Robert E. Meale Born in New York City to parents just arrived from Bari, Italy, Bob rejected his father's wishes to fight for Mussolini and enlisted in the U.S. Army. Only 19 days past his 23rd birthday, in the predawn hours of November 8, 1942, Bob landed, under heavy fire, with other untested American troops at Fedala, near Casablanca, losing his best friend before reaching the beach. Four months later, Bob was one of 30,000 American troops who engaged General Rommel's panzer forces at Kasserine Pass, where Germany first deployed the terrifying screaming meemies, yoked mortar shells whose arrival was heralded by the sound of many women sobbing. After several days of pitched battle, in which 6000 American troops were lost, the Allies drove the Desert Fox into retreat and set the stage for victory in North Africa
Scouting the treacherous terrain of the Atlas Mountains on an Indian motorcycle, Bob struck a mine and was thrown into a tree, suffering a severe shoulder injury. Declared unfit for combat, Bob was reassigned to construction at the Cazes Airbase in Casablanca. Later, Bob joined the Allied forces in the occupation of Italy.
Honorably discharged in 1945, Bob put his recent heavy equipment experience to good use by becoming a sales trainee for Mack Trucks in Long Island City. He married Peg, who stood by his side for 62 years, and transferred to positions of increasing responsibility in Connecticut, where they had three children, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland, where Bob was promoted to Vice President, Great Lakes Region.
In 1968, Bob purchased a White and Freightliner truck dealership in Orlando, acquiring Volvo, Mercedes and Mitsubishi and renaming it Remco Truck Sales. Bob grew this business, as Central Florida grew, for the next 20 years until he retired. Living in Altamonte Springs, Bob was an active member of the Sweetwater Country Club and always one of the regulars of the Spring Valley tennis group. By retirement, Bob and Peg had moved to Sugar Mill in New Smyrna Beach, where they enjoyed golfing at the Sugar Mill Country Club and traveling to five continents, including a return in 1996 to Casablanca, where they landed at the Anfa Airport, which occupies the site that Bob had helped develop.
Bob fought the good fight against the implacable foes of time and disease, remaining, with Peg's heroic efforts, in their home in Sugar Mill until only a few days before his death. Finishing the race, Bob displayed the fortitude and quiet dignity with which he lived his entire life.
Bob is survived by Peg, his children, Bob of Tallahassee, Ken of Clearwater, and Vikki of Brookings, Oregon, eight grandchildren, and one great grandchild. All who have known Bob stand in mute honor of a man who advanced the causes of freedom, business, and self-determination and lived the good life while doing so. On this Memorial Day, we mourn the passing of this valiant warrior of the Greatest Generation.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to Halifax Health Hospice of Volusia/Flagler.
Private Family services will be held