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R.I.P. Bob Mervine

With a heavy heart and great sadness, I must share the following news with fellow Chow-hounders:

Orlando Business Journal Staff Writer Bob Mervine died today at about 1:05 p.m after a brief hospitalization at Florida Hospital Altamonte.

Mervine, 60, covered hospitality and tourism for OBJ since joining the staff full time in August 2001.

Prior to that time, Mervine worked as a publicist for Walt Disney World and for The Villages. He previously worked as a broadcast journalist as well.

In the years he was with OBJ, Mervine won a number of regional and state awards, including a Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade award, as well as being part of the OBJ team that won a Society of American Business Editors and Writers award for the 2004 hurricane coverage and its impact on local businesses.

"We are greatly saddened at the news of Bob's death, but want to thank all those in the community who phoned or e-mailed during his hospitalization," says Editor Cindy Barth. "We always knew Bob was a well-known figure about town, and we know he will be sorely missed by all those who had the opportunity to meet and to know him."

No details about funeral arrangements are available yet.

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  1. My thoughts and prayers are with the Mervine family and friends. We all know he certainly had an extended "family" here at Chowhound.

    2 Replies
    1. re: lauderdale75

      Many of us will feel we've lost a friend. I just harvested a lot of his tips for my sister who is off to Orlando. Very sad news, indeed.

      1. re: Pat Hammond

        Indeed - I posted only infrequently about Miami on the Florida board, but noted his many valuable and insightful contributions about Orlando. My thoughts are with his family and friends.

    2. Bob has been a longtime poster and the most active (and patient) poster in the Orlando area- always ready to help a newbie with yet another "where to eat around Disneyworld?" question.

      We'll miss you, Bob.

      1. Condolences to his friends and family. His loss will be deeply felt on this board. He was a wonderful writer with a wealth of knowledge. I felt like I was just getting to know him.

        1. What a loss, indeed. We'll miss you, Bob.

          My thoughts and prayers go out to Bob's family and friends.


          1. I'm so sorry to hear this news. My condolences to his family.

            1. I will miss you Bob. You were truly appreciated.

              1. I'm shocked and very sad. My prayers are with his family.

                1. Used his information about Epcot F&W Festival this past weekend and kept thinking how glad I was to have read about it from him.
                  Great sadness and my sincere condolences to his family and friends

                  1. I'm very sad to hear this news and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family. He will be greatly missed on the Orlando/Florida Boards - he always had great insights.

                    1. Bob, you will be missed.
                      Rest in peace, sir, and condolences to the Mervine family.

                      1. Bob helped me out on a trip this summer, and shared some memories of a long-ago local eatery we both knew, Mr. Dunderbak's. He was generous with his time and care on this board, and in life I am certain.

                        May God bless him and his family.

                        1. I am so sorry to hear the news. He will be truely missed.

                          1. How tragic and how sad. I only knew him through this words here at Chow, but I feel as if I'd lost a friend.

                            Fair winds and following seas Bob.

                            1. Bob , thanks for all of your help, I still had a lot of questions, but only asked as time, and money would allow, rest easy my friend.

                              1. RIP BOB!

                                Your many writings, contributions and insights are sure to be appreciated for years to come on this board.

                                My deepest condolances to your family, friends and loved ones.

                                1. Blue skies, Bob. We'll miss you.

                                  You shared your knowledge selflessly and repeatedly with waves of fleeting Florida visitors. Even when your newspaper readers took cheap shots at you here on Chowhound, you held your tongue and behaved with the utmost professionalism. We should all be so patient and generous with others.

                                  1. I was a huge fan of Bob Mervine through this board. When I moved to the Orlando area three years ago, I was full of questions and he had nothing but patience and answers for me. I always enjoyed reading his inspired postings here, and savored many memorable meals thanks to his recommendations and reviews. I even read his book, Orlando Chow: Restaurants for the Rest of Us, which is well worth reading if you live in the area or are planning a visit.

                                    In fact, it is one of his recommendations, the wonderful gelateria Il Gelatone in Orlando's upscale Thornton Park district, where I took my girlfriend for dessert on our first date. I always thought it played an important part in getting our relationship off to a good start, and I owe him my thanks for letting me know about it. I only wish I could have met the guy and bought him a drink at a good local watering hole. Bob will be missed by many, and my condolences go out to his family and friends.

                                    1. I am so sad to hear of Bob's passing. He was a true "hound" and his opinion is one I knew I could always trust. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family over their loss. He will truly be missed. Vayo con dios amigo!!!

                                      1. More details and some info on Bob for those who would like to know more.


                                        I'll miss his ready smile and the impish gleam in his eyes. Bob was a great person and a wonderful source of insight. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

                                        1. My condolences to his family and friends. I always had great respect for how Bob handled the questions and his general repertoire here in chowhound...


                                          1. What a nice man. A true bon vivant! My thoughts go out to his family and all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

                                            1. sincere condolances to his family. Bob will be missed.

                                              1. I am so saddened to learn of Bob's death. He was certainly one of the most prolific posters on this board, and always such a wealth of information. He will be greatly missed.

                                                1. If I became as sad as I did upon having read this news about Bob, I can only imagine the grief of those who knew him personally and loved him. Even though I only knew Bob through his posts here, I talked to my wife frequently about him as if he lived down the street. The fact that I will miss his presence on the Florida board seems incredibly petty when I think of how much his family must miss him. I extend our deepest condolences to all of you.

                                                  Just last week I was reading a thread which made me grow really fond of Bob. In it, all of Bob's talents are on display: his knowledge of various aspects of various foods; his sincere interest in helping others; his sense of humor and his inability to take himself too seriously; and above all, his courteousness. I should hope we have all learned something by his example.



                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: Noice

                                                    Thank you for your kind words. I have looked to this board in the past few days for comfort, since it was one of the ways I stayed connected to my brother. I am heartbroken over this and will miss him more than words can say. Your words about him have been a comfort to me.

                                                  2. I only knew Bob Mervine from his web posts about Orlando area food. He seemed the most consistently knowledgeable of any person writing about Orlando's cuisine. He was also often amusing and his sunny disposition showed in his writing. I am sorry that I never had the opportunity to meet him and just found out now, when reading this board, that he had written a book on Orlando food. He will be missed and my condolences go out to his family.

                                                    1. Bob was my heart and soul and has been in my life since we were 12. We reconnected at a class reunion last year and have been together since. Chow Hound meant so much to him and he delighted in helping people find the best of food and wine. Thank you all for your kind remarks. Bob would have been so pleased...

                                                      6 Replies
                                                      1. re: Sally E

                                                        Sally, Can you send me your e-mail address? I wanted to personally express my condolences but don't want to do it here, so publicly.
                                                        Rona Gindin, Orlando Magazine

                                                        1. re: Sally E

                                                          Or you can reach me at rona.gindin@orlandomagazine.com.

                                                          1. re: Sally E

                                                            I attended services for Bob yesterday at The Peabody. I am sure you have received reports of the event by now. It was a bittersweet afternoon for all who attended,filled with tears and laughter and oh the stories! My heart goes out to you, the greif I am feeling is so intense over the last week and a half , I can only fathom your pain. You and all of Bobs family remain in my prayers. I cannot begin to advise you on how to move on ,but I have kept the tears back recalling the many wonderful memories I had shared with such a remarkable man. We must all relish the times we shared with him as every minute and every memory of it is so precious. As one of Bobs cohorts and fellow restaurant reveiwers, I can tell you I have felt his absense in my day for too long already! His e mails remain in my inbox, our schedeled upcoming rest.review days and discussions of menu items we would try, I still find myself referring to him in conversations when "needing to check with my source". Although I may have been among his sources in our industry, he was a source to all who knew him for much more then food and wine, he was a source for life and how to live it! He reminded us of how to embrace and enjoy each moment with passion, honesty intelligence, and caring. He has left a profound impression in the lives of all he touched. I hope we can cotinue to connect with Bob thru this site as it feels he is reading along with us, he would want to be at the pulse of it all you know! Much Love and Godspeed

                                                            1. re: forensicfoodie

                                                              Thank you for your kindness. My heart is shattered and I know Bob would want me to go forward, but, then again, I'm here and he's not. He was my heart.

                                                            2. re: Sally E

                                                              My deepest condolences, Sally.
                                                              Bob and I often talked about restaurants, especially in Daytona, where I live.
                                                              We just found a great BBQ joint over here and I was literally going to email Bob today to tell him to look for our review in the News-Journal.
                                                              You know how special he was; know that we all love him and will miss him.

                                                              1. re: Covert Ops

                                                                Thank you for your kind thoughts. Bob was a BBQ freak and we often compared NC barbeque (my favorite) with the real stuff (his favorite). Bob was my heart and soul and I can barely breathe without him. It helps to know how many people cared about him. I want him back.

                                                            3. I too only knew Bob through chowhound and feel as though I've lost a friend. I know we will all miss him terribly.

                                                              My condolences go out to his family.

                                                              1. Truely a great loss to mankind. Bob's ways/methods/patients gave the world of food here in orlando an almost zen, no, Jedi Like structure. Bob was our Obi 1 Kenobe. He will be dearly missed.
                                                                For all those who want to fallow in his footsteps or take on the roll of the one poster who everyone waited to hear his opinion before verbalizing theirs, please do so with caution and most of all Respect. That's what Bob would have wanted.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. I too am saddened to read of his sudden passing. His posts were wonderful and he will be missed.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: MysticYoYo

                                                                    I turn to Chowhound everywhere I go, and am planning another trip to Orlando so came here to get Bob Mervine's recommendations. I just couldn't believe that he has passed away. You have faceless personalities on websites like this who become your friend, your advisors, and trusted sages. Bob was such a person and although I never met him, I have had my vacations and business trips made so much brighter because of him. I know his family and close friends will mourn a person who I am sure was a wonderful man and bigger then life, but also know that the thousands who read his words will also mourn such a generous man

                                                                    1. re: cappie

                                                                      My Husband and I met Bob at a wedding earlier this year. We were lucky enough to be at the same table with him. He was a great conversationalist. After meeting him I began to visit his entries on this site. What a loss for Orlando and Chowhound.
                                                                      My condolences go out to his family.

                                                                  2. I'm a Brit and only came across this site a couple of months ago while researching for a trip to FL.

                                                                    I found here an ocean of incredibly well-informed people, but standing head and shoulders above the rest was Bob Mervine. Always ready with a fantastic idea, a sensational insight into food culture and notably, the definitive saveur of all things Floridian.

                                                                    I wasn't fortunate enough to chat with Bob but I could tell how much he meant to others. He provided me with dozens of great ideas and I'll eat in his honor when I get to Florida in December.

                                                                    My best wishes to Sally and to all who knew him. Bob was truly a great man.

                                                                    1. My condolences to the family. He was a great poster and friend to to those on the Chowhound Board. RIP.