The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 15 No. 11 - January 7, 2015


The Colonel retires at 100

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story


Dozens of people gathered at Key Royale Club Friday
night to celebrate the 100th birthday of club matriarch
Robert Elliott, who was also celebrating his retirement from
his unofficial position as the person who opens up every day.
The Key Royale Club first opened in 1965 and Elliott
joined in 1969 with his wife, Bea, who was at his side
Friday night. Family friend Fred Miller choked up
as he spoke of Elliott, who was an active player well into his 90s.

HOLMES BEACH – Key Royale Golf and Country Club’s three closest parking spots are reserved for the ladies champion golfer, the men’s champion golfer and Col. Bob Elliott.

The champions may or may not be champions the next year, but Col. Bob Elliott has been there longer than the rest and has outlived most past presidents.

Col. Elliott, as he is known, was the center of attention last Saturday night at the club as more than 100 people gathered to celebrate his 100th birthday.

Born Jan. 2, 1915, Elliott sat in the corner with his wife, Bea, as people came up congratulate him. Elliott was also celebrating retirement from his volunteer position as the person who opens the door and gets the club ready for the day.

“I’ve known him since 1995, and when we got there in the morning, he would be there making coffee or taking care of the tournament money,” said Fred Meyer, who at 93 is the second oldest golfer behind Elliott. “He is very steady, caring and friendly.”

Elliott gave up golfing as he became dependent on a walker, but he still came in to open up the club.

“He never missed a day,” said Charlie Knopf, another golfer.

At the birthday celebration, family friend Fred Miller choked up as he spoke of his friend. The compliments came in during the evening about the way he cared for the club and the people

Club employee Al Cross said he was quite pleased to have gotten to know Elliott in the 18 months he has worked there.

“His was the first face I saw every morning,” Cross said. “He always had a nice smile and a story.”

Cross said Elliott was a wealth of information who loves golf and the people at the club. One other thing he loves is chocolate, Cross said, adding he and his wife gave him enough to last the month after the party.

Elliott is an accomplished golfer who won tournaments well into his 90s. He was also very strong.

“If he was 40 yards from the hole, he would use a putter to sink it,” said Meyer.

When Elliott walked over to the, cake, he blew out the candles to the cheers of the crowd. The people were happy for his longevity, but they knew they would miss him preparing the club for another day.


AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper