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Obituary (FL): Robert James Courtney '52

Posted on 03/12/2018

Robert James Courtney, MD, passed away March 1, 2018. He was born in Princeton Junction, NJ, to James A. and Grace G. Courtney. Bob attended Princeton High School and joined the U.S. Navy after his junior year. He was a corpsman at Bethesda, MD, became a surgical technician, and followed with duty in the Midshipmen Dispensary inside Bancroft Hall. After eight weeks of a 10 month world cruise aboard the USS Duluth, he received orders to the Naval Academy Preparatory School. Bob then received a fleet appointment and entered the Naval Academy, class of 1952. Having completed his plebe year, his desire to become a doctor lead him to resign. He completed studies at Temple Medical School in 1957. Bob was Chief Resident of surgery at Tampa General Hospital. He practiced general surgery in Tampa, FL, for 40 years. While volunteering in many community services and serving on many boards, he was most honored to be a founder of Tampa Preparatory School, a member of Hillsborough County Medical Association, The University Club of Tampa, The West Tampa Men's Club, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, The Committee on Foreign Relations, and Town Commissioner of St. Leo, FL. Bob loved being the team physician for the Tampa Bay Rowdies. He was a longtime supporter of the Florida Orchestra and Opera Tampa. Bob was invited to the 45th reunion of the class of 1952, renewing that brotherhood was the beginning of many years of close friendships. He was a contributor to the book, As We Recall...Reminiscences of the Naval Academy Class of 1952. Bob was personally blessed by Pope John Paul at the Vatican. He had a never ending curiosity and hunger for information. He loved to explore and travel. As a child, young man, a practicing physician, and in retirement, Bob was a beekeeper, constant gardener, and collector and nurturer of rare plants. After retiring from medicine, he and his wife moved to St. Leo, FL. He was predeceased by his parents and brother, James W. Courtney. Bob is missed and will live on in the hearts of family, friends, patients, and most of all his wife of 35 years, Becky; sons, Robert and Richard; and brothers-in-law, Irv (Pam) Williams and Joe Williams. A special thank you to Doctors Albert Tawil, Mark Weston, R. Baliga, Charles Sanders, A. Becsey, Steve Dosal, devoted friend, Linda; nurses, Kelly, Amy, Chelsie, Kevin, Ayumi; and many at Tampa General Hospital. Interment of ashes will be in the Columbarium at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.

Published in the Tampa Bay Times on Mar. 11, 2018