Robert “Bobby” Anthony Citrini, aged 75, died October 10, 2009 of complications from pneumonia at Duke Medicine’s Hock Family Pavilion.
Robert was born in Durham County in 1934 to the late Anthony Miro Citrini and Joachima Berini Citrini. Through the years, he enjoyed working in various venues, including: construction sites with his father, the Coca-Cola bottling company, the Downtowner hotel, and the Durham Exchange Club. Robert was particularly proud of his 25- year experience with the Durham Exchange Club — where he made wonderful friendships with co-workers and supervisors alike.
Robert taught us much about the dignity of all human beings and how God creates us all with divine gifts. Robert openly shared his gifts of unconditional love, trust, vulnerability, patience, and joy with all those he met, and he had a particular gift of being able to live in the present moment — teaching us that the present moment with each other is God’s greatest gift of all. Robert talked openly about his faith in God, and he always looked forward to the day he would join his parents, relatives, and friends who had gone before him to heaven.
Robert’s greatest interest and joy on earth was building relationships with family and friends. He talked often of his love for his aunts, uncles, and cousins — both locally and in Kentucky and West Virginia. Robert also had a deep friendship with Mrs. Magnolia Bethea of Durham, who was both a good friend and helpful assistant to Robert for many years. Above all, Robert held a special place in his heart for his brother Richard — who, as Bobby’s primary caretaker for 27 years, offered Robert amazing brotherly love, friendship and commitment.
Robert enjoyed life to the fullest — particular interests included: UNC sports — he was a devoted Tarheel fan; Yankees baseball — he loved talking about the Yankees with Dale Cook in West Virginia; President John F. Kennedy — he has always been grateful to the Kennedys for promoting the interests of people with disabilities; and Durham Bulls Baseball — he loved going to games with his family and watching the post-game fireworks.
Robert is survived by his brother, Dr. Richard Citrini and sister-in-law, Sally Porter Citrini; 3 nieces and 1 nephew: Susan Citrini Furr and her husband, Shawn, of Clayton, NC; Christine Citrini Solomon and her husband, Patrick Solomon, of Marietta, GA; Carol Citrini Schenkel and her husband, Jeff Schenkel, of Oakton, VA; and Michael Porter Citrini of Raleigh, NC. Robert is also survived by 3 grand-nieces and 6 grand-nephews.
The Citrini family would like to offer a very special “Thank you!” to the loving team of healthcare professionals at Hillcrest Nursing Home in Durham. Robert benefited immensely from the love and support he received while calling Hillcrest ‘home’ for the past 3 years. The wonderful people at the Hock Pavilion Hospice Center were of tremendous support as well as during the final days of Robert’s life.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Handicapped Encounter Christ, 2647 Broad Oaks Place, Raleigh, NC 27603 or Durham Exchange Club Industries, 1717 East Lawson Street, Durham, NC 27703-5025.
Graveside services will be held 10:00 AM Saturday, October 17 at Maplewood Cemetery, 1621 Duke University Road, Durham NC 27701. A memorial mass will immediately follow the graveside from the Chapel of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service, 1113 W. Main Street, Durham, Father Dan McLellan, OFM will officiate.
Arrangements are with Hall-Wynne Funeral Service. Online condolences www.hallwynne.com