City of Jacksonville


December 26, 2010 - Jacksonville's 'Oldest Retired Police Officer' B.R. Witherington died on December 26, 2010

B.R. Witherington

Beaton Robert (Bob) Witherington, born in Waycross, Georgia on September 1, 1914. He moved to Jacksonville as a child, attended local schools and graduated from Andrew Jackson High School in 1932. Bob was 96 when he answered his final call. Bob joined the Jacksonville Police Department on August 16, 1946, and served in patrol assignments in the Norwood and North Shore areas. His last assignment was working in Municipal Court prior to his retirement on August 20, 1966 after serving 20 years and 4 days. He resided on the Northside for most of his life prior to moving to Mandarin.

The retired Patrolman proudly held the title of 'Oldest Retired Police Officer' for many years and wore out several 'Oldest Retired Police Officer' ball caps. It was rare to see Bob outside without his distinctive ball cap proclaiming his senior status. At the Annual FOP Retirees Party on November 10th, Robert was holding 'court' from his wheelchair near the main door, providing him with the greatest opportunity to speak with his fellow retirees. A man with many nick names, Bob was known by three generations of Jacksonville Police Officers. For many years he was a 'regular' of the Credit Union on payday Friday mornings, meeting and reminiscing with his fellow retirees.

Bob joined the Florida National Guard in the mid 1930's, was activated and was assigned to the Army during World War II.

Following his retirement from the Jacksonville Police Department, Bob joined the Security Force at the North Campus of Florida State College at Jacksonville, then known as Florida Junior College. He served as a Shift Sergeant at the College for many years prior to his second retirement.

Bob celebrated 60 years of marriage to Mildred in April of this year. He is also survived by his son Bobby Jr. (Nancy) and daughter Brenda (Andy) Graham, with three grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

May he rest in peace.