BAY COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) — The battle against COVID-19 has taken yet another influential figure from Bay County on Wednesday.
John Robbins was a former county commissioner and contributed to many local nonprofits throughout his life.
Those who knew him say he will be remembered for his big heart and caring spirit.
A visionary is a word used to describe Robbins. All who knew him worked with him and loved him say the same. Bay County Chamber President, Carol Roberts, says he was a kind soul.
“Just an amazing person and has had a huge impact on this community at all levels,” Roberts said.
Roberts said Robbins was instrumental in the economic development of Northwest Florida – creating a lasting legacy. He worked on projects such as the back beach road expansion, airport relocation, and the growth of port Panama City.
“You name it and John’s fingerprints were on it someway somehow,” Roberts said.
Robbins touched Bay County in so many ways. Throughout his life, he held the role of chairman at the bay county chamber of commerce, a county commissioner in the mid-90s, president of his own company Bay Solutions and much more.
Shay Catrett worked with robbins at Bay Solutions for 17 years and said John always focused on helping others.
“John was a tireless worker and a great advocate not only for Bay County but for the NWFL region,” Catrett said. “He saw the big picture and understood the importance of working with and helping the surrounding communities.”
The Bay County Commission released a statement from Commissioner Robert Carroll saying, “We are saddened to hear about the passing of former Commissioner John Robbins,” Carroll said. “He was a kind, well-liked, and compassionate man who served Bay County and his community well. Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.”
He leaves behind his wife Gail as well as his son and three grandchildren. Dean Randy Hanna of Florida State University Panama City said the family shared a passion for FSU.
“He never met a stranger,” Hanna said. “John treated everyone with the same level of respect and John loved Florida State University.”
Dean Hanna says Robbins loved helping others. One of the ways that showed was by helping to fund the university’s through the “Robbins Center for Success.”
The program helped students with technology, innovation and advising services.
“It would be hard to find a person who loved Bay County and the people of Bay County as much as John robbins.”
John Robbins was 74 years old.
Click here for more information on the funeral and how to send condolences to the family.