Robert "Bob" Wilson
Robert “Bob” Wilson, was a life-long resident of Brevard County and part of the iconic Wilmar Pastry Shop family.
Bob moved to Cocoa in 1946 with his parents, Willard and Margaret Wilson from Warren, Ohio. The Wilsons liked the warm Florida winters and felt this was a good place to have a “forever” home with their two sons, Willard Jr. and Bob.
Schooled by his father in baking and catering, Bob and his late wife, Vivian, along with his brother Willard and wife Pat, blazed a trail in Central Brevard for many years as the preeminent bakery and catering organization. Wilmar Bakery grew to four stores and served the Cocoa area for thirty years.
In the mid-seventies, as consumers leaned away from local bakeries and more toward processed and pre-packaged foods, the bakery business began to slow. At the invitation of Publix founder George Jenkins, Bob sold his share of the family business to his brother Willard and joined Publix to help establish their Danish Bakeries in the Central Florida area.
In 1979 Bob left the bakery business for good as he and Vivian bought the Fat Boy’s Bar-B-Que restaurant in Titusville. Bob would soon go on to open another location in New Smyrna where he lived for the next ten years. in an effort to leave the demanding food service business behind, in 1989 he sold his Florida restaurant and moved to Charlotte, N.C. However, Bob was an entrepreneur at heart and in 1995 moved back to Florida where eventually he opened a diner that would soon become a favorite to locals living near the Daytona Speedway.
For 40 years Bob always worked in and genuinely loved the food and restaurant business. In particular he loved sitting, conversing and joking with all his regular customers each day, as he got to know them and formed what would become long lasting friendships. Restaurant life was always in his blood and although it was tough at times, the personal side of it made it his passion.
In 2001 Bob retired, moved back to Rockledge and after a two year courtship he remarried the love of his life (his words) Vivian. They remained married and were each other’s best friend (again his words) until her passing in 2012.
Throughout his life Bob was always available to “fix” anything. He was the “go to” dad, brother, uncle and friend for his amazing skills as a carpenter, electrician, plumber and all-around guy you could depend on to help you with most anything. He always made himself available and seldom said no to any request.
Bob was preceded in death by his wife, Vivian Howard Wilson, his parents Willard and Margaret and his older brother Willard Jr and wife Pat. Bob and Vivian had three sons and he is survived by: Robert Jr, wife Kelly, Richard and wife Kimberly and Edward (Ted) and wife Shirley. Also surviving are six grandchildren: Ryan and wife Serena, Taylor, Audrey, Kenna, Ali Beth, Channing and step grandson Christopher as well as four nephews Willard III, Larry, Bob and Jim.