YOUNG, ROBERT L. (BOB)
A true, loving, and faithful man passed from our midst on September 10, 2013. He was 87. Son, brother, husband, father, uncle, counselor, rock of the family, he was one of a band of five brothers whose friendship began at Gainesville High School and lasted through service in WWII, their college years and until death. Well known and highly respected in the human resources field, Bob was a mentor to many and a major contributor to the human resources profession.
Born in DeFuniak Springs, Florida on July 16, 1926, he was the fifth born of the six children of Charles F. and Corelle Sullivan Young. He and his family moved to Gainesville in 1942, after stops in Louisiana, South Carolina and Gadsen County, Florida. Bob graduated from Gainesville High School in 1944. After graduation, he joined the Navy, where he served as a Navy Air crewman. He received a BA from the University of Florida in 1951, where he was inducted into Kappa Kappa Psi.
One of Bob's lifelong loves was music. He learned to play the trumpet as a young man and played in a large dance band at Pearl Harbor while in the Navy. He went on to play the trumpet in the concert, marching, pep, and jazz bands while a student at U of F. After college he played in a variety of concert, small combo and large dance bands. In the days before air conditioning, his neighbors also enjoyed his talent; his rendition of Nat King Cole's "Tenderly" was a particular favorite.
Bob began his career working for the Florida Industrial Commission, the State Employment Service in Gainesville, and the Florida Citrus Commission in the Northeast. He met his wife of 58 years, Mary Jordan, in New Jersey. In 1955, he returned to Gainesville with his bride and took a position with the Sperry Electronic Tube Division as the plant was opening. He began his long and accomplished career in human resources there. When the plant closed after 12 years, Bob spent two years with the Florida Farm Bureau then joined Monroe Regional Medical Cen-ter in Ocala, Florida as head of human resources management, retiring in 1992.
Another of Bob's great passions was travel. Bob "liked to go," an expression his mother used to describe those who liked to travel. In the first seven years of marriage, Bob and Mary had six children. This didn't stop him from experiencing new places and revisiting old favorites. Every summer they loaded up the station wagon and took the family camping in the mountains of North Carolina where his father grew up. They often ventured back to New Jersey and braved the streets of Manhattan with the children in tow. To keep track of the gang on the NY streets, he instructed them to stay within one sidewalk square of him and Mary. He was a strict disciplinarian and no one dared question his edicts-thus the six young'uns survived to adulthood. Continuing the tradition, they took many of their grandchildren camping in North Carolina as well.
In later years, Bob traveled extensively with Mary in Europe. Bob and Mary enjoyed the great cities and country sides across the continent, taking in the art, the food, the people, and the culture. They particularly loved their visits to Northern Ireland where Mary's parents grew up. The couple got to know dozens of family members and, as a bonus, learned to drive on the left side of the road. That came in handy when they visited Mary's relatives in Australia. In later years, still intrepid, they cruised across the Atlantic and experienced many new places. His last European adventure with Mary, only three years ago, took them to Italy where they walked for miles, savoring the magic of Venice.
Bob was very active in his profession and in his community. He was a local, state and national leader in his field, serving in many positions and founding new chapters of the Society for HR Management (SHRM). A devoted Gator fan and booster of the University, he served as President of the Alachua County UF Alumni Club from 1975-1976. In addition, he was active in three Rotary Clubs, with almost perfect attendance, and was a Paul Harris Fellow. He was a founding member and President of the 300 Club, a Gainesville neighborhood swim and tennis club.
We are very grateful to the expert and caring staff of Malcolm Randall VA Hospital, especially the Congestive Heart Failure team including, Samantha Malloy ARNP, Sean Anderson Pharm D and Dr. Richard Schofield.
Bob was preceded in death by his son Jeffrey. In addition to his wife Mary, he is survived by his sister, Joyce Bennett, his children Mary K Young and spouse Bramman Avery, James Young and spouse Cindy, Amy Young Grimes and spouse Ricardo, John Young and spouse Lynn, and David Young, in addition to many nieces and nephews, and nine grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
He will be remembered in a service to be held at Holy Faith Catholic Church on Saturday, September 14 at 11:00, immediately followed by a lunch reception in the Parish Hall. The family welcomes donations in Bob's honor to Fisher House Foundation or Wounded Warrier Project, organizations that support our country's veterans:
Fisher House Foundation at gainesvillefisherhouse.org
Wounded Warrier Project at woundedwarrierproject.org
Published in Gainesville Sun from Sept. 13 to Sept. 15, 2013