veterans

Pictured is the "Wall of Honor" at Family Ties Restaurant. Stop by and share your armed service experience and get your name added to the list.

Bob and "T" Shurmur have been the owners of Family Ties Restaurant for the past two years. T does the cooking and Bob is the warm greeter as guests enter and enjoy their meal.

Bob is a proud veteran of six years service to our country in the U.S. Navy. He served on the USS Bennington from 1956-62 and attends the annual reunion of shipmates each year. Pictures of the Bennington are displayed on the wall of the restaurant. One was obtained from shipmate Mike Barbaro and the other from a shipmate at Strob Antiques who rescued it from his mom's attic.

The pictures became conversation pieces for customers who began talking about their experience or family's time in the service. A proud father whose daughter served on the ship added a picture of the USS John F. Kennedy. Soon a poster of the USS Altamaha with complete history of service from 1942 until 1945 was displayed. A lady customer whose father served during this time donated this fine piece of history.

Other customers began talking about the time they spent in other branches of our armed service. Bob got the great idea of adding a poster showing the names, service branch, and dates served by former members or active duty diners. Bob's friend Ted Varney got involved and put this together for all to see. A separate framed poster lists the names of fellow carrier guys.

Well guess what? This project became a "work in progress." Another poster for all branches of service has been started because the first one is full. Ted Varney will surely continue to contribute to this one as well. More wall space will be commandeered and more customers will be honored.

Some restaurants display pictures of famous people who have dined in their place of business. Bob and T decided to honor those who gave their time, energy, and dedication to the protection of the United States of America.

Bob was born and raised in Dearborn, MI. He spent 13 of his early years with the Dearborn Police Department and served as one of the officers in the Police Protection Association. Most people thought he was crazy when he resigned from the force to start a restaurant.

The years passed and the Shurmurs became owners of seven restaurants in and around the Detroit/Dearborn area.

T was also born and raised in Michigan. She retired from the telephone company and went back to college to get her pre-law degree. But she put that on hold to help run the restaurants with Bob.

The Shurmurs sold the restaurants in Michigan and retired to Florida in 1995. T wasn't ready for retirement so she worked in the court system. T traveled the 127 Yard Sale in 1997 and fell in love with Crossville. She went home and told Bob they had to move to Tennessee. It took awhile for things to happen but they became residents in Cumberland County in 2003 and have been very happy with their new location.

Bob and T transferred their membership in the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks (BPOE) to the Cumberland County Elks Lodge 2751 shortly after moving here. They have both been active members ever since. The BPOE has made a pledge, "So long as there are veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them." Bob and T are living examples of that promise.

The Family Ties Restaurant is located on the corner of Webb Ave. and Genesis Road. They are opened 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Stop by and visit the "Wall of Honor" and share your memories and have your name added to the list. While there you may want to try some home cooked fixings or a piece of T's freshly baked pies.

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