Robert Steel (Bob) Lafferty, Jr.
LAFFERTY, ROBERT STEEL JR. (BOB) 83, of Ft. Lauderdale, went to heaven peacefully on December 7, 2018, surrounded by loved ones. He is survived by his wife Joan Daniels Lafferty, his bride of 61 years. Bob was born on January 21, 1935 in Camden, New Jersey to his late parents Mabel ‘Mae’ Gladys Goldthorp Lafferty and Robert Steel Lafferty Sr. His family moved to Miami where Bob grew up attending Miami Shores Elementary School and Miami Edison Senior High School. He went on to graduate from the University of Florida where he majored in Mechanical Engineering and was a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity. Bob enlisted in the United States Coast Guard. He went to Officers Candidate School in New London, CT and served in active duty for seven years. At the completion of his active duty he returned to Florida where he and Joan were married. He resumed his 62-year career at Hill York Service Corporation, a mechanical contracting and refrigeration company founded in 1936, working his way through every position until he reached Owner, President and Chairman of the Board. During his tenure, Hill York was awarded the Nation’s top honor as National Contractor of the Year in 2000, and most recently, Bob was the recipient of the 2017 MCAA Lifetime Achievement Award. Bob devoted his business life to making the lives of others more comfortable. He ate and slept air conditioning and he always quipped that keeping your selling price greater than your cost was key to success. His lifetime priorities of Faith, Family, and Work, in that order, were truly where his heart lay. Joan and Bob enjoyed building community in Highlands, North Carolina where they spent most of their summers since the 1970s and even more time this last decade. Bob served his communities as a deacon of First Baptist Church of Ft Lauderdale and University Baptist Church in Coral Gables. He was a board member of Barnett Bank, past President and member of the Orange Bowl Committee, member of The Executives' Association of Greater Miami, member of the Rotary Club of Miami, member of The University Club, Palm Beach Atlantic board of trustees, board member of Highlands Country Club, and Chairman of the Florida chapter of Young Presidents Organization. Bob enjoyed cofounding the Highlands Country Club Men’s Bible Study.
He loved Golf. He was fortunate to have belonged to Miami Shores Country Club, Ocean Forest Golf Club, Sea Island Club, Lauderdale Yacht Club, Riviera Country Club, Highlands Country Club and LaGorce Country Club, where he was a Senior Club Champion.
Bob was a man dedicated foremost to following Jesus and trying to live his life serving God and telling others about Him. His family came next and he was much beloved and will be sorely missed by his wife, Joan, three children and their spouses, Kim Lafferty Etzel (Theo Etzel) of Naples, FL; Robert Wesley ‘Chip’ Lafferty (Mary Jean Gray Lafferty) of Ft. Lauderdale, FL; and Amy Lafferty Hsieh (Bill Hsieh) of Atherton, CA. He cherished and excelled in his role as 'Bobba' to eight grandchildren, Charles ‘Chad’ Etzel (Kim Sneed Etzel), and Kristen Etzel McDougal (John McDougal), Robert ‘Bob’ Lafferty, Steel Lafferty and Daniel Lafferty, Hannah Hsieh, William Hsieh and Charles ‘Charlie’ Hsieh; four great-grandchildren Macie Kate and Charlie McDougal, Nixie and Neo Etzel. He is also survived by his sister Ruth Lafferty Biel of Coral Gables, FL, his niece, Susan Hirschman of Coral Gables, FL and nephew, William Charles ‘Bill’ Hirschman and family of Nashville, TN. Known by many names...Laff, Cuz, Mr. Sweet, Bobba, Bob, Bobbalaff... he was loved by many and will be greatly missed. The family wishes to thank the dedicated caregivers from True Blue Home Health and Trustbridge Hospice. If you choose, donations can be made to any of these organizations that were very special to him: Palm Beach Atlantic University, 901 Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach FL 33416, Luis Palau Association, PO Box 50, Portland Oregon 97207 or Sheridan House Family Ministries, 1700 S Flamingo Road, Davie FL 33316.
His favorite Bible verse says much...Philippians 4:4-7. “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I say rejoice. Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
A celebration of Bob’s life will take place at 11:00 AM on Thursday, December 20, 2018 at First Baptist Church of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. at 301 East Broward Blvd. Burial will be private.