Robert Earl Blenheim, age 73, national award-winning poet, writer, singer and film scholar of Daytona Beach, died from Covid-19 pneumonia on October 16, 2020. He was born on March 1, 1947 in Boston, Massachusetts and lived in Waban, Massachusetts until moving to Daytona Beach, Florida in 1959. Before graduating from Mainland Senior High School in 1965, he had written, directed and produced several student films, including “The Phantom of the Race Track” and “The Fangs of Dracula.” In 1999, Robert graduated from Daytona Beach Community College, where he also taught film appreciation seminars for over five years.
In 1966, Robert married Bernadette Jane Mirowsky and they had four beautiful children, which were Beverly, Laurence, Arthur and Katharine. They lived in Levittown, Pennsylvania and Millville, NJ for a few years before moving back to Daytona Beach, Florida. Eventually, they were divorced in 1985. It wasn’t until much later in life that he met the love of his life, Elsa Fung. Bob and Elsa were together for 10 years and had many adventures, including the trip of a lifetime going to Hong Kong together.
In 1986, Robert started working for the Daytona Beach Pennysaver as a typesetter, and eventually became the Special Publications Editor for the local Bike Week, Holiday Cheer and other special editions for the community. He eventually retired at the News-Journal in 2012 but he always stayed very active in his local community.
Robert started writing poetry in the late 1980’s. Over the span of 35+ years, he received more than 130 national and state poetry awards and in 1992, became the founder and president of The Live Poets Society of Daytona Beach, where he mentored many poets in his local community. He also served as president of the Florida State Poets Association and was an active member.
Through the years, Robert performed in several theater productions, with his most memorable performance as Ko-Ko in Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado” at the Sands Theatre in 2008. He loved to sing Karaoke, to entertain people and to make people laugh. He was not afraid to be silly.
While he loved his children very much, there was no denying how much he loved the arts.
His favorite movie director of all time was Sam Peckinpah and his favorite film was Peckinpah’s “The Wild Bunch”. Other directors he loved were Alfred Hitchcock, Guillermo Del Toro, Denis Villeneuve, Martin Scorsese and many more.
His favorite music composer was Gustav Mahler and his favorite piece of music was Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, which is also known as “The Resurrection Symphony”. He also loved the music of Richard Strauss, Richard Wagner and many others.
He loved to read and loved so many writers: Algernon Blackwood, Ray Bradbury, Charles Bukowski, Harlan Ellison and Bertrand Russell.
Robert is survived by his sister, Elise Barrett; his daughter, Beverly Coll, his son, Arthur Blenheim; his daughter, Katharine Daigle; five grandchildren; and one nephew
Robert’s remains will be buried at the Central Carver Cemetery located in Carver, Massachusetts, which is close to his summer childhood home. This is the same town where Robert’s father, Laurence Earl, gave a substantial financial gift that helped start the Carver Public Library.
For an invitation to Robert Blenheim’s online Celebration of Life, please email his son Arthur Blenheim at email@example.com. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Florida State Poets Association, The Live Poets Society of Daytona Beach or to the Carver Public Library.