A Couple’s Inevitable Romance and Passion for Giving Back to the Community
Bixby couple Bobby Zigmont and Sharon Phillips Zigmont were always destined for each other. But it took 16 years to get there.
Bobby, a Bixby police officer, and Sharon, a FOX23 news reporter, met in their teens. She was a senior at Jenks High School and he was the older college guy…who was dating her best friend.
“It was the summer of my senior year and I was at my friend’s house for a party. As soon as he walked in the door, I knew I was going to marry him some day,” she says.
Her friend went back to college and started dating someone else. Sharon seized the opportunity and called Bobby. But like many young romances it ended after only three months.
Sixteen years later, Sharon was working in San Diego, California when her mother casually asked her if there was anyone from her past that she would like to keep in touch with, and she immediately thought of Bobby. She sent him a Facebook friend request and the rest, as they say, is history.
Bobby says, “She was always on my mind. I remember years before being at my parents house with the TV on behind my back when I heard her voice. I turned around and she was on the air. I didn’t see what channel it was so I went online and scoured all the networks but couldn’t find anything.”
She says, “That was in my early media days when I was a news producer. I was occasionally on the air but my name wasn’t listed on the website.”
He says, “I knew I had missed my chance, but fast forward a few more years and I was in the same place at my parents’ house when she came on the air again. I was in another relationship at the time and didn’t act on it but I was so glad to see her doing well,” he says.
In 2008, he was single again and thought of reconnecting with Sharon. He looked on the FOX23 website and read her bio.
He says, “I thought about emailing her a note. Something like, ‘Hey, you might not remember me, but…”
He hesitated thinking she gets creepy guys sending her notes all the time. He looked her up on Facebook and saw a photo of her with someone else and assumed she was married with kids and left it alone.
But then on a sunny spring day, he received a Facebook message from Sharon that said, “Hey, you might not remember me, but…”
The Zigmonts have been married for four years now and have a beautiful daughter, Aerilyn. They both have demanding, stressful careers and may be called upon at a moment’s notice. As a news journalist, Sharon rushes to where the news is happening and may be gone for hours. It can be hard to decompress after a difficult day.
Sharon says, “I’ll call or text Bobby that I’ve had a bad day and he’ll have a bubble bath waiting for me with candles, music, and a glass of wine. He’s wonderful about doing things like that, so when I come home I can relax and enjoy our family time.”
As a police officer and SWAT Team member, Bobby has a stressful and dangerous job. He says the best way to reduce stress is communicating quickly if he has a bad day.
He says, “For me, talking about an unpleasant event right after it happens at the scene or talking with Sharon later at home flushes it out of my mind allowing me to move forward. Physical activity helps me, too. For years my outlet was coaching youth soccer and playing on a mens soccer league, but now I enjoy working out with FIT First Responders.”
FIT First Responders Foundation was founded by Coach Jonathan Conneely and empowers Tulsa’s first responders to be their best through fitness, nutrition, and creating a winning mindset. It was created to provide police officers, firefighters, and all those who serve as a first responder.
Bobby says, “It’s a great non-profit organization. It allows us to work out with other first responders who understand our challenges which is a great stress reliever.”
The Zigmonts are both active in the local community. Sharon is involved with CureSearch Walk benefiting CureSearch for Children’s Cancer, a national non-profit foundation that accelerates the search for cures for children’s cancer.
Bobby is the Chairman for the Bixby PASS (Positive Actions for Safe Students) Coalition. The organization started as a teacher-based group and has since evolved into a community-based organization. Bixby PASS Coalition partners with the Tulsa Health Department and Bixby Optimist Club to provide educational opportunities on the dangers of substance and alcohol abuse.
Joy in the Cause
Both Bobby and Sharon share a love for Joy in the Cause. Sharon’s mother, Debbie Phillips, is best friends with Lisa Bain, the founder of the charity. The charity began from lessons learned when Bain’s mother was diagnosed with cancer. Joy in the Cause provides care, compassion, and personal acts of kindness to those with life altering illness and special needs.
Sharon says, “Lisa dresses up her bulldog Mavis Pearl in tutus and brings her to the hospital to brighten a patient’s day. She created little stuffed bulldogs and takes them to nursing homes, cancer treatment centers, and children’s hospitals. It simply exploded. Now, Mavis Pearl dolls are in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
Bain says, “Care comes in all shapes and sizes. It may be through the comfort of an unhurried conversation and visit, or therapy dog visit from Mavis Pearl. It could be receiving the gift of a house cleaning, grocery card, or bill payment. Support looks different for every person going through a life altering illness or those facing special needs.
Bain reached out to Bobby for Joy To The Rescue – Project: Kids In Crisis which equips first responders with resources to soothe a child’s fear. Bobby introduced Bain to the Bixby Police Chief and now each Bixby police car is equipped with backpacks which contain an Usborne book, Mavis Pearl coloring book and stuffed dog, colored pencils, special t-shirt, and other donated items.
For Christmas, time will be spent celebrating with both sides of the family; with Bobby’s family on Christmas Eve and Sharon’s family on Christmas Day. They both are looking forward to homes full of kids, laughter, and food.
Bobby says, “My mom is a Southern Bell from Arkansas and most of her food is comfort food. She makes the most amazing dressing. My sister and I would always beg for that, and her turkey gravy with diced up eggs that you pour on top of it.”
“I’m the oldest of five and love holiday dinners. But the best part for me is the leftovers a few hours after the big meal. My brothers and I would love to grab some turkey or ham and put it on the little dinner rolls,” she says.
The Zigmonts are grateful for their many blessings. But most of all, they are thankful for the uncertain path taken to find each other.