MARCO ISLAND — Marco Island community friend and activist Robert “Bob“ Stakich, 88, died early Tuesday morning after a brief illness.
Stakich was born on Dec. 1, 1920 in Cleveland, Ohio and was a WWII veteran having served as a captain in the Infantry. His decorations included earning the Bronze Star.
In Northeast Ohio, Stakich was involved in the construction business and worked with such builders as George Steinbrenner and plaza developer Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr. He was also a longtime developer of assisted living facilities in Cleveland. On Marco, he developed Angler’s Cove condominiums and chaired the committee to initiate the construction of San Marco Catholic Church — where he served as usher for the 5:30 p.m. mass for many years.
Stakich was preceded in death by his wife Terri — who owned a high-end gift shop in Naples. Bob and Terri lived in Hideaway Beach before she died in 2002. The couple had a son and daughter, grandchildren and locally a niece. Stakich also recently lost a brother who lived in Cape Coral.
Upon Stakich’s arrival to Marco he became immediately involved in community building and affairs of the island and the Greater Marco YMCA.
Among his many contributions to the community, Stakich served as past president of the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce, was a life trustee, board emeritus and past president of the Greater Marco YMCA, and enjoyed longtime membership in the Noontime Rotary Club.
He was also 1993 Naples Daily News Citizen of the Year.
Mel Ollman, a longtime friend of Stakich, called him a great man and a good friend who will be missed by all in the community.
“Bob loved Marco Island: Its people, his church and the children here,” said Cheryl Ferrara, former Eagle publisher and longtime friend.
“He never failed to look for the best in people and find common ground in solving problems. He was a consensus builder and a true friend.
“Bob was a member of the Posse, a group of friends who traveled together and enjoyed each others company,” Ferrara said. “He was also an excellent card player. When he found Texas Hold’em tournaments, he found a new interest.”
According to Fr. Pat Boyhan, a Posse member who spent seven years at San Marco Catholic Church, Stakich was planning on playing in a poker tournament on Wednesday.
“He already had amassed a good number of chips and was fifth from the top,” Boyhan said. “He will have to continue his game from heaven. He was a great friend.”
Hodges-Josberger Funeral Home is handling the arrangements, call 394-7573. Check marconews.com for updates.
Eagle staff contributed to this report.