Robert “Bob” Lee Bodart

by Lynn McMillen
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Robert “Bob” Lee Bodart, 87, of Huntsville, Alabama, passed away peacefully on Saturday, April 6, 2024. Throughout his life, Bob traveled extensively making friends, and building lasting relationships. Those that came to know this wonderful man enjoyed his caring personality and lighthearted, jovial wit.

Bob was born June 16, 1936, in Westville, IL, the son of Ruth and Victor Bodart. His parents preceded him in death. He graduated from Westville High School, where he excelled not only in the classroom, but also in track and field where he held several records. He then spent four years in the United States Air Force, as an airman 1st Class. He attended and graduated from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, IL, where he received a bachelor’s degree in business and finance. One of his favorite pastimes while in college was sharing coffee with professors in their homes after Sunday night suppers, where they enjoyed debating with each other and challenging the status quo. He went on to complete the Executive Corporate Financial Management course at Harvard University. This experience gave him the opportunity to spend time with his Uncle Jack who had been a professor at both Harvard and Columbia. Ultimately, these experiences laid the foundation for a lifelong passion of business and finance.

After a short stint in Kankakee, IL, as a bank officer, he moved with his family to Long Island, NY where he began his career with Armor Elevator Company. From there, Armor moved Bob and his family to Louisville, KY where he assumed the position of CFO. After 17 years with Armor, who had been acquired by the Kone Corporation, Bob embarked on his next career venture purchasing Dykes Restaurant Supply in 1988 (from Cliff and Frank Dykes) in Huntsville, AL. He was a hands-on, creative businessman who was highly respected by his employees and in his community. As CEO/Owner of Dykes, he successfully grew the company in Huntsville and Nashville, TN. He continued the expansion of the business by opening an additional office in Louisville, KY. Bob held a deep, customer-forward mindset that was ingrained in the DNA of Dykes Foodservice Solutions, Inc. This mindset was shared by his work family, which he loved dearly. Over the past few years Bob handed the reigns of the company over to his son, Brock, and business partner, Fran Spinelli, to continue his legacy.

Above all, his greatest passion was his family and his love of horses and planes (lifelong hobbies he shared with his brothers Ron and Vic, Jr.). He enjoyed flying his plane when his children were small for weekend outings. He owned multiple horses he rode recreationally, while also venturing into quarter horse racing across multiple states. He loved the outdoors and enjoyed entertaining his grandchildren on his farm riding horses and Go-carts. He was “Poppy” to his loving grandchildren.

He is survived by his son, Brock L. Bodart (Alissa); his brothers, Ronald Bodart and Victor Bodart (Lynn); his son-in-law, Erik Furlan; his grandchildren, Justin Wagner (Emily), Andrew Wagner, Rhodes Bodart, Rollins Bodart, and Ella Grace Dillard; his great-grandchildren, Shepard and Copeland Wagner; along with his many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his loving daughter, Angela Bodart Furlan.

A “Celebration of Life” is being planned on Thursday, May 2nd, 2024, at Laughlin Service Funeral Home at 2320 Bob Wallace Ave SW, Huntsville, AL 35805. Visitation will be from 3:00PM to 6:00PM, with the service at 5:00PM.

 

Additionally, a small cemetery service will be held in Bob’s hometown of Westville, IL with the date, time, and location to be announced later.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to LUNGevity, P.O. Box 754, Chicago, IL 60690. All donations should reference “In honor of Angie Bodart Furlan” (Bob’s beloved daughter) and will be earmarked for lung cancer KRAS research.

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