February 4, 2015 at 5:00 pm EST | by Staff reports
Robert Larkin dies at 61
Robert Ashby Larkin, gay news, Washington Blade

Robert Ashby Larkin (Photo courtesy Ken Ceccucci)

Robert Ashby Larkin, 61, died Jan. 18. He had been ill since spring 2014 with chronic conditions associated with congestive heart failure, according to friends.

A graveside memorial will be held at noon Saturday at National Memorial Park in Falls Church, Va.

An Arlington native, Larkin was born Dec. 26, 1953. An only child surrounded by close-knit family, he was loved and doted upon. Recalling his early years in the now-Tysons megaplex, he would cite the family’s farmhouse-like environment as the imprint to a lifelong interest for collecting antiques, a passion shared with his closest friends.

Following high school graduation, he began work as a bank teller at Columbia First Federal Savings and Loan, leaving as head of that department. He indulged his passion for antiques for a couple years at Ruff and Ready Furnishings in Washington. He later worked at Washington Passport and Visa Service in D.C. where he excelled at processing passports and visas and counseled travelers for 25 years. He took great professional pride in his work, finding it both challenging and rewarding. His was a voice many clients were happy to have at the other end of the line as he navigated them through tight deadlines and multiple destinations.

Larkin formed lasting relationships with several antique dealers who became close friends. He was a habituate of the Georgetown, Eastern Market and Civitan flea markets, sometimes as a vendor, sometimes a shopper. For several years at Eastern Market, he operated a regular booth, MerryMart, named for his mother, Mary.

Friends said Larkin loved nothing better than a road trip through Maryland and Pennsylvania. Alone or with friends, he pursued his passion for Old Paris porcelains, Cranberry glass, Jasper ware and his much-loved Flow Blue and Havilland china.

In later life, he particularly enjoyed being with close friends, sitting around a kitchen table sharing stories and laughter, or sometimes the impromptu dinner party capped off with an Irish Coffee at Mr. Henry’s on the Hill.

His friends and professional family will miss him greatly, among them Ken Ceccucci (Spencer Holland), Joe Munroe and Gary Riley as well as Bob Hincherick, and Hernan (JR) and Blanca Diaz. Flowers for his memorial may be delivered to National Memorial Park in Falls Church, Va.

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