Mr. John Robert “Bob” Denny went home to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on August 14, 2020.
He was preceded by his father, Benjamin Creamer Denny, and his mother, Florence Dunwell Denny. He was born July 29, 1926. He was 94 years old. Mr. Denny’s impactful life is best appreciated for his unbridled optimism, nobility of character , and service to humanity. His genuine love of people is a constant source of inspiration and enrichment to all who knew him. A lifetime of service was instilled at an early age in the idyllic setting of Trenton, where his parents moved shortly after his birth in Carbur, FL. His father served in the trenches of France during World War I and served as Trenton City Clerk and Water System Manager for 18 years. His Mother led music and taught Sunday school for years at the United Methodist Church. The Dennys were Episcopalians, but the fact that there was no Episcopalian church in Trenton never impeded their desire to serve God and their community. Their example of service and devotion was deeply ingrained. Mr. Denny was the Trenton High School Valedictorian in 1944. Shortly after, he enlisted in the Army. Because of his astuteness, he was sent to the University of Alabama for specialized training. He completed training to fight in the Pacific at Camp Blanding, FL. Due to the Battle of the Bulge, plans changed and he was sent to Europe. He received numerous medals and distinctions and was still a teenager when the war ended. Upon returning to the United States and completing his term of duty, he enrolled in the University of Florida and graduated with a degree in Accounting. Subsequently, his professional training led to a position with the State of Florida Auditor General. He traveled the state frequently in his duties and fostered a deep love for and knowledge of his beloved state. He retired and continued to live in Tallahassee before moving to Gainesville in 2004 to the Oak Hammock Retirement Community at the University of Florida, where he was a founding member. He served in a variety of roles which included the Florida Council for the Elderly, Unit Historian for the 165th Engineer Combat Battalion, and the St. John Episcopal Church in Tallahassee. He was a member of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Gainesville. He was a descendent of Elias Naudain from Delaware and a proud member of the National Huguenot Society.
Mr. Denny is known and loved by all for his engaging wit, sense of humor, and fondness for positive interaction. Blessed with an incredible gift of gab, conversation with Mr. Denny was always time well spent. He was an avid world traveler and visited more than eighty countries. He visited Hitler’s bombed out home in Germany, climbed the dome in Florence Italy, the pyramids in Egypt, the Parthenon in Greece, the Colosseum in Rome, even the cave where it is believed the Apostle John wrote the Book of Revelation, just to mention a few. He was an incredible source of knowledge, though modest and humble. He loved history and wrote voluminous accounts of profound observations during his fascinating life. His publication Letters from Overseas is in the Library of Congress.
Mr. Denny loved laughter. He led a blessed life, and wanted everyone around him to be happy and fulfilled. He never disparaged anyone and saw the very best in everyone.
He touched so many lives in so many wonderful ways. He is survived by his adoptive family: Mr. Paul Locascio and family, whom he felt deep bonds with at church, Ms. Judy Locascio of Gainesville, Dan and Dawn Taylor, and their family of Bell, FL. He entered their lives after responding to an ad seeking World War II veterans to speak to high school students. He is deeply loved and will be greatly missed by his extended family at Oak Hammock and friendships the world over.
He will be interred at Forest Meadows Cemetery East on Friday, August 21st at 11:00 AM,
beside his mother and father. Arrangements are in the care of MILAM FUNERAL AND CREMATION SERVICES 311 S. Main Street Gainesville, FL 32601 (352) 376-5361 www.milamfh.com