Sudden passing brings out reaction in Manatee County.
The area reacted on Monday to the death on Sunday of Bob Bartz, 65, the president of the Manatee County Chamber of Commerce.
"Our region lost a gifted leader," wrote the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance in a release. "Bob was a steadfast leader of the Chamber for 35 years and was a true champion of Manatee County and the businesses within it. We are deeply saddened by this news and our hearts go out to his family and the Manatee Chamber board and staff."
The Manatee County Chamber of Commerce released this statement, "We have lost a dear friend, valued colleague and selfless leader. His wife Vicki and son Jason were at his side. Our grief and confusion at this time are coupled with the deepest sympathy we have for what Bob's family must be feeling. Our hearts and prayers go out to them now and in the very difficult time ahead."
The Manatee Chamber of Commerce will provide grief counseling to its employees.
The release also said, "Their entire family needs our prayers and support during these very difficult times, as does our entire Chamber family. Bob's impact and influence on so many people and this community is immeasurable."
The State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota released the following statement, "The State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota community is saddened by the passing Bob Bartz. As President of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, Bob was an advocate for education and strong supporter of the college. He made immeasurable contributions to our region and his leadership and friendship will be greatly missed."
Congressman Vern Buchanan also released a statement, "Bob’s leadership and positive contributions to our community span decades. In that time, he made Manatee County a better place for business, for residents and for visitors. Bob exemplified the spirit of public service and will be missed.”
Bartz became Chamber president in 1982.
Brown & Sons Funeral Home, 604 43rd St., W., Bradenton, will host a visitation from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. The funeral will be Friday at Saints Peter & Paul the Apostles Catholic Church, 2850 75th St., W., Bradenton. The service begins at 2:30 p.m. A celebration of life will be held at 2:30 p.m., Friday at the Bradenton Country Club, 4646 9th Ave. W., Bradenton.