Bob Packer, co-owner of Irish pub, dies at 71By CRAIG BASSE
© St. Petersburg Times,
published November 29, 2001
ST. PETE BEACH -- Robert "Bob" Packer, co-owner and operator of the Harp & Thistle, a popular Irish pub, has died at 71.
Mr. Packer, who started the bar in 1984 with his wife, Patricia Ann, died Tuesday (Nov. 27, 2001) at home under the care of Hospice of the Florida Suncoast. He had Lou Gehrig's disease, his family said.
Born in Ypsilanti, Mich., into a family with Scottish and Welch roots, Mr. Packer came here in 1982 from Dearborn, Mich. He had been an engineer for American Motors.
Drawing on his experience with a pub in Detroit, he and his wife, whose family came from Ireland, opened what became one of the best-known Irish pubs in this area at 650 Corey Ave.
Mr. Packer was a member of the Eagle Scout Association, the USF Charles Sperry Association and the Engineering Society of Detroit. He was a Navy veteran. He was a member of the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle.
In addition to his wife of 50 years, survivors include four daughters, Laurie C. Hampton and Jennifer L. Packer, both of St. Pete Beach, Julie E. Harris-Zapytowski, Springfield, Mo., and Colleen O'Dwyer, Centenial, Colo.; a son, Michael D., Atlanta; a sister, Dorothy Kramb, Three Rivers, Mich.; and nine grandchildren.
E. James Reese Funeral Home & Crematory, Seminole, is in charge. A celebration of his life will be at 2 p.m. Dec. 22 at the Harp & Thistle.
-- Information from Times files was used in this obituary.
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