Robert “Skip” Vance Northrop, 74, of Dunwoody, Georgia, passed away peacefully on the afternoon of October 15, 2022. His daughter Melissa was at his side.
Skip grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. He graduated from South Mecklenburg High School in 1966 and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1970. Those early years brought dear lifelong friendships, and he quite literally leaped tall buildings in his loyalty to his friends—once climbing a fire escape to officially welcome his best friend’s first baby into the world. Soon after graduating from UNC, Skip joined the Navy. He was honorably discharged and moved to Atlanta to pursue his MBA at Emory University. There he met the love of his life, Regina Elizabeth McConnell, a stunning and feisty elementary teacher from Alabama. Skip won Regina’s heart, loving every second of her tough-as-nails attitude and razor-sharp sense of humor. They went on to have a beautiful life together, joined by their two daughters, Melissa and Amanda.
After the loss of his beautiful wife and the unexpected loss of his daughter Amanda, Skip found his “best job ever” in being a grandfather to his daughter Melissa’s two children who affectionately called him “Grumps”. He happily volunteered to be their babysitter-on-demand. He always told them he would love them enough for three; from teddy bears special-ordered from Harrod’s in London to swimming in the ocean together at the family’s favorite beach in Ocean Isle, NC. There’s no question that he did.
When he wasn’t spoiling Melissa’s children, Skip could be found either riding around Dunwoody in his convertible with his beloved toy poodle, Maddie; or holding court on Melissa’s back porch, laughing with his oldest daughter, and razzing his son-in-law while they watched the Georgia Bulldogs on TV. During his last 8 months of life, Skip taught his family one great final lesson as he reacted with love, bravery, and strength as he faced serious health problems with his usual good humor and without complaint.
Friends described Skip in many ways - successful businessman, Tarheel, Georgia Bulldog, charmer, best friend, devoted husband. But Skip would tell you he was first and most proudly a father and grandfather. We are so, so blessed that he was. While we are devastated by this loss, we find solace that he is now without pain and embraced by Jesus, Regina, and Amanda.
Skip is survived by his daughter Melissa, her husband Bryan and his faithful toy poodle, Maddie. He is preceded in death by his parents, Margaret and Robert Northrop, wife, Regina Northrop, and daughter, Amanda Northrop.