Coconut Grove's favorite arborist left us on Christmas Eve after a five-month bout with cancer.
Every time I stopped by his North Grove house last week Bob was surrounded by an glowing aura of love. It was continuously being fed by his wife, Eileen, their three kids, and the other visiting friends.
Two days ago our tree guru was rolled out to enjoy a perfect afternoon in his verdant back yard. Bob couldn't speak so he gestured to a friend to move a bit so he could admire a thriving beehive. He marveled at all things natural and the mounds of love heaped upon him by visiting friends and family these last few months.
December was always special. With his bushy white beard, Mr. B charmed thousands as Santa every Christmas.
He left last night so he could help St. Nick with his annual rounds. When the last gift was delivered, Bob went straight to Heaven. God's trees need him, just like the Grove's always did.
Keeping Coconut Grove green and his family and friends happy were huge priorities in Bob's life. He did both exceptionally well. Yesterday the love was flowing like the tide into Sailboat Bay as he bid farewell to his family, the bees, and the trees with his final breath.
Now, when you want to find Bob just look up. He'll always be smiling in the trees he so loved.
A public memorial service will be held in Fairchild Garden's arboretum on Thursday at 1 pm. Free admission.