Nathaniel I. (Bob) Burkett went to be
with his Heavenly Father on September 13, 2022. Bob is survived by his wife of
68 years, Alma Thompson Burkett, his son Bob (Arlene) Burkett, daughter Cindy
(Bob) Hutchison, and daughter-in-law Natalie Burkett. He is predeceased by his
son Bill Burkett and his sister Frankie Bassett. He is also survived by 11
grandchildren: Martha (Jason) Brackett, Robert (Courtney) Hutchison, Brad
(Hiromi) Burkett, Mary (Michael) Veira, Amy (Brad) Ruhmann, Angela (Tim) Young,
Daniel Hutchison, Rebecca (Anthony) Tisci, Sara Beth (Hunter) Bryant, Anna
Burkett, and Will Burkett. He was blessed with 13 great grandchildren. Madilyn,
Jameson, Ashlyn, Brody, Joseph, Bryson, Ansley, Noah T., Stephen, Rachel,
Nathaniel, Noah B.,
and Leah. A new great grandson, Colton is expected in January.
Bob was born on November 25, 1932 in
Laurel Hill, Florida to J.D. Burkett and Claudie Mae Hodge Burkett. Sadly, his
father passed away when he was only one year old. His childhood was spent in
Florala, AL; Mobile, AL; and Pascagoula, MS. Upon graduating from Pascagoula
High School, he moved to Childersburg, AL with his mother, sister, and
step-father. In 1953, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and eventually
was stationed in Orlando where he served the remainder of his duty and met the
love of his life, Alma. They married on April 16, 1954.
In 1957, shortly after his discharge
from the Air Force, he began his career with Publix. As Publix expanded, Bob
was transferred to south Florida where he was assistant manager in Lighthouse
Point and then in Coral Ridge. In 1961 he was promoted to manager of a brand
new store in Boca Raton and then to West Palm Beach. He worked his way up
through the retail side of the business and retired as a Regional Director of
Retail Operations in the Miami Division in 1995.
Bob’s faith in God was central to his
life. As a young boy, he and his mother walked to a revival “tent meeting” and
that is where he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. He then
recommitted his life to Christ in his early adult life at a revival in Orlando.
At that time, he and Alma committed to tithing and have been faithful servants
ever since. Bob and Alma raised their three children in West Palm Beach where
they were members of Haverhill Baptist Church for many years. While living in
Boca Raton, they were active members of Bible Town/Boca Raton Community Church.
Upon retiring, Bob and Alma moved back to the Orlando area and joined First
Baptist Church Orlando. An important part of Bob’s life was serving in the
church. Participating on various committees, ushering, serving as a deacon and
teller, and helping in the widow ministry are just a few examples of how Bob
desired to honor the Lord by actively engaging in church community. God honored
his faithfulness and Bob lived a very blessed life. His life verse was 1 Peter
3:15 “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give
an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you
have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
Bob loved his wife and treasured Alma
as a gift from God. He loved his family and when he wasn’t working, they were
who he desired to be with. Above all, he loved the Lord and desired all to know
Jesus as Savior. Bob was a man of great character - honest, a hard worker,
reliable, compassionate, and generous. He prayed faithfully for his family and
friends. He could always be counted on and was a wise counsel to many. He was a
tenacious problem solver, a perfectionist, and a wonderful handyman. He was a
devoted fan of the Alabama Crimson Tide. As an avid golfer, he truly enjoyed
his Thursday golf with friends.
Bob will be greatly missed by his
family and friends. There is great comfort in knowing that although he is no
longer here with us in this temporary world, he is in the presence of his Lord
and Savior waiting for us to join him one day. That is the hope that gives us
the peace that passes all understanding. Bob would agree with David in his
Psalm 23:6, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my
life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
The celebration of Bob’s life is
Friday, September 23rd at 1:00pm in Henry Chapel, First Baptist Church Orlando
with a reception to follow at the church.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be
given in memory of Bob Burkett to First Baptist Church Orlando - Grace Ministry
or Florida Baptist Children’s Home Lakeland (onemorechild.org).