17 Dec 1940 - 7 Dec 2018
After living with Alzheimer's dementia for a number of years, Bob is finally at peace. He soldiered on like the cop, Marine and Green Beret he was despite the many roadblocks this tragic disease put before him. Bob lived the first 52 years of his life in Miami, Florida. A natural story teller, Bob loved to tell the tales of his childhood near the Miami River, his first job as a paper boy, life in Marine boot camp at Paris Island in 1959, adventures in Miami back yards as an FPL meter reader, and ultimately the many street stories from his career with the Miami Police Department. During his 27 years "on the job" Bob was a patrol officer, a K-9 officer, served on the Bomb Squad and Task Force, commanded SWAT and CITAT, and finished his career as a patrol Lieutenant, officially retiring as a Captain. As Bob was fond of saying, he "was only shot once," and credits a young surgeon newly returned from Viet Nam with fixing Bob's shot-up right hand so well he went on to compete in shooting competitions.
After his Marine Reserve enlistment was up, Bob joined the 11th Special Forces Group (Abn) in Miami. Many good stories are associated with his time as a Green Beret, including how Bob got the nickname "Sparky" after accidentally starting a fire near the Everglades area used as a drop zone for parachute operations. In addition to Special Forces, he served with other Reserve units including the USAR School in Coral Gables, and the 841st Engineer Battalion (Combat) in Miami and Orlando.
1993 found Bob in his new "hometown" of Deland, Florida where he joined Rotary, the Republican Club of West Volusia, and became a Reserve VCSO deputy. Bob continued serving in the Army Reserves with units in Orlando until he retired in 1998 as a Master Sergeant. After a brief time as a realtor with Kathy Sanders Realty, Bob spent 12 years as the Director of Special Projects under VCSO Sheriff Ben Johnson in which he devoted his considerable organizational and managerial talents to the COP, Chaplain, Victim Advocate, and Volunteer programs.
Bob's story isn't complete without mention of marrying Lorraine in 1985 and their countless adventures together camping, hiking, kayaking, driving up Pike's Peak in a Miata, ballroom dancing, and becoming grandparents, the ultimate experience. There will be no public service at Bob's request. If you'd like to make a memorial donation in Bob's name to help continue the excellent, compassionate end-of-life care provided by Halifax Health – Hospice, you can do so online at halifaxhealth.org/donations. And lastly, celebrate Bob's life by hoisting your favorite beverage in a toast to him on his birthday, December 17th.