Robert Oxendine

Obituary of Robert Hilliard Oxendine

Robert Hilliard Oxendine passed peacefully at his home in Tampa, FL, on April 4, 2024, after a hard-fought battle with glioblastoma that began in November 2020.

Robert was born on July 26, 1961, in Milton, FL, the youngest of three sons to Elizabeth Moody Oxendine and Thomas Oxendine. He grew up in Arlington, VA and attended Washington and Lee High School, where he was a three-sport letterman, captain of the football and wrestling teams, and named All-District in football and Regional Champion in wrestling. He was heavily recruited to play college football and chose Duke University in North Carolina. At Duke, he excelled as an offensive lineman and was named ACC Player of the Week several times, as well as first team All-ACC and Second Team All-America. A true scholar-athlete, he was elected captain of the football team his senior year and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science.

The day of his last college senior exam, he flew to Tampa, FL to join the newly formed Tampa Bay Bandits USFL team. Once there, he started on the offensive line for the rest of the games that season. After a season with the Bandits, he attended the University of Virginia School of Law, where he met the love of his life, Selene Miconi. The two married on December 19, 1987, and worked at large law firms in downtown Tampa until they decided to start a family. They then opened a small private practice near their home that they managed together until his illness. A constant student of trial advocacy, Robert was passionate about defending his clients and kept a busy schedule that included a heavy trial load.

They were blessed with four children: daughters Somerlyn, Sarelle, and Seneca, and a son, Raleigh. In addition to maintaining a thriving law practice, Robert was also a devoted husband and an ever-present dad. He could be counted on through thick and thin, and was always there to lend an ear and give sage advice. He joyously attended every single performance of every single dance production and helped coach their sports teams. He was famous for giving his players nicknames. In his final years, he proudly watched his son Raleigh’s college football games, the graduations of his daughters Somerlyn and Sarelle from law school, and his daughter Seneca’s medical school white coat ceremony at his alma mater, Duke.

With his family, he could be counted on to bring joy and entertainment to any situation, from instigating lively car sing-alongs and performing ongoing comedic bits to inventing “magic carpet rides” and creative games to play at the beach that kept the kids laughing and running around for hours. He had an unquenchable thirst for learning and enjoyed debates at the dinner table. On family ski trips, hiking excursions, and travels abroad, he was a consummate adventure companion, tour guide, and culinary expert. He loved to bring home flowers for his wife and eventually learned to cultivate roses, growing a special one for her and each of their daughters. He enjoyed long walks and weekend getaways with his wife, exercising, and storytelling, both factual and make-believe, and also dabbled in playing the harmonica, “casting the line,” and drawing.

Robert is survived by his wife of 36 years, Selene; daughters, Somerlyn, Sarelle, and Seneca; son, Raleigh; and brother, Thomas. He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Elizabeth, and brother, William. He was a proud Lumbee Indian with many cousins and extended family members. He is forever in our hearts and will be missed more than words can ever express.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions in memory of Robert H. Oxendine to the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke.


Celebration of Life & Mass

9:15 am - 11:00 am
Thursday, April 11, 2024
St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church
9724 Cross Creek
Tampa, Florida, United States


11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Thursday, April 11, 2024
Tampa Palms Country Club
5811 Tampa Palms Blvd
Tampa, Florida, United States


10:00 am
Saturday, April 13, 2024
Sandcutt Cemetery
894-914 Oxendine Rd
Pembroke, North Carolina, United States
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