Robert L. Van Heyde, 90, passed away peacefully in Ocala, Florida, on June 29, 2020 with his wife, Cindy, by his side.
Robert, known as Bob, was born on January 7, 1930, the oldest of three children, and raised in the Clintonville area of Columbus, Ohio. He graduated from Aquinas High School in 1947, where he swam varsity for four years and won a state championship in 1947. Robert then enrolled in The Ohio State University before leaving to join the Navy as a radio operator on the USS Abbott during the Korean War.
Robert was discharged from the Navy in 1952 and returned to Ohio State. He received his BA in Political Science in 1956 and his JD in 1959. Robert was a member of the swim team and won NCAA national championships in 1954, 1955 and 1956. Robert was a 2-time All-American (1954-55) and co-captain of the swim team in 1956. He married Renee L. Michael on May 21, 1955, with whom he had six children.
Robert was elected to the Columbus City Council in 1957 at the age of 27 while in law school, the youngest city councilman ever elected to that office. Robert practiced law in Columbus for two decades before moving to Olean, New York, to work in the oil and gas business. On May 15, 1982, Robert was married to Cynthia Wolfe with whom he had one child. Robert and Cindy moved to Ocala, Florida, in 1987 where he lived until his passing.
Robert began his real estate career after moving to Ocala. He went to work for the City of Ocala Electric Department as a deputy real estate officer and retired in 1995. Thereafter, Robert continued his career in real estate and became the founding broker for Showcase Properties in 2000, where he remained an active agent. Robert also served as a guardian ad litem volunteer, was a brother and past master of the Morningstar Lodge, No. 94, of the Masonic Order, was a Black Belt in Judo, and was an active member of the Democratic Party.
Robert was predeceased by his parents, Clyde Leo and Emma Van Heyde. He is survived by his wife, Cynthia Van Heyde; two sisters, Nancy (David)Drenan, Carol Ann (Stanley)Crognale; seven children, Christina (John)Heyman, Robert (Jennifer)Van Heyde, Theresa Hausfeld, Eric (Janet)Van Heyde, Renee (Peter)Hawkins, T.J. (Andrea)Van Heyde, Alexander (Jessica)Van Heyde; ten grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
The family will be having private calling hours and observing social distancing at this time, they will be having graveside services at Florida National Cemetery on Tuesday, July 7th at 11:00 am with military honors.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Voices For Children of North Central Florida, Inc.