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In loving memory of
Robert Birch
  • December 05, 1954
  • -
  • February 01, 2023

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Robert Birch, known as Bobby B to all of his friends, passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home in Fort Myers, FL on February 1, 2023. Bob was born in Fort Myers, Florida on December 5, 1954. His parents, Phil and Dorothy (D.A.) Birch, Aunt June Jones Birch, and Uncle William Birch, predeceased him. Bob leaves behind his brother Tom (Daniela) Birch; his only son Brandon (Ashley) Birch; his beloved grandchildren, Cooper and Aubree Birch; his niece and nephew, Alexander and Samantha Birch. Bob also left behind his longtime companion, Lisa Smith and her sons, Anthony, Michael and Jacob Smith; and the family dogs, Splash and Maggie.


Bob attended Fort Myers High School, Class of 1973, and Edison College. He started work with his father at Birch Seafood Company after school and became a Captain. He navigated many shrimp boats over the years traversing the Gulf of Mexico, which took him to places like Key West / Dry Tortugas; the Bay of Campeche; Brownsville / Corpus Christi, Texas; Mobile, Alabama and the fertile fishing grounds off Sanibel, Florida. Around 1985 Birch Seafood was sold in Fort Myers, FL. Bobby continued to Captain shrimp boats until the the early 1990’s when his last boat sank during a night of shrimping in Texas. Bob proceeded into the offshore charter fishing business where he worked until his untimely passing. He enjoyed sharing his love for the water and fishing with his friends and family. Bobby was a wonderful, easy-going soul that could tell a great story and was loved by everyone. May he always have “Fair Winds and Following Seas” and God by his side. 

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  1. Carolyn Spitzer says:
    11 Mar 2023
    Hey Bobby,miss talking to you every little bit. I know you used to call and talk about missin your mom,so now that your with her would you tell her hi for me. It was always wonderful taking care of your mom and you ,and I'll always be here for your family if they need me. Miss you,Bobby

  2. Jeannie Daniel says:
    26 Feb 2023
    My sister Lisa called me and related a dream that she had last night. She said that she was standing by a swimming pool, looked up and saw Bob. She said he walked toward her and gave her a big hug. Then he looked into her eyes and said, “I’m going away now.” Lisa replied, “Okay honey.” Then the scene faded away and she woke up. She said it was 4 o’clock in the morning; dark and silent. She said she knew at that moment that he was not coming back.

    Bob and Lisa were together for over a decade. They built a home together that reflected the wonderful history of the Birch family. Bob raised Lisa’s children and they loved him dearly. Her son Michael remained living in the house with them after the other children were gone. Michael and Bob were best friends and spent many hours perfecting all the projects Bob imagined; which made the yard a beautiful paradise.

    Bob was a kind, generous soul and a pleasure to spend time with. His pet raccoons come to the back door every evening looking for him. His dogs, Maggie and Splash, find comfort sleeping in Michael’s bed every night. Bob passed as gently as the shadow of a cloud. I am so sad that his grandchildren will not know him better. My whole family sends Brandon and the Birch family our heart felt condolences. Bobby Birch was truly a unique man and we were blessed to have had him in our lives.

    Lisa's Sister,
    Jeannie Daniel and Family

  3. John Polivick says:
    22 Feb 2023
    I met Bobby B twenty three years ago when I was looking for a captain to do ash scatterings in Ft. Myers/Sanibel. And he and I did many, many charters over these past years. We took families over to the Sanibel lighthouse for memorials.
    Everyone absolutely loved him. Including me. He was one of the nicest human beings to ever walk on this planet. I called him regarding a charter we recently had coming up but he didn’t answer. I knew something was wrong because he always returned my calls. Then I found out the bad news. What a gut punch. Bobby touched thousands of lives, and he left this world a better place.

  4. Krystal Stoddard says:
    19 Feb 2023
    What a shock hearing of your passing today! God called you home, I can only assume because he needed someone with such a caring heart. I know you touched so many lives. You came everyday to visit your mom until her passing over a year ago. Being her neighbor and seeing how much you cared and just seeing that you visited her everyday touched my heart. I imagine you’re happy and in a good place with your parents. Fair winds and following seas.

    My condolences to your family in their time of grief. May the memories of you bring them comfort during this time.

  5. Steve Nease says:
    17 Feb 2023
    You are truly my Brother Bob. We will miss your fun nature and smile. From the times we grew up together with the Aqua lane gang as kids we have had so many great times together we will never forget. . Thank you for being my friend You are missed greatly.

  6. Carolyn Spitzer lit a candle:
    17 Feb 2023
    Lit since February 17, 2023 at 2:15:36 AM

  7. Janice Nease Wittschiebe says:
    17 Feb 2023
    Dear Birch Family,
    With you, we will miss his smile, his funny laugh and way of talking. He was a unique soul who belonged on the water and seemed so at ease on his boat. He had a great life doing what he loved with clients and friends. We all should be as lucky. We celebrate him and his wonderful life.

  8. Bob Beasley says:
    17 Feb 2023
    Bobby B , Brother Bob as many of your beloved gang loved to call you…you will be missed by all especially me.

    You were like a brother to me for well over 40 years from the time I met you to our summers with the FMB Fleet shrimping in Texas going to Gilley’s and into Houston with your dad Phil to Fishing for Marlin in Key West to the first time I ever went Snow Skiing with you your brother Tom and your gang of good friends What a hoot ….you have been one of my best friends in my life .

    The kind of man that your Son and extended family’s can be proud of.

    Truly one of the nicest guys ever “YA KNOW “ lol

    Your untimely passing was sudden. I have to assume the good lord needed a Great Captain immediately.

    May God have your back now.

    Love you Brother !

    Linda , Jason and I send our sincere condolences to your son Brandon , Brother Tom , Lisa and all your family’s.

    “Time and Tide wait for no man.”
    – St. Marher, 1225

  9. Julie Riching says:
    16 Feb 2023
    You will live in my heart forever.! You blessed me with the greatest of gifts our son, Brandon I will cherish that always and forever be grateful. I have been thinking back to the time on the shrimp boat and how incredible that was. Bobby, you showed me things most people never get a chance to see or experience, and it was incredible beyond words. I know you and Phil are looking for that "green flash" so you can splashdown, enjoy one for me!
    Love, Julie

  10. Jodie Stout posted an image:
    15 Feb 2023
    Bobby walking through the mangroves checking out the boat after the hurricane.<br />
Strong as an Ox <br />
Piece be with you buddy
    Bobby walking through the mangroves checking out the boat after the hurricane.
    Strong as an Ox
    Piece be with you buddy

  11. Patricia Rich says:
    15 Feb 2023
    I love you forever Bobby B.
    I hope Kevin had an ice cold beer waiting for you.
    Your new wings will take you to undiscovered oceans... or anywhere you want.
    You are cherished by so many. You'll always have a spot in my heart.

  12. kyle lindsey says:
    15 Feb 2023
    Rip captain

  13. Billy Galewski says:
    15 Feb 2023
    Bobby, I know you’re sitting in your captains chair of the freeman , listening to Jimmy Hendrix ,one hand on the wheel the other on your knee, “shades” on looking forward , waiting for me to bring a Bloody Mary up to ya before we kick the tires and light some fires on some Florida reds! I know from now on ,everyday , you’re gonna be living your best day on the water. Watch over us …your friends and family and because I know we’ll see you again… “this isn’t goodbye , it’s “I’ll see you later Bobby”!

    All my love,

  14. Keri Hendry says:
    15 Feb 2023
    Thank you for saving my best friend ❤️ You have such a big heart, so caring for everyone and everything. You touched SO many peoples’ lives! May the four winds blow you safely home

  15. Robert “Mercury” Murray says:
    15 Feb 2023
    Journey Well my friend ! I’m so grateful to have had your friendship over the last 50 years. Can’t believe we just talked a few weeks ago, as we caught up on the State of the Union of SWFlorida after the storm. Our memories & time together on the Gulf of Mexico will not be forgotten. Deepest Condolences to your family. & all the crew members of “The Ship of Fools” Mercury

  16. Kirk Thompson says:
    14 Feb 2023
    Bobby B You and your father gave me opportunities no body would of never given 22 year old kid . I’ll never forget You Bob to many good times to mention RIP Brother!

  17. Mark Houghton and family says:
    14 Feb 2023
    Fort Myers Beach will never be the same without the Bobby B. We will miss you dearly, but hold on to all the great memories we shared over the years fishing together with my family. My dad always enjoyed being on your boat and we always caught fish. Bobby, you were such a kind soul and a hell of a captain. Our thoughts prayers are with your family. Rest in peace, my friend.

  18. Capt Bob Leisure posted an image:
    14 Feb 2023
    His last days working aboard the Bobby B
    His last days working aboard the Bobby B

  19. Lisa Smith lit a candle:
    14 Feb 2023
    Lit since February 14, 2023 at 2:08:41 PM

  20. Capt Bob Leisure says:
    14 Feb 2023
    From his many friends at Getaway Marina he will always have a place here in our memory after spending more than 20 years chartering his famous Bobby B from these slips.

  21. Lisa Smith posted an image:
    14 Feb 2023
    My love
    My love

  22. Lisa Smith says:
    14 Feb 2023
    Bobby, I love you beyond words. Your love saved me and your loss will be felt until we meet again. Although my grief is hard to bear, I feel your presence of love surrounding me, and can see your smile in everything, telling me it's going to be alright. Now catch that northeast wind my friend, and sail on smooth waters. Lisa

  23. Pedro Ruiz says:
    14 Feb 2023
    Bobby, I'm sure going to miss you my friend. You where a great mentor and I will carry your torch out in the sea. I guess you are now with your mom and dad whom you always took the greatest of care.

    Take care my friend

  24. Jodie Stout says:
    14 Feb 2023
    Jodie Stout
    Captain Bobby B shall be missed
    Never forgotten one of the good ones. I will retain the experience i have picked up for many years to come knowing him as will anyone who has known him.
    Rest in Piece Bobby. We’ll see you out there in the seas from time to time I’m sure of it.

  25. Kim Propp says:
    14 Feb 2023
    My thoughts and prayers are with the family. Bobby was such a gentle soul, having just seen him at another service this is still a shock and I know the family is having a hard time. Brandon you have so many great memories to hold on to and forever cherish and I know that can't fill the void but he will always be your guardian angel and at your side. He had so many friends that will forever miss him, I know I will always hear that little chuckle of his. Gone but not forgotten RIP -

  26. Mike Monge posted an image:
    14 Feb 2023
    Bow fishing with Captain Bobby offshore while filming a TV Show.
    Bow fishing with Captain Bobby offshore while filming a TV Show.

  27. Mike Monge says:
    14 Feb 2023
    We loved you Bobby! Your legacy now lives on in Brandon and his beautiful family! You were a big part of SW Florida and it’s fishery. You will be missed. I will always cherish my times with you on the water! Enjoy the waters up in heaven and tight lines Captain!

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