Robert E. “Bob” Connine took the hand of his precious Lord and was led home on October 16, 2017 in Tampa, Florida, surrounded by his loving family. Born in Cobleskill, NY, on June 14, 1928, he was the son of John C. and Ruth Moyer Connine. He married his wife of 65 years, Lillian Groff, in Norwich, New York on June 14, 1952.
Bob graduated from Norwich High School with the class of 1946. He enlisted in the U.S. Army shortly thereafter, assigned to the 7th Division, and was sent to Korea. Upon his return to New York, he was employed at Chenango and Unadilla (C&U) Telephone Company. He was recalled by the Army to serve in Korea, in the 101st Airborne. After his second tour, he returned to the C&U Telephone Company, attending Broome Tech (now Binghamton University) during the evenings in Binghamton, NY, and received an Associate’s Degree in Engineering. He also took several communications courses and became District Manager for C&U Telephone Company in Hamilton, NY, where he was employed for 22 years.
In 1970 he was offered a position with GTE (now Verizon) in Tampa, FL, and made his family’s home in Brandon, FL, retiring from GTE in 1988.
Bob was a Deacon at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Sun City Center, FL, as well as a member of the Norwich Masonic Lodge #302, Scottish Rite, and Egypt Shriners in Tampa, FL. He volunteered at South Bay Hospital for several years and was awarded the 2007 Male Outstanding Volunteer of the Year. He volunteered on the Sun City Center Security Patrol for 10 years and served on the committee for the Good Samaritan Charity Ball for three years. While he was always willing to help others, and devoted much of his time in this capacity, his focus was always family first.
Bob and his wife, Lillian, traveled extensively across the U.S., Europe, Israel, and Hawaii, and took several cruises with family and friends. He also enjoyed golfing, fishing, boating, and spending time with his family at their summer place on the St. Lawrence River in Alexandria Bay, NY. Bob lit up every room he entered, never met a stranger, and was a playful soul with all ages.
He is survived by his faithful wife, Lillian, of Sun City Center, FL, and their three loving children: Callie and her husband James Henicke of Arlington, TX; Barbra Anderson, M.A. of St. Petersburg, FL; and Tad R. Connine, M.D., P.A. of FL. Also surviving are six adoring grandchildren: Tanner Jenkins and wife Sara of Lithia, FL; Tara Cole and her husband Nathan of Valrico, FL; Hanna Jo Anderson of Minot, ND; Reese Anderson of Irving, TX; Tyler Connine of Richmond, VA; Sydney Connine of Odenton, MD, and two great-grandchildren, Brody and Parker Cole, in Valrico, FL. Other survivors are several nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his parents, and three brothers and three sisters: John, Richard, and Charles Connine; and sisters Ruth (Vincent) Masick, Helen (John) Larney, and Shirley (Robert) Porter.
Graveside services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 21, 2017 at Mt. Hope Cemetery, in Norwich, NY. Additionally, at a later date, a memorial service will be held at Aston Gardens at The Courtyards, in Sun City Center, FL.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to support the wonderful professionals at Tampa General Hospital, specifically to grow the Palliative Care pastoral care services. To do so, designate the gift to the Palliative Care Program in honor of Robert Connine, at https://tghsecureforms.org/make-gift.