Robert “Bob” Mulcahy, 92, of Sun City Center, FL, passed away on May 23, 2023. He was a resident of Sun City Center for nearly 20 years and took great pride in his military background and his avocation, playing beautiful music on his Grand Marquis organ. Bob was born and raised in Malden, MA. He was a career military veteran, traveled and raised his family in the military.
After serving in the Massachusetts National Guard, Bob went on active duty in 1951, starting his career with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg. Bob joined Special Forces in 1958 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, with service with the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) and 77th SFG(A). During this time, he served a tour in Laos. In 1963, Bob and his family moved to the Panama Canal Zone where he served with the 8th SFG(A) with operations in Central and South America. In 1969 Bob went to Vietnam and served with the 5th SFG(A) MIKE FORCE. After his tour in Vietnam, Bob was transferred to Fort Devens, Massachusetts, and served with the 10th SFG(A) until 1974. Upon his promotion to Command Sergeant Major, Bob served with the 2nd Engineer Battalion at Camp Casey, South Korea. In 1975, Bob transferred to Fort Bragg to serve with an intelligence unit. From 1978-1981 he again served the 10th SFG(A) at Ft. Devens, where he retired as the Command Sergeant Major of 10th Group.
His many awards and decorations include The Legion of Merit, The Bronze Star w/Valor device and three Oak Leaf Clusters, The Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Medal w/Valor device (3rd award). Bob was also awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge and the Master Diver’s Badge.
Bob wasn’t just a proud military veteran; he had a caring heart, a great sense of humor and a keen sense of giving back to his community. After retirement, he served with the National Ski Patrol in Ludlow, VT. Active for the past 20 years, Bob moved to Sun City Center where he volunteered with the SCC Ambulance Squad and was also a volunteer diver, helping to clean the Tampa Aquarium, where he actually did swim with the sharks.
In Sun City Center Bob also participated in various clubs and organizations such as the Organ Keyboard Club, holding offices of president, vice president and treasurer and was a regular attendee and performer at club functions and for Fletcher’s Music events for many years. Recently, members of the Organ Keyboard Club reminisced about Bob’s passing, and several people mentioned he was the reason they are members of the Organ Keyboard Club and play the organ today. Bob went out of his way to make music lovers welcome and loved volunteering to play for OKC sponsored events for the Art Club and the Stained Glass show and other festivities. Per Larry, one OKC member said, Bob’s the reason I’m an organ player today. “I was an old accordion player; Bob came to my house “to teach” me how to play the organ. Per Marlene, at one of her first OKC meetings, “I was a piano player and was scared of playing the large Sterling organ in the Armstrong Club room.” Bob told her, “It’s just like playing a piano keyboard, only it’s split.” “It made a huge difference to how I approached the organ from then on.” Bob’s favorite expression when it came to music was “Don’t say you are practicing; say you are playing,” he would tell me, his neighbor. In his late 80’s and early 90’s, Bob could still be heard playing his favorite songs from Phantom of the Opera and “Memories” from the Cat’s musical from his home on La Jolla Avenue. At 89 years old Bob and his grand-daughter drove his decorated golfcart and real live organ in the community Christmas parade.
Bob was predeceased by his wife Nancy in September of 2016. He is survived by his son, Steve, and daughter, Susan; six grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. Bob will join his wife and is to be interred in Arlington National Cemetery at a future date. Donations to honor his memory were made at the SCC Organ Keyboard Club.