Robert Lawrence (Bob) Darling
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Robert Lawrence (Bob) Darling, oldest son of Homer and Zilpha Darling of Dunedin, died peacefully at his home on Tuesday, February 19, from complications of diabetes. He was 68 years old.
Born in Kenton Ohio on November 10, 1944, Bob and four sisters moved to Florida with their parents in 1953, settling in Clearwater and then Dunedin where his parents still live in the same house they built for their growing family.
In 1962, Bob was part of the first graduating class at Dunedin Comprehensive High School where he earned numerous academic and scientific honors. That fall, he moved to Tallahassee to attend Florida State University, with a scholarship from the Southern Scholarship Foundation receiving his masters in nuclear physics.He also began his lifelong passion for all things garnet and gold and supported the Seminoles in all sports, including women's volleyball, basketball and even fencing.
Rutgers University in New Jersey lured him away with an offer to work as an electronic engineer as well as with the nuclear facilities at Oakridge, TN, and Los Alamos, NM. Eventually, he traded in the ice and snow of New Jersey for the sun and deserts of New Mexico.He had a particular affinity for designing and building large complex electronic equipment and his resume included work for UCLA, Roo Industries in New York, and other public and private endeavors in Boston and Texas.His last years in New Mexico found him as a consultant and designer of electronic applications.
Upon his retirement, Bob returned to Tallahassee in 2009 where he could be closer to his beloved 'Noles. He renewed his passion for contract bridge with friends from his earlier tenure here and the many more he made at the Tallahassee Senior Center.He was proud of receiving his Gold Life Master certification from the American Contract Bridge League in April 2012.
Besides his parents, Bob's survivors include six sisters, Susan D. Still, Trisha Spillan, Nancy Davidson of Tallahassee, Laurel Szubart of Havana, Betsy Walton (Bob Walton) of Oviedo and Jeanne Smedley of Portland, TN. His brother, Thomas Darling, lives in Dunedin.He also has three nieces, three nephews and one grandnephew.
In accordance with his wishes, no funeral services were conducted. Instead, a remembrance for Bob was held Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Tallahassee Senior Center put on by his numerous friends and fellow bridge players. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the FSU Women's Athletic Program, or the Tallahassee Senior Center Bridge Club.
Published in Tallahassee Democrat on Mar. 1, 2013