Mr. Robert Sutton Rainey
March 13, 1935 – June 4, 2022
Mr. Robert Sutton Rainey, age 87, of Redington Shores, FL passed away on Saturday, June 4, 2022. Robert was born March 13, 1935.
Robert was known as Rob or Robbie by his family and later in life he was known by his family and friends as Bob. He was a very friendly and contemplative person whose primary focus was taking care of his family. He loved his wife, Judy Coady Rainey, and spending time with family and particularly taking his children and grandchildren on nature hikes and to the movie theater. He knew all the names of the trees and he always espoused ‘live and let live’ encouraging his children and grandchildren to enjoy nature but to leave it as they found it. He also enjoyed astronomy and knew the names of the planets, stars and constellations. Bob was trained to play the trumpet in his high school orchestra and band. He also learned to play the piano and enjoyed spending time playing the piano throughout his life. He was diligent in doing research and he studied the markets and managed his own investment portfolio throughout his life. He was an advocate for saving money and investing wisely. He used to say he had to do this so he could afford his wife. He enjoyed and was known for jesting with and pranking others.
Bob attended Upper Arlington High School in Ohio and was active in track, cross country and swimming until his family moved to San Diego, CA where he graduated from Herbert Hoover High School in 1953. He attended Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute and studied engineering. He also ran cross country in college and pledged Zeta Psi fraternity.
Bob worked as an engineer at the NASA Michoud facility in New Orleans, LA where the first stage (S-1C) booster of the Apollo moon rocket was being built and later adapted and used for the Saturn V rocket. He met his wife, Judith, there who was a clerk in the same facility. Bob was favored by Judy’s mother, Marie Heitler Jordan, and on February 9, 1964 Bob married Judy at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of New Orleans. They had three children Kimberlee, Scott and John who were all born in New Orleans. Bob and Judy were also blessed with three grandchildren Kieran, Taryn and Coady and two step-grandchildren Timmy and Kasey.
In 2018 Bob had a heart attack at Kennedy Space Center when he was visiting with his granddaughters so he could share how he and their grandmother had helped to build the Saturn V rocket. He rode in the NASA ambulance to the hospital and had a defibrillator and pacemaker placed in his heart. He had a stroke in September 2021 and a challenging recovery which caused him to go into a rehabilitation center in October but he really wanted to be home. He returned home in January and his son Scott moved in to take care of him full time except when Kimberlee would come every two weeks so he could go to his home in Orlando. He became bedridden and was transitioned to home hospice care at Easter. He died peacefully in his home with Kimberlee and Darling by his side.
Robert is preceded in death by his mother, Beatrice Houts Rainey; his father Franklin Thomas Rainey and his wife Judith Coady Rainey. We pray for the repose of their souls. He is survived by his children Kimberlee, Scott and John; and his grandchildren Kieran, Taryn and Coady; and his step grandchildren Timmy and Kasey and his brother Richard Rainey.
A visitation and celebration of life for Robert will be held Saturday, June 18, 2022, from 9:00 – 10:30 AM with a prayer service beginning at 10:30 at Garden of Memories Chapel 4202 E Lake Avenue, Tampa Florida. A short procession to the graveside service will take place at 11:00 AM from the Chapel to Myrtle Hill Cemetery and burial immediately following.
The family would like to request in lieu of flowers that a donation be made in memory of Robert S. Rainey. Donations made on this page will go to The Catholic Foundation of Central Florida, where Robert was a founding member of the St Katharine Drexel Society. The Catholic Foundation partners with donors to fund God’s work in serving the spiritual and corporal needs of our community and advancing the ministries of the Church in Central Florida. Information on additional organizations supported by Robert can be found in the full obituary linked above.