Rob's adopted father
Tom Tully may have been the last to be seen on our TV screens as Rob Petrie's father, but in the "Petrie Chronologie" (which I am compiling), he was actually first. He and his wife, Clara, arrived in Missouri from Illinois to visit Rob and Laura one month after they were married in 1951.
His Sam Petrie is the man who raised Rob Petrie as his son. He's the father who put Rob through school, saw him off to the depot when he joined the Army, and despite everyone trying to convince him that he was NOT funny, this Sam Petrie was the man who imbued a sense of humor into his son.
But he is NOT the man who fathered Rob. He did, however, adopt him....
Dunh dunh dun DUNH!!!
Here's the Toobworld theory:
For years, Sam and Clara Petrie were unable to have children, and medical examinations determined that the problem must lie with Sam and not Clara.
Since he knew how much his wife wanted to have children, Sam suggested that they try alternate means to get her pregnant rather than turning to adoption. The plan he came up with was to ask someone they both knew and trusted and liked to... carry out the task for them.
And so they chose Sam's cousin, Edward Petrie, to be the biological father of their child.
As it would turn out several years later, Sam was able to get his wife with child and Clara would give birth to Stacey Petrie.
This would make Rob and Stacey Petrie half brothers, whereas in the real world they are played by full brothers Dick and Jerry Van Dyke.
To be continued....