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Robert Dwight Woolverton

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Robert Dwight Woolverton Obituary
WOOLVERTON Robert Dwight Woolverton died at home on the ninth of January, saddening his wife, Blair; his daughter, Laurie Woolverton Brandt; Blair s daughters, who grew up with Bobby as their father, Mary Blair Conger, Christian Pierre, and Elise Anderson Ferguson; and his multitudes of friends. He was nearly 81. Born in New York, Bobby moved south with his mother and father, Margaret and Fred Woolverton, who came to Jacksonville in 1935 with their three boys, Fred, Bobby, and Billy. In 1936, James R. Stockton, Sr., a close friend, urged them to move to Ponte Vedra Beach with a lure of a $50.00 ocean front lot. Instantly, the very brave Woolvertons became early pioneers in the settling of The Beaches. They helped, physically, with the building of Christ Church as well as the early Surf Club. Bobby grew up in the water. The Woolverton Boys built boats, surf boards, and forts in the tops of the blown-sideways oak tree tops. Margaret and Fred, native Yankees , sent their children north to camp, boarding school , as well as to university. Bobby was a second generation Camp Dudley boy (#7049 was on his beanie). They were in such a frenzy to get The Boys away from the Southern Influence that Bobby was put on a train at eight years old on his way to New York City. He was met by his grandparents and put on another train to camp for the summer. He was graduated from The Choate School. He was a second generation graduate of Princeton University and earned his Masters Degree in Architecture at Georgia Tech. Bobby and Blair met, for the first time, in 1969, at The Firemen s Ball at The Ponte Vedra Club. After much tire kicking, they were married five years later. I cooked for him for so long, he had no choice! And a perfect marriage it was. They learned from each other. Bobby, an exquisite man, personified grace and elegance . He was possessed of a magnificent countenance and character. He was cut from rare cloth-fine and true. Justice and fairness were at the heart of each of Bobby s solutions. He was, in every sense of the word, a gentleman. Ever the athlete, Bobby exercised every day with joy . He had a canoe, a kayak, a bicycle, a surf board, a tennis racket, a backpack, a camping tent, snow skis, a stop watch , a sail boat- and a radial arm saw!! Bobby s knowledge of The World was vast, his attention to detail remarkable. As a member of The American Institute of Architects, he was a respected and admired architect and designer, strongly influenced by the concept of Form Follows Function , as well as Frank Lloyd Wright. Bobby was a Modernist in the true sense of the word. Bobby s relationship with his clients was unique: he listened closely to his clients needs, but one could always recognize his signature style. There were only a few lines he refused to cross: upholstered yards, cucumbers, raisins and strip malls. A world-traveler, who embraced all cultures, he loved Jacksonville and sought to make it a better place.An active dreamer and an ardent defender of the City, Bobby gave of his time to many organizations: Jax Pride, Riverside Avondale Preservation Association ,The Downtown Development Authority, to name a few. However, most of his energy was focused on The Arts and on Nature. He supported causes that prompted the stewardship of The Land, The Environment, and Wildlife the things that make life beautiful. He was an ardent supporter of Public Radio and Television (WJCT) , The Riverkeeper, The Nature Conservancy, and The Wilderness Society and any and all museums. He served as Board Chairman of The Jacksonville Art Museum, as well as a seminal arts group, The Arts Council. Along with his children, Bobby leaves behind two brothers, Frederick Tappan Woolverton, Jr. and Dr. William Curtis Woolverton ; seven grandchildren; one niece and four nephews; his loyal and tender care-givers, Desi Skyers and Mary Henderson; and countless friends he has charmed throughout each stage of his life. Bobby Woolverton, once met, could never be forgotten. A gathering of family and friends will be held at Bobby and Blair s house on twelfth of January at 2:00 o clock. Memorials may be sent to any of the afore mentioned organizations, but Northeast Florida Community Hospice should be at the top of the list. Please Sign the Guestbook @ Jacksonville.com
Published in the Florida Times-Union on Jan. 11, 2014
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