Robert (Bob) Howat, 79, of Fernandina Beach, FL passed away Monday, August 24, 2020 at Community Hospice & Palliative Care’s Warner Center for Caring in Fernandina Beach, FL after complications from vascular dementia and congestive heart failure. Bob was born in East Orange, NJ and was the son of the late Robert F. and Dorothy B. Howat of Nutley, NJ.
Bob grew up in East Orange, NJ and attended Clifford Scott High School. He later moved to Nutley, NJ. After graduating from college, Bob taught middle school and was a high school guidance counselor in Bloomfield, NJ. He was known for helping countless students select, visit and apply to college. Many of his students were the first in their families to attend college and appreciated that he went the extra mile for them. While at Bloomfield High School, Bob coached the Girls Varsity Tennis team and led them to many victories including a district championship.
After retiring from Bloomfield High School in 1992, Bob practiced as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. In 1994 he and Mary Ann moved to Florida where he continued his practice until he retired in 2015.
Bob served on the Fernandina Beach Advisory Board for more than a decade. He enjoyed public service and had a passion for protecting the environment on Amelia Island. He loved tennis and played for many years and attended the US Tennis Open every August while living in NJ. Bob was an avid surf fisherman, often bringing home dinner. He liked bird watching, gardening and bicycling. He bicycled daily and was a fixture in his neighborhood. He could never understand why everyone didn’t ride at 3:00 pm on a hot summer’s day! The thing his friends and family will miss most is his sense of humor. He loved a good joke and his grandchildren got lots of laughs from a number of his favorite “Yo Mama” jokes.
He leaves behind his loving wife of 54 years, Mary Ann, his daughter Juliet and her husband David McGuinnes of Fernandina Beach, Florida and his daughter Jessica Strickland of Lafayette, Colorado, his sister Nancy (Lawrence) Kennedy of Nutley, New Jersey, grandchildren Liam and Keira of Florida and Jackson of Colorado and many extended family members, cousins, nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank all of the staff at Community Hospice for their kindness and care. A celebration of Bob’s life will be scheduled at a later date. Memorials may be sent in his name to: Community Hospice & Palliative Care, 4266 Sunbeam Road, Jacksonville, FL 32257 or to the USTA (US Tennis Association) Foundation: https://www.ustafoundation.com/donate/.