Bobby Joe “Bob” Windsor was born June 18th (or 19th), 1940 in Dothan, Alabama to Robert Radford Windsor and Mabel Milner Windsor and passed away in DeFuniak Springs on April 14, 2021. Bobby Joe (he grew into being “Bob”) graduated from Dothan High School in the Class of 1958 and attended Auburn University, Troy State, and later the Woodrow Wilson School of Law. He spent 24 years working for Gulf Oil Corporation throughout the South, owned several convenience stores in Walton and Okaloosa Counties, and sold real estate in the Florida Panhandle. For the last 30 years Bob’s favorite place has been “wherever Janet was” and he happily blended her family with his, taking children and grandchildren on as his own. Despite his outward stern appearance everybody loved Bob. He was known for his bear hugs, and was a people person, someone who never met a stranger, a collector of friends far and wide, a character with a generous, kind, and loving heart, the person who not only made a party happen, but made it better. Not overly prone to praise, his kindest words were saved for Janet or sent in heart-felt “Bob cards”, Bob showed love through his actions, highly specific individual attention and gifts. More often than not, he loved through food. Bob was a caterer in the grandest sense of the word. He was a five-star southern chef and was never far from the grill or stove. He lovingly prepared each day’s meals for Janet and him. For his daughter Ashleigh he made Papa’s Preserves (county fair blue-ribbon-winning blackberry and strawberry-fig preserves), ensuring that neither she, nor her children, would ever have to eat store bought jam. For his grandchildren, he made the world’s best fried okra for which they would willfully endure a 12-hour road trip. Bob had a distinguished list of friends and family with whom he shared pecan pies, toasted pecans, peanuts, and other culinary acts of love. Bob was most comfortable in a guayabera with a glass in one hand, a serving spoon in the other, surrounded by family and friends. He enjoyed the simple things, could fit in any crowd and was completely comfortable with who he was, There was little room for uncertainty as to how he felt; physically, philosophically, and politically. He was a doer and always busy with projects, building fountains, and retaining walls in the lake, hanging swings for the grandchildren, searching for the perfect fig tree, thinking of creative ways to tease people by sending them black roses or mullet in the mail, but always, always, always making food. Bob had many loves; Janet, Thanksgiving, time with family and friends, the outdoors, being on the water, hunting, fishing, scalloping, E.W., going for a drive, watching the leaves change, biscuits, Conecuh sausage, fig trees, Royal Reds, Dale’s sauce, sending friends gifts in the mail, or just checking in. Among his most beloved was a cherished inner circle of friends. Whether it was sending the season’s first new potatoes to his mother-in-law Coo, visiting his scuba buddy Mary S., shooting the breeze with Catherine’s college friends, clandestine pie baking for Anna Catherine, making banana bread for Kim, sharing figs with Ruby, the awe with which he looked at Mary Lamar and new great granddaughter Taylor, making 250 jars of Dewberry jam for Anna Catherine’s wedding, sending his last batch of toasted pecans for Tara’s baby shower or rooting for Alexa Guarachi like they were kin. Bob found great joy in teaching others. Children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends, Bob showed then how to; bait a hook, shoot a deer, fry a turkey, bake a pie, and fry okra, among other things, putting forth a special effort to ensure that he passed on the lessons of his life to the next generation. His seat at the table will be empty and his contribution to our greater enjoyment of life will be missed, his passion, life lessons, reverence of family and friends and recipes, both spiritual and culinary will live on. We are thankful for the 80 great years Bob shared with us and the individual way he loved us all.
Bob is survived by his wife, Janet McLeod Windsor of DeFuniak Springs, his daughters Ashleigh Lee and her husband Bobby of Huntsville, AL, Lisa Heberlein and husband Tom of Birmingham, AL and his son Greg Windsor of Destin, FL as well as Janet’s children, Chip King of Santa Rosa Beach, FL and Catherine King Matthews and husband Wilbur of San Antonio, TX. Grandchildren are Matthew Lee and wife Rachel, Patrick Lee, Jessica Heberlein, Kyle Heberlein, Cameron King, Carson King, Griffin King, Mary Lamar Matthews, Vance Matthews, Lee Matthews and one great-granddaughter Taylor Lee. Bob is also survived by his sister Barbara Mixon and brother-in-law Jim Arnold and many nieces, nephews and cousins who wil all miss their “Uncle” Bob. Bob was preceded in death by his parents, beloved sister Glenda Arnold and many cherished pets including Chipper and Babe, two well-loved dogs.
Memorials may be made in Bob Windsor’s memory to First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 9, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435 or The Florida Chautauqua Incorporated, P.O. Box 847, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM, Saturday, April 24, 2021 at First United Methodist Church, 88 Circle Drive, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435. Friends and family may go on line to view obituaries, offer condolences and sign the guest register at jerryevansfuneralhome.com
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