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Bob Purvis, yacht racer, restaurateur

Bob Purvis, the first manager of Isla Del Sol and a former ocean racing skipper, died Saturday (July 27, 1996) at Columbia Edward White Hospital, apparently of a heart attack. He was 82.

He competed in the first St. Petersburg Yacht Club sailing race to Havana in 1931.

His daughter, Linda Bennett, said that her father sailed in the Lipton races and the St. Petersburg-Havana races until Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba.

"His name was linked to many enterprises, including the original Wine House Restaurant on Redington Beach, where he was the manager," she said. "He also was a manager of the St. Petersburg Beach Hilton restaurant."

While a sophomore at St. Petersburg High School, he was a dancing instructor at Edith Kirkland's Dance Academy. He said he started dancing because he spent summers in Mountain Home, N.C., "and that's the dancingest state in the Union."

"When the Big Apple came along, I taught it to everybody down here," he said.

He played on the Green Devils football team at St. Petersburg High in the early 1930s.

Mr. Purvis was born in a house on the present site of St. Anthony's Hospital.

"That's where my granddaddy's farm was!" he said in a 1992 interview.

His daughter said that his mother, Ina Epperson Ritch, and his father, Jim Purvis, were Florida pioneers.

His memberships included the Over the Hill Gang and the First Christian Church.

Survivors include two sons, Robert L. Purvis Jr., St. Petersburg, and Rick Fleenor, Fort Pierce; two daughters, Linda Bennett, St. Petersburg, and Roberta Moss, Menlo, Kan.; a stepson, Jeff Poleteceque, St. Petersburg; two grandchildren, Rusty Driver, Sarasota, and Kelsey Moss, Menlo, Kan.; a nephew, C.

O. Ritch; and a great-granddaughter.

A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at R. Lee Williams & Son Funeral Home, 3530 49th St. N. Burial will be held at sea later.

_ Information from Times files was used in this obituary.

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