Obituary of Robert William Bettinger
Robert William (Bob) Bettinger died Tuesday, January 22, 2019 in Sun City Center, Florida at the age of 84. Bob was born February 2, 1934 in Dayton, Ohio. He was an active Coast Guard (CG) member in the mid-1950’s and was stationed aboard the USCGC Gresham, patrolling the pacific and maintaining station at Ocean Station November. He was recalled to active duty for the Cuban Missile Crisis, spending several weeks boarding ships. He joined the CG Reserves in the late 1960’s and was involved in the Mariel Boat Lift for several weeks. He was also a member of Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 75 in Apollo Beach. He loved the CG and always thought of himself as a “Coastie.” He retired as a Captain from the Tampa Fire Department, spending several years as the master of the Department’s fireboat. He was an active member of the Tampa Sailing Squadron teaching Sea Scouts, youth sailing, etc. He loved sailing and boats were his life. He is survived by his wife, Ruth Bettinger, and his daughter, Carol Bettinger. He is predeceased by his son, Mickey, who was in the active Coast Guard when he died. They were both sailors at heart and had “salt water” in their veins. His mass will be Saturday, February 9th, at 11:00 a.m., at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Ruskin, FL and his burial will be at Hillsborough Memorial Gardens. There will be a “Celebration of Life” on Sunday, February 10, 2:00 p.m., at the Tampa Sailing Squadron in Apollo Beach, FL. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Tampa General Hospital Burn Unit, www.tgh.org/services/burn.