Mr. Robert “Bob” Rutledge Tinker, age 85, of Dania Beach, Florida died on Monday, February 18, 2019 at his home with his best friend, husband and caretaker by his side.
Bob was born on August 20, 1933 in New Philadelphia, Ohio, oldest child to the late Charles Lawrence and Fran Rutledge Tinker. Following high school Bob enrolled at the University of Miami and earned a BBA degree. While attending UM, Bob was very active in water skiing, which would play a major role throughout his life. He was on the UM Ski Club and during breaks, Bob performed at many Water ski shows of the time. He also performed at the famous Cypress Garden water ski shows and at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri where he excelled at the sport and made the first of many records. Bob Tinker as they referred to him wore many hats of the sport, which included teaching people how to water ski. One famous person was Debbie Reynolds who attended with then boyfriend Eddie Fisher. Bob first went into the US Army where he served his first 2 years in 1957. After leave, he would continue water skiing. He even performed special military shows for the US Army. Bob also represented his hometown in Ohio at water ski shows, never to disappoint. After Bob went back into Service with the Army for 3 years, he was Honorably Discharged in 1963. Bob traveled to Europe for 1year where he took in the sites and saw about 85 operas. This was probably when his love for classical music began.
After returning home from Europe, like a fish out of water, Bob went back to water skiing. Eventually, Bob moved to New York where he worked for the welfare Department as a Social Worker for 5 years. It’s important to note that sometimes between military services, water skiing and full time work, Bob found the time to write a column where he was a critic of music for the Columbia Owl, a paper of the Columbia University of N.Y. After New York, Bob moved to Nairobi, Kenya in Africa where he taught English for a period of time and published an article in the local papers. He made his first performance on stage in Gilbert & Sullivan productions. It was when Bob was performing in G &S productions, he established himself as a specialist in Gilbert & Sullivan Patter Roles. His move to San Francisco would span most of his career, in total 25 years working as a social worker and spent most of his free time water skiing and setting records, which would become a major part of his active life. In addition, Bob performed onstage with The Lamplighters Music Theater, North Bay Opera performing in Gilbert and Sullivan Productions, as well as many other titled roles on stage. While in the Bay Area, Bob would meet his close friend Lorna Haywood while performing in a play. Lorna would become a world famous opera singer. The two had a lifelong friendship. Bob retired in 1996 from the City & County of San Francisco. Bob’s passion for theater gave him the insight to create his own theater company focused on G & S Productions. Following his retirement he relocated to Dania Beach, Florida in 1996.
During retirement in Florida, Bob had many loves and water skiing was at the top of the list. He was at the professional level and a veteran of the sport. He was actively involved in softball with both the senior men’s and the gay league, which he preferred more because it was more challenging. His nickname on the gay league was “Tink.” In 1998 Bob met Jason Duncombe at a pool party and in 2009 they were united in marriage. In between his retirement, Bob led a busy full schedule acting in many titled roles on the local stages for Curtain Call Playhouse, The Little Theatre of Oakland Park and his very own South Florida Light Opera Company, which he founded with Jason. Bob continued to ski until the age of 79 and played softball until the age of 81 when he was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Bob with the help of Jason did in fact live to see some of his bucket list goals come to fruition. Bob and Jason owned and operated “South Florida Light Opera Company” giving the people of South Florida and alike the opportunity to experience an Evening with Gilbert and Sullivan. Bob was an avid reader and wrote many short stories. He holds many accolades as a member of the Water Ski Association. Throughout his life, Bob met many wonderful people who became his lifelong friends. Many have departed, thankfully there are many more still with us.
In addition to Bob’s husband, Jason Duncombe he is survived by, sister and brother-in-law, Terrie and Sam Krantz and their children, Jodi and Justin; cousin Nancy & Dave Dietz, cousin Lynn & husband Efrain Padro, sister-in-law, Arlene Tinker and her children, Todd & wife Sue Tinker, Michelle Hegenberger, great-nephew, Mari.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents as well as his stepmother, Donna Jean Tinker; brother, Larry Tinker, niece, Amy, Cousin Barbara Haverman & husband Jim Cohee.
A public memorial for Bob’s life will be held at Mangrove Hall, 1200 Sheridan Street, Hollywood, Florida 33019 on Sunday, May 26, 2019 from 2:00pm –4:00pm.
Jason and Bob’s family invite you to attend and share memories of Bob while being serenaded by timeless classical musical selections as well as sampling some of Bob’s favorite Hors d’oeuvres and wine selections.
If anyone wishes to make a donation to one of the charities below in Bob’s memory, that would be greatly appreciated.
Paralyzed Vets of America: www.PVA.org or call 1-800-555-9140
American Red Cross: American Red Cross, PO Box 37839, Boone, IA 50037-0839
March of Dimes: Donation Processing Center, P.O. Box 18819, Atlanta, GA 31126
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.LifeCelebrationsFL.com
Life Celebrations is honored to assist the family with final accommodations for Bob’s life under the direction of McWhite FH.