Cowles, Robert "Bob" Bailey, 93, of St. Petersburg, Florida died Thursday, May 11, 2023. Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, he was the youngest of three children. At an early age, Bob's family moved to Cheshire, Connecticut, where he graduated from Cheshire Academy as a "townie". He settled in Florida in 1949 after a two year tour in the Air force.
Bob married Helen Prescott in 1949 and raised a family of five children. They also provided a home for younger members of their extended family and multiple foster children who lived with them at various periods of their 25 year marriage.
With his marriage in 1979 to Mary Ann Starr, he gained a new family of four stepchildren. Happily married until her death in 2018, Bob and Mary Ann enjoyed bowling, travel in their RV, supporting community theater and were active member of their church.
Bob as a founding member of the Methodist Men's Club at Clearview United Methodist Church. He was an avid reader and long-tine supporter of and active participant in the Boy Scouts of America, including after his sons and grown and left.
His career with the City of St. Petersburg spanned over 50 years. He served as a carpenter, contract job inspector and, after retirement, as a handyman at the municipal marina. He enjoyed the outdoor physical activity and social contact the work provided, ultimately ending his career in his mid-80's.
Bob is predeceased his wife Mary Ann and son, Tyson. He is survived by children, Steven, Jerry, Dot and Chris, by step-children Jeff, Donna, Andrea and Lori, and their respective spouses. He also is survived by 15 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren in the blended family.
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