Robert Carl Gobelman
1927 - 2019
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Robert Carl Gobelman was born July 7, 1927, in East St Louis, IL. He was the third of four siblings raised by their mother Daisy in impoverished working conditions. Bob passed peacefully into eternity with his Savior and loved ones on June 4, 2019, after stoically enduring prostate cancer and heart disease.
Bob's mom taught him about Jesus Christ, family, country and work. He started working part-time at 13, earned his Eagle Scout Badge at 14, joined the railroad full-time and dropped out of school at 15. In 1945, he joined the Navy, after eating bananas for a month to make his weight. After 4 1/2 years of serving in the Pacific Fleet, including on the starboard catapult of the USS Princeton CV-37, he tried civilian life again. He next joined the Army Reserve, the unit that met on Tuesday night so he could play poker with friends. He learned he was a combat engineer when his battalion was called to active duty in August 1950. Blessedly, they were sent to Germany. Over the next 2 1/2 years, he toured Bavaria planning to blow up bridges while earning his GED and maturing.
After earning his second honorable discharge, he enrolled in Wittenberg University. He graduated in three years, earning two majors while working full-time and earning a full scholarship to the University of Chicago School of Law. He continued working full-time while earning his JD.
Bob chose Jacksonville as his home in May 1958. He didn't know a soul but he planned to work hard, smart and honestly. Over the next 59 years, Bob practiced general civil litigation in every state and federal court with jurisdiction in Florida.
He had an interesting and challenging career; successful enough to provide for his family and have chances to serve his profession and community. One highlight was serving as the first chairman of the Zoning Board in the new 1968 Consolidated City of Jacksonville. In that role, he was offered several bribes and was the subject of a murder for hire contract. Those events led to prosecutions by the State Attorney. In the meantime, the board held public hearings and drafted a proposal to city council for re-zoning most of the consolidated county. Bob also served on the board of the Duval County Legal Aid Association, finishing as president in 1972-73.
Bob was a member of the Jacksonville Association of Defense Counsel, serving as president in 1971-72. He was a member of the Florida Defense Lawyers Association, serving as president in 1983-84. He was also a founding member of the Jacksonville Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates in 1988.
Bob was a strong partner, decisive leader, and tough teacher in three Jacksonville law firms. Mathews, Osborne, Ehrlich, McNatt, Gobelman & Cobb (1958 - 1988), Gobelman & Love (1988 - 2011), and Marks Gray (2011 - 2017).
He was blessed with many talents. He never forgot his roots. He used his hard work, intellect, and integrity to provide for his family, lead in his profession and community, and serve his country. Matthew 25: 14-23.
Bob is survived by his wife Mary Bland Love Gobelman, son David (Mary Lou), brother Tom, four nephews, a niece, their spouses, many children, and grandchildren.
The family plans a private celebration of Bob's completed life. 2 Timothy 4:6-8. We encourage memorial gifts to Boy Scouts of America Troop 2 - Jacksonville, Salvation Army of Northeast Florida, City Rescue Mission and St Johns Presbyterian Church.
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Published in Florida Times-Union from Jun. 7 to Jun. 9, 2019.
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14 entries
June 4, 2020
Thank you dear friends.
Your love, support & attention this past year has been indispensable to my healing.
I have more joy than sorrow thanks to you & Gods Grace. I try daily to live with the fruits of His spirit. Galatians 5:22.
Thanks also to my St Johns family for their prayers & friendship.
Blessings & love! MB
Mary Bland Love
June 3, 2020
On the anniversary of Bob's passing, I would like to add that my morning prayers every day have always included Bob and his loving wife, Mary Bland. I am very proud to say that Bob was my mentor, close friend, and partner. I would discuss with him things I would never discuss with others. He was a man that I could trust, a man that offered sage advice, and a man that I admired very much. I think most of all, no matter what the discussion topic may have been, he was always able to turn it into something that would make me laugh. You could see the wisdom in his eyes. He was a very special person to me. I miss him.
Ron Wasilenko
December 3, 2019
This Karin Gobelman-Werner and my father was Melvin Gobelman. I am so sorry for your loss. I only now learned of Robert's passing because I was getting ready to send out his sausage and cheese present. Again my condolences.
Karin Gobelman-Werner
Ames, Iowa
Karin Gobelman-Werner
August 20, 2019
Mary Bland, I was so sorry to hear recently of Bob's passing. He was the most wonderful, honorable and joyful man. I am sure he will be missed by all who were fortunate to know him. I send to you my most sincere condolences for your loss. Bob was so blessed to share his life with you. He found the perfect partner with you to share his many interest and his love of the law. May God give you and his family comfort and keep you strong.
Sue Register-Martin
August 1, 2019
Ronnie Buckingham and Jim Cobb greeted Bob at the gates of Heaven. All three members of GCB Properties ("La Paloma" beach house) are together again, in the presence of their Lord and Savior. Three of the finest form the exceptional MOE law firm.
June 12, 2019
so sorry for your loss.
Roseann Romito
June 10, 2019
He was an great man. I will miss him very much. Sending prayers to Mary Bland.
Marce Wilson
June 10, 2019
I was lucky to have been able to work with Bob Gobelman for several years. He was truly a great man. He always had a story to share with whoever took the time to sit and talk with him. He was someone who truly lived and an inspiration to all who knew him. I will miss his so much.
Toni Wilson
June 10, 2019
When I was a young lawyer just starting out, Bob was a great mentor to me. He was tough, professional, and smart. His war stories contained valuable lessons, and were always told with a wonderful sense of humor.
He enjoyed a long, successful and productive life. His loving relationship with Mary spanned decades and made his life that much sweeter.
Bob Spohrer
June 8, 2019
Bob Gobelman was one of the finest men I have had the pleasure of knowing. He was instrumental in my professional and personal growth. Kind but stern he guided with a sure hand and heart. My life is better for having known and worked under him for 16 years. Terri Derkum
Terri Derkum
June 8, 2019
May the God of comfort and peace continue to be with family and friends to see you through this difficult time. Hosea 13:14
June 8, 2019
Mary: I am so sorry for your loss. May the God of comfort be with you in your time of need.
June 8, 2019
Bob Gobelman was a true gentleman, a lawyer whose work ethic could not be surpassed, a sharp, talented critical thinker having the common sense to know how to use his many talents. For many years, he volunteered his time and talent to the City of Jacksonville and to the State of Florida. I am very proud to have been his friend and partner. He was the epitome of a great litigator having the very highest ethical standards. And, he had a great sense of humor. He would often take the time out his busy day to offer me his sage advice on a complicated or sensitive issue. At the end of those discussions, he always had time for a joke or two to brighten up my day. Bob will be missed, but never forgotten! I offer my deepest condolences to his wife, Mary Bland, and to the family. I will always remember Bob's stories ....
June 7, 2019
Mary Bland, I am so glad that I got to know and work with Bob. He never failed to make me feel good just because I had a chance to spend some time with him in the office or the courthouse or at a social event like an ABOTA party.

My father also thought the world of Bob. He commented many times about Bob's intellect, hard work, and knowledge of the law.

Bob was most loved for his wonderful sense of humor. We will all miss him!

tyrie boyer
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