Robert H. (Bobby)
On May 25, 2014, Bobby Kahn, age 90, died peacefully at home after a lengthy health decline. Born in Pensacola to Robert H. Kahn, Sr. and Hilda Bear Kahn, he was the fourth generation of his family to live here. He attended local schools, graduated from Pensacola High School in 1941, and attended Tulane University for two years until World War II interrupted his schooling. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943 and served in the European Theatre in the 66th Armored Infantry Battalion Company B, 12th Armored division. After suffering severe frostbite in France, he was sent to hospitals in England and in Texas to recover and was discharged in 1945.
He returned to Tulane to complete his degree in Business Administration, graduating in 1947. He then entered the family business, the Lewis Bear Company, where he spent his career serving in various capacities including vice president, president and chairman of the board. He retired in 1985. During his years in business he was on the board of the National American Wholesale Grocers Association.
He loved Pensacola and served his community well all of his life. He was a past president of Temple Beth-El and of The Rotary Club of Pensacola, where he was a member from 1947 until his death and was a Paul Harris Fellow. He was chairman of the boards of Lakeview Center and of Covenant Hospice of Northwest Florida as well as of the Covenant Hospice Foundation. He also was a member of the Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce and of the Pensacola Port Authority, and was a 33rd degree Scottish Rite Mason.
For his community service he was presented the Five Flags Sertoma Club Service to Mankind Award in 1995. The Escambia County Bar Association honored him with the Liberty Bell Award on Law Day, 2006.
A member of Pensacola Yacht Club and an offshore sailor for more than 50 years, he sailed the Pensacola-to-Mexico race 7 times, winning it in 1975. He was a staunch supporter of junior sailing and introduced numbers of young people to the sport as crew on the Sirocco. Sirocco was recognized as Boat of the Year and Bobby was awarded Offshore Sailor of the Year at PYC. The Yacht Club created both the annual Robert H. Kahn, Jr. Sportsmanship Award and the Robert H. Kahn, Jr. Junior Sailor of the Year Award to honor his many contributions to sailing.
He was an outdoorsman and hunted in Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Colorado, Argentina, and Zimbabwe. He collected antique Colt handguns and was an active member of the Colt Collectors Association, publishing a number of articles in the Colt Collectors Journal.
A kind and generous man, Bobby quietly helped many people complete their education or start small businesses. He taught Junior Achievement in local schools, and volunteered as a coach of the Jr. NROTC rifle teams, first at Woodham and then at Pine Forest high schools until a few years before his death. He established a family foundation to support local arts, education and human services organizations as well as to fund colleges, universities and Jewish and Christian institutions. A particular interest of his was interfaith relations, and his foundation presented speakers on the topic a number of times in cooperation with local downtown churches and Temple Beth-El.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Doris Jean Frankel Kahn, and his son, Walter Robert Kahn.
He is survived by his wife of 24 years, Suzanne Jones Kahn; his daughter, Dorothy Kahn Galloway and her husband David; a stepson, John Galloway and his wife Kim. His grandchildren are Kingsley Drewry and her husband Ken, Scott Boyle and his wife Mesha, Jeanne Gersh, and Hannah, Grace and Ashton Galloway. Great-grandchildren are Emily and Brent Hoskins, Jr., Reese Drewry, Summer and Will Boyle, and Henry and Benjamin Gersh.
Graveside services will be at Temple Beth El Cemetery on West Cervantes and Strong Streets at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 29, 2014 with Rabbi Joel Fleekop presiding. The family will receive friends at Pensacola Yacht Club from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. following the service. Honorary pallbearers are Rick Rankin, Charles Sherrill, Charles Webster, Mike Durhan, Harry Kahn, and Wright Moulton. Pallbearers are Scott Boyle, David Galloway IV, John Galloway, Ken Drewry, Brent Hoskins, Jr. and Lewis Bear, Jr.
The family is deeply grateful to Jamie Stewart Truax for her loyalty, her kindness and her skilled leadership and to Rebecca Young, Sharicka Mims, Jackie Findley and Donna Frazier for their assistance in providing excellent, faithful and loving care in Bobby's last years. We also thank Covenant Hospice for its expert care during Bobby's final illness.
Memorials to Bobby may be made to Covenant Hospice, 5041 North 12th Avenue 32504, Temple Beth-El, 800 North Palafox 32501, or to a
WATERS & HIBBERT FUNERAL HOME is in charge of arrangements.
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Waters & Hibbert Funeral Home - Pensacola
124 W. GREGORY ST.
Pensacola, FL 32502
Published in Pensacola News Journal from May 28 to May 29, 2014