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Updated: 10/21/2013 03:30:04PM

Robert Owen Burns

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Robert Owen “Bob” Burns, 56, of Port Charlotte, Fla., passed away suddenly Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, in Port Charlotte.

He was a man of many parts, a soldier, a natural mechanic, a hugely talented welder, and finally a Registered Nurse of some note. Robert was born the 3rd of July, 1957 in Dearborn, Mich. He joined the U.S. Army in 1976, and served honorably as a track vehicle mechanic and Paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division (All American).

Upon his discharge from the Army, Bob joined his parents in Colorado working as a mechanic at the family owned service station business in Boone, Colo. He earned an associate degree in welding from Pueblo Community College. During this time, Robert also married his high school sweetheart, Karolyn Hassel. Robert spent a number of years working as a welder in the construction and manufacturing trades. Robert and Karolyn welcomed the birth of their son, Robert Jr. who is currently attending Wayne State University studying a Pre-Med track.

Bob also spent many years wrestling with his personal demons. In 2001, he joined his mother in Florida. Robert managed to slay his demons and turn his life around, graduating with honors from Edison State College, earning a degree in nursing. He spent the intervening years working as an Oncology RN, primarily at Fawcett Memorial Hospital, where he was extremely popular with patients, their families and his co-workers.

Robert leaves behind his mother, Virginia; ex-wife, Karolyn (nee Hassell); son, Robert Jr.; sister, Betty Costello; brothers, William and Harold; numerous cousins; and his special friend, Bettemarie Judy. He was preceded in death by his father, William “Bill” Burns in 2000.

Visitation will be held from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, with military honors and funeral services to follow at 2 p.m. at Roberson Funeral Home, Port Charlotte Chapel. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Robert’s name are suggested to a local Veterans Service Organization or Veterans Charity of choice. Friends may visit online at to sign the guest book and extend condolences to the family.

Arrangements are by Roberson Funeral Home & Crematory, Port Charlotte Chapel.

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