H. Robert ‘Bob' Waters, Porters of Racine

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RACINE, Wis. - H. Robert "Bob" Waters, a longtime furniture retailer who was a co-owner of the former Porters of Racine, Wis., died Monday from complications following surgery. He was 83.
     A Navy veteran who served during World War II, Waters graduated from the National Art School in Washington, D.C., and worked at the P.J. Nee Furniture Co. in Washington before he was hired by the Porter Furniture Co. in Racine in 1958.
     Two years later, Waters and Marie Crowley Gottlieb purchased Porter and operated it for the next 50 years, growing the business into high-end furniture retailer Porters of Racine. Waters also pioneered a different buying concept with Furniture Clearance Centers, which he led for nearly 30 years and which had as many as eight locations.
     Porters of Racine closed in 2010. An advocate of the downtown Racine area, Waters was a key player in the drive to convert the Porters of Racine building into apartments and retail space.
     He is survived by a nephew, Micah Waters, who worked with him at Porters of Racine.

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