Robert Seay Havely
Robert Seay Havely
  • January 11, 1952 - August 9, 2017
  • Raleigh, North Carolina

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Robert S. Havely, 65, a native of Alton, IL, and resident of North Carolina since 1981, died August 9, 2017. His father, Theodore Ward Havely, of Houston, TX, and his mother, Patricia Mendenhall, preceded him in death. He is survived by his step-mother, Rebecca; his siblings, Anne, Andrew, Katherine, Laura and Heidi; his nieces and nephews: Michael, Jennifer, Kaia, Reagan, Brenna, Quinn, Connor and Lukas; and his grand nieces and nephews: Austin Theodore, Aaron Michael and Elise Ray.

Bob spent more than 40 years providing strategic counsel to Democrats and non-profits. After graduating from North Springs High School in Atlanta and earning his undergraduate degree from Columbia University, he joined the White House staff of President James Earl Carter, Jr. as Assistant Director, Domestic Policy. He returned to New York to study at Columbia Law School. After receiving his J.D., he researched the country to determine where his skills could have the most lasting impact. He chose North Carolina.

He worked for many of North Carolina's most prominent elected officials, including former Gov. James B. Hunt, Jr. He served as Issues Director for Governor Hunt during the 1984 Hunt-Helms U.S. Senate race.

He also worked with N.C. members of Congress David Price, Bob Etheridge and the late Tim Valentine; N.C. Attorneys General Rufus Edmisten and Mike Easley, N.C. Sen. Tony Rand and A.B. Swindell; N.C. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, N.C. Supreme Court Justice Robin Hudson, N.C. Court of Appeals judges Wanda Bryant, Linda McGee, Mark Davis, and Sam J. Ervin, IV, and candidates Ken Lewis, Britt Cobb and Mickey Michaux (NC), Jim Slattery (KS), Mel Carnahan (MO), Bill Dolan (VA), Joe Checota (WI) and Joe Kohn (PA).

Bob's non-profit consulting focus was higher education. He served as Director of Government Relations for Duke University and helped guide High Point College to University status. He also served as legislative strategist for The College Foundation of North Carolina and Prevent Blindness North Carolina. Bob was well known in personal and Democratic circles as an intelligent debater and tenacious competitor.

His other passions included Duke basketball, the Atlanta Braves, The New York Times, the Washington Post, The News & Observer and Charlie Rose. He was an avid reader of crime mysteries.

Friends and family will gather for a Toast in Remembrance on Wednesday, September 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Players Retreat, 105 Oberlin Road, Raleigh, where Bob was a regular.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to Common Cause Education Fund - North Carolina because of their work promoting an independent redistricting process, 907 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27605,