Robert J. Allegroe peacefully left this world for his next adventure on Saturday, January 27, 2024. He was 95 years old.
Born in October 1928, Bob was the son of the late Eric and Clara Kochanowski. While in high school Bob was a track star and the fastest sprinter in the state of Illinois. He enlisted in the Army where he was stationed in Panama and played accordion in the Army band, entertaining troops at the base. He attended the University of Illinois.
After leaving the University, Bob continued his passion for music and entertainment, opening a music store named Allegroe School of Music. He taught accordion to all ages and started a band called the One Plus One, performing nationally. Bob had the opportunity to play in many venues, including Al Hirt’s club in New Orleans, Seattle World’s Fair and the Las Vegas strip. He was also involved annually with the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon to benefit MDA. While performing at a nightclub at Geneva on the Lake in Ohio, he met Barbara Nims. They married in March 1958 and had two sons, Mark and Greg, both of Apopka.
Bob became a McDonald’s owner operator in 1972, operating multiple restaurants in Apopka, Forest City, Lockhart, Ocoee, Winter Garden, Clermont, Davenport, until retiring in 2018. He was an active community partner and member of United Methodist Church of Apopka. Residents knew Bob was on the roads, sporting “Big Mac” license plates, throughout the years. He could regularly be seen in his McDonald’s restaurants and knew most of his customers and community partners by name.
Bob’s commitment to McDonald’s was solid and throughout the years he received several awards, recognitions, and nominations including Chairman of the McDonald’s National Operators Advisory Board, Co-Op President, Leadership Council Chairman, Government Relations Steering Committee member, Chamber of Commerce member (awarded Businessman of the Year in 2011), Rotarian, Florida Hospital Board member, Partner in Education with local schools, Edgewood Boy’s Ranch supporter, Apopka Foliage Festival supporter, Sertoma member, and member of the Zoning/Signage Board Committee of Apopka.
Bob received two prestigious Ronald Awards from McDonald’s.. For many years he emceed the annual Christmas Parade. Bob also awarded several athletic scholarships to high school graduates. In 1976 Bob raised money through McDonald’s promotions to send the Apopka High School Band to the International Music Festival in Europe. He also assisted with and donated to community fundraisers. Bob was also an active participant and supporter of Ronald McDonald House Childrens Charities.
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” was one of Bob’s favorite sayings. He certainly made a good first impression on everyone he met.
Bob is survived by his loving wife Barbara Allegroe; children Mark (Nadia) Allegroe and Greg Allegroe; grandchildren Eric Allegroe, Adam (Coral) Allegroe, Aaron Allegroe, Jordan (Amber) Allegroe, Victor (Lili) Alvarez and Monica Rodriguez; as well as 10 great grandchildren. He will be dearly missed by his extended family, loved ones and friends.