Robert Emmett Sebrell. Photo by Nancy Sebrell

Former islander Robert (Bob) Emmett Sebrell, 68, of Powells Point, NC died Jan. 4 in Windsor Senior Living, Richmond, Virginia.

He was the husband of Nancy Sebrell.

Born Sept. 21, 1950, in Charlotte, Bob attended public school until high school, and then attended Woodberry Forest Prep School in Virginia, where he played football and was in the Turtle Society.

He graduated in 1972 from UNC Chapel Hill where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

Throughout his life Bob always loved to fish. His mother shared her love of fishing when Bob was young and taught him to catch and clean fish.

After several banking jobs, Bob moved to Ocracoke Island in 1988 and bought Tradewinds Bait and Tackle Shop, which he and his wife Nancy ran for 18 years.  They thrived in the fun and hard-working life at Tradewinds. Bob served on the board of the Ocracoke Invitational Surf Fishing Tournament for many years.

Bob’s family and friends will always remember his great sense of humor, his laugh, and his love of adventure.

Bob had several brushes with danger, once being swept off a skiff while drum fishing in the Ocracoke Inlet at night. He was carried out to sea holding only a small life buoy and was found several hours later. Another time, off the coast of Australia, Bob was on a dive boat which took on water and sank before his eyes from the water. He and other divers were rescued by helicopter.

Bob and Nancy retired several years ago and moved farther up the Outer Banks. Bob worked with Home Depot where he made many friends. Bob and Nancy continued to enjoy fishing, looking for sea glass and just being together.

Bob is survived by his wife Nancy, and three children: Ashley Sebrell of Raleigh and Rob Sebrell of Asheville, whose mother is Debbie Skinner of Rocky Mount; and Gene Perry of Nags Head, whose dad was Melvin Perry of Colerain, NC.

Also, three siblings: David Sebrell of Ashland, Oregon, Alice Sebrell of Asheville, and Ann Ehringhaus of Ocracoke Island and Carrboro. 

A celebration of Bob’s life will be held on the Outer Banks in the spring. Memorial donations may be sent to Ocracoke Health Center, P.O. Box 543, Ocracoke, NC 27960, or Eastern NC Alzheimer’s Foundation, 5171 Glenwood Ave, Suite 101, Raleigh, NC 27612.

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