Obituary: Robert ‘Bobby’ Sullivan

July 24, 2020
By Olivia Cameron

Former Boca Grande resident Bobby Sullivan, 83, died July 13, 2020 after fighting a courageous battle with cancer.  
At his request a service in his honor was held at the Tallahassee National Cemetery, 5015 Apalachee Pkwy, Tallahassee, Florida 32311 on Tuesday, July 21 at 11 a.m.
Bobby was born in St Augustine, (a true Florida cracker) on January 1, 1937, to Francis Samuel Sullivan and Frances Marie Zaremba Sullivan Coleman. He was raised by his step-grandmother, Nona Toledo Coleman, originally from Cayo Costa.  
Bobby accomplished many things in his life. He was known for his loyalty and work ethic. He was one of 10 graduates of Boca Grande High School in 1955. Additionally, Bobby served in the Armed Forces – Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard – encompassing a 30-year career servicing our great country. His last duty station was as Commander of the New Smyrna Beach Coast Guard Station. He then retired from the Coast Guard as a Chief Warrant Officer.  
Following his tenure in the service, Bobby returned to Boca Grande.  He was a member of the Boca Grande Chamber of Commerce. Initially, Bobby owned a landscaping and lawn service business. Later, he and his partner Babe Darna owned and operated Statewide Pest Control, servicing the residents of the island for many years. 
Bobby also owned the Boca Bug tarpon boat with his brother, John (Jackie), and helped many people catch their first tarpon. 
His plans were to retire on Boca permanently. However, for the love of family and desire to be closer to them and to experience a different side of life, he later moved to Gadsden County, Florida. He bought a farm and enjoyed raising veggies and growing flowers. 
Bobby enjoyed all wildlife.  He had a bird sanctuary that, along with his dearly beloved loyal companion Sophie, his Labradoodle, they fed and tended to daily.
Bobby is survived by his sister, Shelia Coleman Manny; and brother John (Jackie) Sullivan. He was loved by many nieces and nephews, especially by Stacy Sullivan Adams, John Walter Sullivan and Katie Craft Mabe.  
He was a good, good man!
“Bobby and I graduated together from Boca Grande High School. We were teammates on the 1955 high school basketball team. He was one of the hardest working people I’ve ever known. He always finished a job, no matter how long or difficult it was. He respected everyone he met and everyone respected him.
At Statewide, We worked together for 17 years. I don’t remember us exchanging a harsh word the entire time. I had such tremendous respect and trust in him.
Bobby was my good friend, and I will miss him a lot. 
                            – Babe Darna