Cover photo for Robert K. South's Obituary
Robert K. South Profile Photo
1920 Robert 2009

Robert K. South

December 4, 1920 — July 2, 2009

Robert Kenneth South was the son of Orren J. and Bertha South, born December 4, 1920 in Cincinnati OH. After high school, Bob traveled from Cincinnati to attend baseball camp in Palatka, FL where he was approached by Herman "Babe" Ruth to join him during his two-week baseball exposition throughout the area. The Babe selected Bob because he could pitch the ball low and inside on a consistent basis, exactly where Babe Ruth could connect with the ball and continuously belt home runs. He loved the Babe and enjoyed sitting on his front porch talking baseball. Bob served in the US Navy during WWII. He was stationed in the Jacksonville area and was deployed to Japan just prior to the nuclear bomb being dropped which ended the war. Bob worked in his grocery store in Cincinnati. He was ahead of the times when he wanted to pre-package lunch meats and place them in the meat case at the family store so customers would not have to wait in line for the butcher to cut their meat. He also worked for Pratt Whitney in the engineering department helping to develop the new jet turbo engine. Again ahead of the times, Bob invented and patented the Kennel King Doghouse, a pre-fab doghouse that was sold in the J. C. Penney's catalog. Bob moved to Florida after spending a 2 week vacation with his best friend, Bill Wilke, at his parent's house in Charlotte Harbor, FL. With a blanket of snow on the ground in Cincinnati and green grass in Charlotte Harbor, he said that was the place for him. In February 1957 he moved his wife, Marianne, and family to Punta Gorda. Once in Punta Gorda, Bob looked for employment and met Leroy Barnhill of the B&B Grocery Store. Leroy immediately gave him a job based on his grocery store experience in Ohio. Within a year, he purchased property and a house on the Peace River in Solona and leased the Solona Grocery & Gas Store from the Beck family. For the next 20 years he and his family owned and operated the grocery and gas station. Bob had a great love of baseball. Together with his wife and other concerned citizens for the youth of Charlotte County, the following baseball leagues were started: Little League, Babe Ruth, and American Legion. They were instrumental in starting Pop Warner Football in Charlotte County as well. Bob was an active public servant in Charlotte County. He served on the School Board for 8-years in the 1960's. As a member of the School Board, he was instrumental in integrating our local schools. He also served on the Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners from 1968-1972. Bob served as President of the Punta Gorda Kiwanis Club from 1976-1977. At the time of his presidency, the Punta Gorda 4th of July Fireworks Display was in question. Bob, along with other Kiwanians, agreed to take over the funding and presentation of the fireworks. It then became a three day event which included food, games for kids, and an auction to raise funds to pay for the fireworks. The community gladly supported the event with generous donations. Bob passed away July 2, 2009, at the age of 88, after a lingering illness. During his illness he resided at Harbour Healthcare Center. Bob is survived by sons, Robert O. (Sandy) of Punta Gorda, Dana B. (Diane) of Odessa, FL, Daniel L. of North Port; daughter, Carole Harris of Punta Gorda; 15 grandchildren, 26 great grandchildren, and 4 great-great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his loving wife, Marianne Katherine Scheidt-South, and his parents. The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Tidewell Hospice, 12034 N. Access Rd., Port Charlotte, Florida 33981. To express condolences to the family, please sign the online guest book.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Starts at 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

Johnson-Taylor Funeral & Cremation

1515 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda, FL 33950

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