Robert Frank Whitaker, 87, went to be with the Lord on June 16, 2020, following a brief illness.
Robert “Bob” was born April 14, 1933 in Ashville, NC, and served in the US Navy Air Division during the Korean Conflict from 1952-1956. Upon discharge from the service, Bob came to Jacksonville, FL in search of work and was employed for seven years as a millwright for Container Corporation of America in Fernandina Beach.
Shortly after arriving in Fernandina, he met and married Melba Prosser, a local school teacher from Statesboro, GA. After a brief stint in Atlanta as an owner-operator of several fast-food restaurants, Bob and Melba returned to Fernandina, where Bob spent the next two years running an inspection service out of Jacksonville. In 1966, they purchased Robison Jewelry in downtown Fernandina Beach, and Bob steadily grew the business over the next 30+ years. Bob was also instrumental in the successful effort to revitalize the Historic Downtown District in the mid 1970’s.
As a longtime member of First Baptist Church, Bob taught Sunday School and served as chairman of the Senior Adult Ministry. He also participated in two separate mission trips to Honduras.
Bob was a gifted artist, and enjoyed fishing, as well as playing tennis and golf. His greatest enjoyment, however, was supporting and following their two sons in their many activities.
Bob is survived by Melba, his wife of 63 years, and their two sons, Jeff (Paige) and Brett (Jeanette), as well as eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at First Baptist Church on Tuesday, June 23, at 11:00 am. The family will receive friends at the church beginning at 10:00 am.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in honor of Bob may be given to the respective building funds of First Baptist Church, Legacy Baptist Church, or Amelia Baptist Church.