Robert M. "Bob" Stanton, 84, died peacefully on Sunday, September 4, 2022. He was a prominent Hampton Roads commercial real estate developer and philanthropist whose vision changed the region's skyline and enriched the futures of so many.
Bob was born on April 27, 1938 in Portsmouth, VA to Charles and Margaret Avis Stanton. He graduated from Churchland High School in 1956 where he was a proud member of the Truckers football team that is still recognized nationally as the only team to go an entire season undefeated, untied and unscored on. He attended the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill on a football scholarship and later earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from the Norfolk Division of the College of William & Mary (now Old Dominion University) in 1961.
Bob began his real estate career with Goodman Segar Hogan, Inc. and rose through the ranks to become president of the company. During his tenure, he spearheaded the development of multiple high-profile real estate developments across the country. Local projects included Lynnhaven Mall, Greenbrier Mall, Lynnhaven Corporate Center, Harborview, Riverside Corporate Center and the World Trade Center. He also developed more than 30 retail centers throughout the Hampton Roads region.
After retiring from Goodman Segar Hogan, Bob organized Stanton Partners, Inc., focusing on commercial real estate investments in Virginia and North Carolina including 150 West Main in Norfolk and multiple neighborhood shopping centers.
A lifelong champion of his alma mater, Bob was an active alumnus of Old Dominion University, serving as rector and chairman of the institution's Real Estate Foundation and Real Estate Center. He was also chairman of ACCESS College Foundation, CIVIC Leadership Institute, Virginia Maritime Heritage Foundation (Schooner Virginia), USS Wisconsin Foundation (his father was a plankowner on the battleship), Greater Norfolk Corporation, and a director of the Norfolk division of TowneBank. He was a founding member of Town Point Club, Bayville Golf Club and the Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic Foundation, which under his leadership grew from a small gathering of a few wine lovers to an annual social event raising in excess of $2 million in a single day to provide higher education scholarships and career opportunities to youth in Hampton Roads.
Bob's business acumen and civic leadership led four governors to appoint him to serve on the boards of Old Dominion University, Virginia Housing Foundation, State Council of Higher Education of Virginia and Virginia Port Authority.
Bob received numerous honors throughout his life. Highlights include First Citizen of Virginia Beach, Virginia Jaycees Five Outstanding Young Men in Virginia, Tidewater Council of the Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Eagle Scout, Colgate W. Darden Jr. Scouter Citizen of the Year, Downtown Norfolk Council Downtowner of the Year, VOLUNTEER Hampton Roads Lenora Mathews Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Robert M. Stanton Chaired Professorship in the E.V. Williams School of Real Estate at Old Dominion University.
In all aspects of his business and civic responsibilities, Bob was an unwavering champion of women in the workplace and diversity was always a priority. He worked hard but had a playful side and cared deeply for people. His personal passions included golfing on the world's finest courses, enjoying the Lynnhaven River, offshore fishing with his family and dearest friends on his beloved boat "Tippecanoe," snow skiing in the Rocky Mountains, scuba diving and smoking fine cigars. Most of all, he loved his family, his work and his faithful dogs.
Bob is survived by his wife of 41 years, Eleanor; his daughter Allison McDuffie, her husband Duff, and their children Meredith and Stanton; step-children Jim Vail, his wife Mahala and their son Daniel; Charles Vail and his significant other Courtney Chalmers; and Mary Vail and her children Jack and Eleanor; and cousins Anna Wright and Kristen Taylor. He is also survived by his longtime business partner, Teresa Peters.
The family wishes to extend its appreciation to the team of compassionate caregivers who cared for Bob over the past few months. They include Dorlene Bryant, Paula Cash, Gerald Owens, Margarita O. and Tanya McGowan-Taylor. Special thanks to Jaime and Alonzo Gay and Trent Porter who were steadfast friends for many years and hold a special place in our hearts.
A memorial service will be held at Christ & St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Norfolk on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. with The Rev. Noah Van Niel officiating. Guest parking will be available at Ghent United Methodist Church and Ohef Sholom Temple, both located on Raleigh Avenue. A reception will follow at Norfolk Yacht & Country Club.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to ACCESS College Foundation, Robert M. Stanton Scholarship Fund, 2555 Ellsmere Avenue, Suite 110, Norfolk, VA 23513 or Old Dominion University, Robert M. Stanton Chair in Real Estate and Economic Development, 4417 Monarch Way, Suite 4113, Norfolk, VA 23529.
H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Virginia Beach Chapel, is handling arrangements. Online condolences to the family may be made at www.hdoliver.com.
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