Obituary of Lt. Col. Robert Fales Christie
Robert “Bob” Christie, 85, of St. Petersburg, FL, passed away on September 3, 2023. He was born in Williston, South Carolina, the son of Robert Vogel and Polly Fales Christie, and grew up in Atlanta, GA. He attended Southwest Dekalb County High School. He played baseball and football and nabbed the 1956 victory pass. He attended the University of Georgia on a full scholarship as the Assistant Manager to football Coach Wally Butts. His duties included travel arrangements and recruiting. He was a member of Sigma Kappa Fraternity and graduated in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He continued supporting the university as a University of Georgia Presidents Club member.
On October 7, 1964, Robert began his military career and joined the United States Marine Corps. He was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat in Vietnam, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, and service medals for heroic actions and conduct while in Vietnam. His character was molded early in life. Strength and courage are essential qualities of being an Eagle Scout and Marine. He retired from service as Lieutenant Colonel.
Bob began his career in retail with Maas Brothers, opening the Tyrone Square Mall store as Operations Manager. He continued his retail experience as the Senior Vice President of Operations at Robinson’s of Florida, opening seven branch stores and the distribution center.
Bob’s “lifetime loves” were his wife Jo-an of over 50 years, his wonderful family and friends, and his two dogs, Tattoo and Molly. He was passionate about music, reading, and cruising the Baltic, Alaska, Quebec, Panama Canal, and the Caribbean. He enjoyed cheering for the Rays. He spent his retirement enjoying all these activities, volunteering as a Mentor in public schools, and always offering a helping hand, even to strangers.
Old Northeast St. Petersburg is known for holiday decorations, and Bob led the neighborhood. He loved decorating for every holiday, winning “Best Halloween Décor” so many years in a row he was finally given the “Lifetime Decorations Award.” He was called the “Unofficial Mayor,” holding court on his driveway daily and talking with neighbors. One neighbor said, “You always knew where you stood with Bob; if he didn’t like you, he let you know it, and if he liked you, he’d give you the world.” Bob will be truly missed, and his great sense of humor will always be remembered!
Bob leaves behind his loving wife Jo-an; his daughter, Shelley Kyser (Steve Phillips); his daughter, Kelley (Paul) Calkins; his grandchildren Carson Kyser, Avery Kyser, Kendall (Joseph) Getley, Kailey Calkins, and Paul Calkins Jr. – as well as his two great-grandchildren Ashton and Ophelia Getley. He also leaves behind his sister Phyllis (Melvin) White, niece Christie (Luis) White-Castelero and nephew David White (Jeni Pekala).
A celebration of life will take place at 2 p.m. on October 14 at Anderson McQueen Northeast Chapel, 2201 Dr. MLK Street North, St. Petersburg, FL.
Memorial donations may be made to:
Toys for Tots CLICK HERE
and Disabled American Veterans CLICK HERE