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Robert Bellarmine Gant

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Peacefully on Sunday, June 26, 2011, Robert B. Gant, Sr. went home to be with the Lord. On Saturday, July 2, family and friends will unite for visitation from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. followed by a Christian Mass beginning at 11 a.m. at St. Peter Claver Church, 16922 St. Peter Claver Church Road, St. Inigoes, MD 20684. Interment is private.Robert Bellarmine Gant Sr. or “”Bobby”” as he is known throughout St. Mary’s County, was born in Dameron, MD on January 4, 1939 to Edward and Priscilla Gant. He was a lifelong resident and servant of St. Mary’s County as well as a lifetime, active member of St. Peter Claver Catholic Church in St. Inigoes, MD.Bobby was the youngest of 13 children. He received his education from St. Peter Claver Catholic School and Cardinal Gibbons Institute. After living in Baltimore for a brief amount of time he returned to St. Mary’s County in 1961 where he met the love of his life Dorothy Mae Shubrooks. They wed on August 24, 1963 at St. Peter Claver Church.Because of his work on his uncle’s farm cutting, picking, and hanging tobacco at a very young age, Bobby appreciated the difficulties associated with hard work and carried this appreciation into adulthood. During the early 1960’s, Bobby became the first African-American employee of Super Fresh Supermarket (formerly A&P) in Lexington Park, MD. Despite the difficulties and challenges working as the only minority in this position, through persistence and tenacity, within years, Bobby was voted Shop Stewart for the local union and eventually was promoted to manager of the frozen food department. Bobby retired from Super Fresh in 1991 after 31 years. After retirement, he worked for Pathways, MD State Police Barracks, St. Mary’s College, the Church of Ascension, and Mail Management of America; however, the position that seemed to bring him the most joy was his last position working with the employees and clients of the United Cerebral Palsy Organization.In his early twenties, Bobby participated in local “”sit-ins”” to help integrate public restaurants. In 1970, Bobby joined the Knights of St. Jerome which is an organization that was established in the 1800’s to help families of former slaves take care of the needs of their families. Today, this organization still provides services in the areas of human relations and civil responsibilities such as feeding the poor, providing scholarships for underprivileged students, and helping in the causes of human rights. Bobby served as President of this organization for many years. From these humble beginnings, Bobby began his life’s mission assisting the citizens of St. Mary’s County and his local community. From 1979-1988, he was a member of the Recreation and Parks Board. Using this as a catalyst, Bobby spearheaded the establishment of the 1st District Park, now known as the Cardinal Gibbons Memorial Park in Ridge, MD.In 1994, Bobby campaigned for and was elected to the local Democratic Central Committee. Bobby was also heavily involved in volunteering his talents through countless appointments to non-profit boards and community groups including:• Knights of Columbus • Community Affairs Committee Program Coordinator• Southern MD RC&D Board • Housing Authority Board • Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee• Community Development Corporation • St. Mary’s City Citizen’s Advisory Council • St. Mary’s County College Presidential Round Table• St. Mary’s County Economic Development Team• St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission (which he served as President)• Board of Directors for the St. Mary’s County Department of Social Services • First District Optimist Club• The Public Action Committee • Board of Directors of the Unified Committee for Afro American ContributionsHe also participated in a special community forum entitled “”What Counts””, sponsored by the Board of Education and the National School Board Association to explore the effectiveness and quality of the public school system. Some of his community service awards include: • Human Relations Committee Community Award• The St. Mary’s County Summer of Safety Appreciation Award • Induction into “”The Firsts”” Hall of Fame for the Institute of Human Growth and Development • Recognition Award for Outstanding Contributions to the History & Development of St. Mary’s Co • St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission’s Black History Month Certificate of Recognition • Maryland General Assembly Citation• Governor’s Citation • Knights of St. Jerome Certificate of Recognition Bobby has also been featured numerous times in the Enterprise and Washington Post for his many contributions. In addition, he was featured on Maryland Public Television in a documentary called “”But Now When I Look Back”” based on a book by author Andrea Hammer. This book can be found in the Library of Congress with many of its photographs, including those of Bobby as a child in St. Mary’s County, housed in the National Archives. Bobby leaves to cherish his memory his beloved wife Dorothy Gant; 7 daughters: Cheryl Branch, Ramona Hopps, Robin Jackson, Carmel Ziemski, Kathie Gant, Trina Eley, and Margie Dyson-Jordan; 1 son: Robert Gant Jr; 5 son-in-laws: David Branch, Keith Hopps, Douglas Jackson, Michael Ziemski, and Victor Eley; 1 daughter-in-law Dawn Gant; 19 grandchildren: David Branch III, Jessica Branch, Dominic Branch, Nandi Hopps, Keith Hopps II, Christian Gant, Jabari Jackson, Simone Jackson, Jesse Gant, Shikerra Lewis, Malisha Eley, Victor Eley Jr., Robert B. Gant III, Joshua Gant, Seth Gant, Daniel Gant, Alisa Gant, Deangelo Jordan, Tyesha Jordan as well 4 great-grandchildren; 3 sisters: Evelyn Peterson, Dottie Bettis, and Hortense Hubbard, 1 brother Richard Gant; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents Edward and Priscilla Gant, brother Judson Kenneth Gant, sisters Margaret Barnes, Charlotte Ann Reid, Elizabeth Taylor and Mary Alma Gant.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Terry Cutchember says:

    To Gant Family: Extending my heartfelt sympathy and prayers during this sorrowful time. God Bless.

  2. Marva (Chase) Glover says:

    To Grant Family our warmest condolences on your loss. Our thoughts and prayer are with you. God Bless!

  3. Ramona Hopps says:

    1 year, 4 months, 2 days. . .missing daddy.

  4. Anonymous says:

    To the Gant Family, I am so sorry to hear about your loss, hold on to God unchanging hand he will see you though, May God Continue to Bless the Family, especially at this time. Juanita Sewell (Lexingon Park, MD)

  5. Helen Dorsey says:

    Dot and family. So sorry to hear of your loss. The thoughts of many are with you at this time of sorrow. When I think of Bobby there was always a smile and kind word. He will be missed by many but his spirit will live on.

  6. Jessica Branch says:

    I miss you more each day, Granddaddy. I love you, always.

  7. VENIE BETTIS says:

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