Robert Miller Torras Sr.
March 4, 1934 – March 24, 2020
Robert M. Torras Sr., 86, was born in Brunswick, Ga., and attended high school at Glynn Academy. There he played football on the Charlie Page teams that were finalists in the state championships. He graduated from Georgia Tech with an industrial engineering degree. He held the 1500-meter swimming record at Georgia Tech, and was a member of the fraternity Phi Delta Theta and the Yellow Jackets Club. After graduation, he studied at La Alliance Française, the French language school for foreigners at the Sorbonne in Paris. From there, he entered the U.S. Air Force as a Second Lieutenant. He served as a pilot of six-engine jet bombers with a “top security” clearance. He ended his active duty after an extended assignment during the Lebanese crisis at the Ben Guerir Air Base in French Morocco. During that period, bombers equipped with H-bombs were on alert for missions to pre-determined targets. He returned to the Homestead, Fla. base, where he was hospitalized for three months with symptoms indicative of radiation poisoning. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Captain with a service-related disability. Bob Torras Sr. was the son of the late Fernando Joseph Torras, a native of Brunswick who also attended Georgia Tech, and Nell of Stanford, Ky. F. J. Torras built railroads, roads and dams throughout the world. He surveyed, engineered, arranged financing and oversaw the entire construction of the “Saint Simons Causeway,” a series of roads and bridges connecting St. Simons Island and Sea Island to the mainland. This project was hailed as a great engineering feat in its time. During later years, F. J. Torras returned to Brunswick and served as both city manager and county administrator. After his death, the causeway was named the “F. J. Torras Causeway” in his honor. On his discharge, he married Susan. Susan was born in London, where as a child she lived through World War II. She came to the United States to attend nursing school in Hattiesburg, Miss. Susan met Bob while working as a stewardess for Eastern Airlines, based in Miami. They returned to Atlanta where he again attended Georgia Tech and received a second degree in industrial management. While at Tech, he worked at a Marietta manufacturing company that he later purchased and continued to operate until his passing. The Torras family returned to St. Simons Island in 1974. Bob and Susan had four children: Deborah, an attorney in Atlanta, Ga., Robert Jr., the vice president of Brunswick Landing Marina, and a manager in both Brunswick landing and West Point Plantation real estate developments; Brian, the manager of Kennesaw Mountain Business Park, other real estate operations in Cobb County and vice president of Torco Inc., and Margaret, deceased. Bob Torras Sr. owned and operated several businesses that are separate corporations but are referred to as Torras Properties. He was responsible for the design of all new buildings, and the engineering, layout, permitting, and was the general contractor in the construction of these companies. Two of his companies are manufacturing operations. In Marietta, Ga., Torco, Inc. manufactures precision-machined parts that are used primarily by major U.S. manufacturers in their products. Bob designed and built specialty machines to use in these processes. In Brunswick, Ga., Kut Kwick Corp. produces large, special-purpose machines for mowing road rights-of-way, highways, parks and other large areas, as well as machines for clearing brush from woodlands for beautification and fire control. Here Bob designed a complete line of commercial slope mowing machines that safely mow slopes up to 40°. He received nine U.S. patents and five foreign patents on these machines. He built Brunswick Landing Marina in Brunswick, Ga., including the docks and a maintenance yard. The marina currently has the greatest number of boats at saltwater slips of any marina on the Georgia coast, with 314 slips and 96 boats in dry storage. It required 10 years and an act of Congress, deleting an U.S. Army Corps of Engineers channel, to get approval for the marina’s construction. His designed and built real estate operations, including the 222,000 square foot commercial industrial park, Kennesaw Mountain Business Park in Marietta, Ga., West Point Plantation, a 160-acre, 293-lot subdivision, the Torras tract, a 6-acre oceanfront residential development on St. Simons Island, Ga., and Atlantic Southeast Enterprises, a development of 101 acres of commercial real estate in Brunswick, Ga. Additionally, he had two commercial real estate companies in the early stages of development, an office park with three, three-story office buildings known as the Corporate Center at Kennesaw Mountain, in Marietta, Ga., and a waterfront mixed-use complex, Brunswick Landing, in Brunswick, Ga. Bob Torras Sr. was an avid offshore sports fisherman and a multi-engine, commercial, instrument-rated airplane pilot who continued to fly until age 80. The Small Business Administration named Bob Torras Sr. “Small Businessman of the Year” for the State of Georgia. He also received “The Top Hat” award from the Professional Women’s Clubs of America for his contribution in advancing the status of women in the workplace. He received the “Tree Friendly Developer” award by the Coastal Georgia Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council for the preservation of oak trees at West Point Plantation. Bob Torras Sr.’s memberships included the Presbyterian Church, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Glynn County Chamber of Commerce, Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, International Marina Institute, Blueprint for Brunswick, Golden Isles Home Builders Association, St. Simons Land Trust, Atlanta Symphony, The Georgian Club, the Brunswick Country Club, The Sea Island Club, Coastal Symphony of Georgia, Airplane Owners Pilots Association, Golden Isles Arts & Humanities Association, Coastal Georgia Historical Society and Phi Delta Theta fraternal organization. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Humane Society of South Coastal Georgia, 4627 U.S. Highway 17, Brunswick, GA 31525. Edo Miller and Sons Funeral Home is entrusted with arrangements. www.edomillerandsons.com
- A Life Celebration will be held at a later date
Robert Miller Torras Sr.
March 27, 2020
Debbie, Bobby and Brian (and kids), I was so sad to realize Bob has passed. He was a larger than life, giant of a man whose shadow covered so many of us. I'll always remember his indefatigable sense of curiosity, boundless memory and unparalleled ability to flesh out every detail until he knew more about your favorite subjects than you! Scary, brilliant man! I loved them like second parents and hope they are reunited with my parents in that better place - catching fish and shopping!
J Clint Holman lll
March 27, 2020
Dear Bob Jr, Brian, please accept my deepest condolences on your father's passing. I was privileged to sell Kut Kwicks for Bob in 94 95 96 from the plant downtown. I learned so much from him that made me successful w Bobcat and then New Holland. He was a pistol, a Phi Delt from Tech like my dad. He touched a lot of lives in very meaningful ways, I was very fortunate to earn his respect.
Sincerely, Clint Holman
March 26, 2020
I knew Mr. Torras for 38 years a true captain of industry. A man that was intelligent, fearless and outspoken about his views. I will miss our conversations about business and politics.
March 26, 2020
Bob was an absolute Renaissance man, the best. I only knew Bob for less than ten years but enjoyed his company and was inspired each time we would meet and discuss how this or that problem would be solved. His brilliance always came through. He was a genuine pleasure to be with.
We talked yachts, marinas, development, architecture and of course engineering. He was very generous with his time and challenged you if he disagreed. It was great. I miss those times.
He was a very special man, indeed.
Dear Lord, please take care of our friend.