Heilman's Beachcomber Restaurant Founder Dies
Robert (Bob) Edson Heilman Sr., 86, who founded Heilman's Beachcomber Restaurant, died Monday (Nov. 26) at Westchester Gardens Nursing Center in Clearwater. He was born in Elyria, Ohio.
Heilman moved to Clearwater Beach after completing his service in World War II. In 1948 he opened the Beachcomber; it has been operating every day of the year since that date and became the favorite of several generations of customers. The restaurant has been run by Bob and Sheri Heilman and Jack Herr for the past 20+ years.
Bob was elected to the Board of Directors of the Florida Restaurant Association in 1950 and became its president in 1965. In 1959, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Restaurant Association and became president of that organization in 1968. He as active in the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce and became its president in 1959. In 2005, he was honored by the Chamber of Commerce with its first Lifetime Achievement Award recognizing his contributions to the community for over 50 years. He served for many years on the Board of Directors of the Pinellas County division of First Florida Bank. He also served on the Board of Directors of Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater.
A memorial service was held Wednesday at Chapel-By-The-Sea on Clearwater Beach.
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