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Bobbie Matthews

Bobbie Edwin Matthews
Born:  September 19, 1944 in Texas
Died:  March 18, 2020 in Seminole, Florida at age 75 after losing his fierce battle with metastatic gastric cancer.

Bob was born in Texas to parents, Raymond Morris Matthews and Francis Rebecca Truitt, and a large family with three bothers, Raymond, Bill and Jim; and two sisters Cora and Betty. Unfortunately, his father died when Bob was only 6 years old. Soon after his father’s death, his mother moved the family to Alabama to be closer to her brother. After being in Alabama for a time, the entire family moved to Miami to be closer to Bob’s Grandparents.
After high school, Bob enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, serving as a jet mechanic from 1964 to 1968. Once his service ended, he joined his family, who had since moved to Pinellas County, and earned a two year degree at Pinellas Vocational Technical Institute and also took continuing education at St. Pete Junior College.
While in college, Bob worked night shift stocking shelves at Publix.  He also attended services at Grace Baptist Church with his family, where he also met his wife Pat.
After Bob and Pat were married they moved to unincorporated Seminole where they had two children – daughter, Diana and son, Rob.  They then moved to the City of Seminole in 1978 where they lived until present day.

After completing his college courses, Bob was hired by Florida Power as an instrument technician and retired from there after 32 years.
Upon retiring from Florida Power, Bob found a new passion for balloon art design.  He then joined his wife at their florist business, Seminole Garden Florist, and they added an additional feature of a party store to the shop offering party supplies and custom balloon art designs.
Bob first became involved with Seminole City Council after bringing a drainage issue in the his neighborhood to the city’s attention. After pursuing a resolution to a problem in his own  neighborhood,  he then became interested in a need that he could fill by helping other people and being of service to the city.
He was first elected to council on March 20, 1990.  He continued to serve the city through his death for a total of nearly 30 years in office. Because of his years of service to the city of Seminole, Bob was honored as the 2020 Mr. Seminole at the Greater Seminole Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards ceremony on February 22nd.  Despite being in constant pain and incredibly weak, he found the energy to attend his last city council meeting on March 10, 2020, 8 days before he died.
Bob represented the city of Tampa Bay regional planning Council for more than 20 years.  Bob was involved in other aspects of the community as well including holding leadership roles at the Rotary club of Seminole for many years.

Bob’s faith was also important to him as it was a big part of his life. He and his family were members at New Testament Baptist Church in Largo for many years.  During that time period, Bob served as a deacon and a bus route manager for the Sunday School bus ministry.  Not only did he manage the weekly bus route, but he was in charge of keeping the busses running from by providing his mechanical expertise and repairing them as needed.  Most recently over the past three years, Bob and his wife have attended Starkey Road Baptist Church.
Bob was always a hands-on guy whether for himself or for others. He was often found working on mechanical projects, break jobs, rebuilding engines, highly skilled woodworking, plumbing, concrete work, landscaping, HVAC, electrical, technical, fabricating of anything, you name it – around the house.  If he didn’t know how to do it, he’d buy a manual and teach himself how.  He was the a epitome of the do-it-yourselfer type.

Bob was passionate in every avenue of his life and never once backed down for what and who he believed in – no matter what.
Bob is survived by his wife of 50 years, Patricia Ann Matthews (Stier) of Seminole; his daughter, Diana Beckham of St. Louis, Missouri; his son, Rob Matthews of Largo; two brothers, Bill Matthews of Orlando and Jim Matthews of Inverness; and three grandsons, Logan and Ivan Pitts of St. Louis and Hunter Matthews of Largo.

The family will host a celebration of life at Starkey Road Baptist Church on Thursday, July 30 at 6:00pm.

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