p.m. - The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office is reporting this morning that the body of a man has been found under a dock on the Broad River, wearing clothes similar to those of Hilton Head Island businessman Bob Masteller, missing since last Tuesday.
Bob’s car was found parked at the top of the Charles E. Fraser Bridge on Tuesday morning over the Broad River.
Bob and his wife Lois Masteller have been the owners of The Jazz Corner on Hilton Head for many years, but it was their ‘second life.’
For Savannahians who have been in business for many years in this city – particularly the businesswomen - we also think of Lois as the always smiling president and owner of TRC Staffing, and an active Chamber of Commerce member. She served on the Chamber Board, including on the Executive Committee.
She was a longtime Savannah resident, and also the Chamber’s 2002 The Helen V. Head Small Business Advocate of the Year winner.
Lois ran a very successful staffing company for many years here on the Southside, helping people find jobs, and helping companies recruit the best talent.
She was a dynamic woman business owner in an era when there were few on that horizon. It was an era where Diana Morrison was building her Advertising Specialty Services company, and Linda Jackson Foran had stepped up to run her family’s printing company, both still going strong today.
Marjorie Young was building her fledgling Carriage Trade Public Relations company, and I had launched Coastal Empire News and the Savannah Business Journal. TRC Staffing was one of our best advertisers in those early days.
I had won the Helen Head Award in 2001, and remember being so excited that Lois was honored with it in 2002.
Lois was always, always positive… with an endless smile when you met her on the streets of Savannah or at a business networking event… and we think of her heartache today with great sadness.
Over the past 10 years, she has brought that same positive energy and entrepreneurial spirit to her husband Bob, as part of the team that helped Bob build what is now one of the top 10 jazz venues in the United States. His death is a blow to all in the Hilton Head Island business and music community.
Bob not only loved jazz and performing, but was passionate about jazz education.
Marjorie Young’s firm was the Masteller’s PR firm to help them launch The Jazz Corner in its early years. “When I worked with them. I knew from the beginning that they would be incredibly successful because of his passion for jazz and jazz education. Lois helped develop the menu, and the internal processes as they launched the business. This is just so sad. They were such a positive couple,” she said on learning the news this morning that Bob’s body has been found.
Diana Morrison added her thoughts late today: “Lois is a very strong woman; she’s always on top of things, always entirely prepared. She is one of the most socially- oriented people I know, whether it’s professionally or her personal entertaining. She’s a great idea person, and has been a great mentor for many. This is such sad news for her.”
Late this afternoon, the family issued the following statement: “We are profoundly touched by the outpouring of love and support for our family during this very difficult time and are deeply saddened by the sudden loss of our beloved Bob.
He lived life as a devoted husband, father and friend to all. He lived a life of kindness, vision and love. He lived a life built around nurturing countless musicians and individuals young and old with his passion for music.
For over 40 years, Bob was dedicated to and loved the Lowcountry community, helping to build what is now modern Hilton Head Island.
It is our sincere hope that he will be remembered for how he lived.
His legacy lives on through the numerous lives he touched in such a tangible and positive way. He is deeply loved by many and will be greatly missed. - The Masteller Family”
So Lois… our collective hearts go out to you today from your Savannah businesswomen friends, united in our sadness for your loss at this very difficult time.
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