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Father remembered as music man

Robert C. Shurts was the music man. At least to his daughter, Karen Peterson, who remembers music constantly coursing through the house, her father writing tunes and adding to his collection of swing and jazz.

"My dad was so talented," Peterson said recently. "He studied music, he composed music, it was all over his house."

Mr. Shurts, 77, died Jan. 7 at home. A memorial service will be held at the VFW Temple Terrace, Post 10140, on Saturday, Jan. 31 at 2 p.m. It is at 8001 N 40th St.

Mr. Shurts was born in Jersey City, N.J. He served briefly in the Army Air Forces and went to broadcasting school, Peterson said.

Mr. Shurts worked as a disc jockey and program director in various markets including Rogers City, Mich., Cincinnati, and Daytona Beach. The family settled in Tampa in 1965. Mr. Shurts also worked at WFLA-AM 970 and WMNF-FM 88.5.

But he was never too busy for family. He'd often take his daughter to the radio station and made homemade invitations for her ninth birthday party.

"Bob loved people," said Arlene Shurts, who divorced Mr. Shurts in the early 1970s."We were always invited to parties, and his daughter is just like him. They would liven everybody up. Bob knew every word in the dictionary and knew how to use them. He had a way with words."

Since 1991, Mr. Shurts had worked as a part time driver for Cardinal Health, transporting medicines to hospitals and doctor's offices. Ron Fedeles hired him and said Mr. Shurts only missed a handful of days over the years, most often due to car trouble. And even then, he'd try to find a way to work.

"He was so dedicated to his job," Fedeles said. "And more dedicated to the people and the service."

Fedeles said the only time Mr. Shurts called in sick was the weekend before his death. He said he had the flu. Peterson said her father died from a heart attack.

Mr. Shurts is survived by his daughter Karen and son-in-law, Randy.