Robert Alfonse Florio of Essex, Conn., formerly of Rye, N.Y., died on August 6, 2020, just a few weeks shy of his 84th birthday. Born on August 21, 1937, he was the only child of Katherine and Hugo Florio, who raised him in the Fort Schuyler section of the Bronx. Growing up in World War II era New York, his life was one of resilience, fortitude, gratitude, compassion, and duty.
In 1955, he graduated from Mount St. Michael High School, and, four years later, from St. John’s University, where he become a fine rower and advocate of the sport. He guided his own five children to national and Olympic prominence and mentored countless rowers in pursuit of athletic excellence.
For five years, Mr. Florio served honorably in the Military Police Corps of the U.S. Army. He distinguished himself while at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, where he was commended for “creative thinking and willingness to work long and hard hours… an outstanding display of unselfish work, devotion to duty.”
Mr. Florio was a specialist on the American Stock Exchange for over 45 years, and during his career worked, at times, alongside his father and his children.
He would see Wall Street evolve from the days of paper ticker tape to the digital age. Covered in the soot of 9/11, he watched the towers fall in front of him and then mustered the strength to return and become a beacon of strength and compassion to his many colleagues.
The foundation of the Florio family, five children strong, and 13 grandchildren stronger, was the extraordinary devotion of Bob and his wife Gail, who were married for 59 years. Together, nothing was impossible, and they lived out their dream of raising a large and loving family in Rye before retiring to Essex.
He chaired AMEX’s Fleet Week, a reflection of his duty to country and love of the sea.
The names he bestowed on his boats — Fidelity, Defender, and My Gail — not only defined his character but summed up the things that mattered most to him.
Bob Florio was a 60-year member of the New York Athletic Club, where he would often be found boxing and lifting weights. He was also a car and arts enthusiast. He enjoyed woodcraft and loved a good read; his youthful “last call” was finishing the Harry Potter series one month before his death.
His was a life well-lived and full of good deeds. He shared his unabashed joy of life, demonstrating kindness to all, and asking for nothing in return other than that those he held close strive to be the very best versions of themselves.
While having three generations seated at the holiday table, he would retell his well-embellished and much-loved stories. A man of exquisite taste, who knew and appreciated Medieval history and décor, he lived in many a “castle” in his lifetime.
The loss of the family patriarch leaves a huge hole in the hearts of his children: Robert Jr., Scott, Michael, Glenn, and Jennifer, who forever grateful for the love and guidance he bestowed upon them; and grandchildren: William, Walter, Annika, Aislinn, Kate, Glenn Jr., Carlyn, Peter, Trace, Cooper, Molly, Hadley, and Tillie.
His family said, “He gave us love, commitment, and irrefutable influence, something the world needs more than ever. Thank you for your beautiful life.”
A funeral mass was held August 21 at Church of the Resurrection in Rye.