Matthew Bobola

Matthew Bobola

Captain Matthew E. Bobola, USN, Retired, 53, of 100 Hermans Court, Moyock, NC died Saturday, September 7, 2013 at his home.  Born in Phoenixville, PA, he was the son of Edward Bobola of Jacksonville, FL and the late Lugretta Metz Bobola and was the husband of Suzanne Armstrong Bobola.

Captain Bobola graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from the University of Southern California and was commissioned in May 1982.  His sea duty tours included duty as First Lieutenant, Combat Information Center Officer and Operations Officer in USS Elmer Montgomery (FF 1082), Operations Officer in USS Bowen (FF 1079), Operations Officer on the staff of Commander, Destroyer Squadron Fourteen, Executive Officer in USS Gettysburg (CG 64), Commissioning Commanding Officer in USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), Commander, Destroyer Squadron 22, Chief of Staff, Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, and Chief of Staff, Harry S Truman Carrier Strike Group.  Captain Bobola’s shore duty assignments included Combat Systems and Damage Control Instructor at Surface Warfare Division Officer School, Student at the Naval War College, Computer Systems Analyst for Joint Warfare Simulations at the Joint Warfighting Center, Force Structure Analyst in the Requirements Division (N81) and C4ISR Section Head for the Director, Surface Warfare Division (N86) on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations, Professional Mariner Project Lead on the Chief of Naval Operation’s Task Force EXCEL, Future Operations Officer on the staff of Commander, Fleet Forces Command (N3), Director of Staff, Commander, US Naval Forces, EUROPE and COMSIXTHFLT and Chief of Staff, Commander, Naval Surface Force, Atlantic.

In addition to his father and his wife, Captain Bobola is survived by three children, Matthew Bobola and wife Sara of Reston, VA, Charles Bobola and wife Erin of Chesapeake, VA and Valerie Bobola of Moyock, NC; two sisters, Suzanne Austin and Patricia Edwards, both of Jacksonville, FL; two brothers, Paul Bobola and wife Bobette of Jacksonville, FL and Tim Bobola and wife Sue Ann of Charleston, SC; his father-in-law, Gerald Armstrong of Jacksonville, NC; two sisters-in-law, Julie Gamble of Camden, AR and Linda Syfrett and husband Tim of Jacksonville, NC; and numerous nieces and nephews.  Along with his mother, he was preceded in death by his twin sister, Mary Elizabeth Scofield.  The family wishes to extend heartfelt thanks to Pam Murray, Natalie Phillips and Albemarle Hospice for their kind and compassionate care.  They also want to thank Pastor Bill, Don Schone, all of their friends at the New Moyock United Methodist Church and Captain Bobola’s dear friends, Todd and Fran Manas.  Without the love and support shown by all of you, they would not have made it through this difficult time.

A memorial service will take place Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at the New Moyock United Methodist Church with the Rev. Bill Masciangelo, LtCol, USMC, Ret. officiating.  In accordance with his wishes, a burial at sea will take place from the USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to the New Moyock United Methodist Church, 278 Caratoke Highway, Moyock, NC; Albemarle Hospice, P.O. Box 189, Elizabeth City, NC 27907; or to any organization dedicated to advancing kidney cancer research.  Twiford Funeral Home, 405 E. Church Street, Elizabeth City is assisting the Bobola family.  Condolences may be expressed to the family at

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Condolence Messages

  1. Bill Salter

    My sincere condolences to the Bobola family. Matt was a great man and Naval officer who truly cared about all his Sailors. I know he is home with our Lord and Savior watching over us. Sincerely, Bill Salter, Jacksonville FL

  2. Steve Blancard

    To the Bobola family,
    My deepest condolences on the loss of Captain Bobola. I served with him about USS Elmer Montgomery many years ago. Many years later as a civilian, I went aboard USS Roosevelt to conduct a crew briefing and I was greatly surprised that he remembered me and greeted me warmly. He was a fine officer and a true gentleman. May God give you strength and comfort at this difficult time.
    Steve Blancard
    FCC(WS), USN Ret.

  3. Sandy Van Geluwe

    I am so sorry for your loss and pray for God’s strength to get each of you through this difficult time. He truly was an inspiration as he fought this horrible disease and his service to our beautiful country is one to be proud of!! Just reading the posts of all the lives touched and more importantly, how he treated his fellow countryman shows what a beautiful heart he had!
    With deepest sympathy,

  4. Mike and Tricia Groothousen

    We are so terribly sorry to learn about Matt. Mike had the highest regard for him when we were in Italy together. Please accept our deepest sympathies.

  5. Annette Kennedy

    There are no words for the sadness I felt at hearing of Matt’s passing. He was a one of a kind person who touched so many lives! He is reunited with loved ones now and I hope Suz knows how much love surround her and her family and that somehow that helps them through this difficult time!
    With Sympathy and love,

  6. NCCS(SW) John Shelton

    I am sorry for your loss and I am remembering your family in my prayers. I was part of the Commissioning Crew of the USS Roosevelt. Mr. Bobola was the best Captain a Sailor could ask for. His care and concern for his Sailors was evident in all that he did. Captain Bobola was a great man and a great Sailor who impacted many lives and left a lifelong impression on all who served under his Command.

    John Shelton

  7. obits

    My heartfelt condolences on the loss of your husband, father, brother, son, and friend. Matt served as my Destroyer Squadron Commander aboard USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT, and was a fantastic shipmate and absolutely brilliant naval officer. We spent many hours together on the flag bridge strategizing about how to best run the strike group . . . and we had a lot of laughs together. It still brings tears to my eyes when I recall him describing how he would go trick-or-treating with his daughter dressed in the same costume, and he nonchalantly related “I’ll never forget the time we went out together as ballerinas . . .” He was a wonderful man and good friend, and I was very sad to hear of his passing. I know he is in a better place, smiling at us all . . .

    Admiral Sandy Winnefeld

  8. LCDR Franklin C Gates, USN, Retired

    I read with great saddness about the passing of Matt Bobola. I was the Lead Combat Systems Instructor at SWO, Newport, RI (1986-89) when Matt was learning his trade. As I recall, he was a bright student and team player; he also became a very good friend. Matt and I bowled on the same team in Newport and were always competing with each other for high scoring games and totals – I think we broke even on who bought the beers!! I retired in 1989 and lost track of Matt and Suzanne as both he and I moved around chasing careers. Never realized that Matt and Suzanne were living right up the road from us – we have lived in Camden since 2004. I do plan to attend the Memorial service on Sept 21st.
    An old saying to those Naval folks who pass on –
    SAILOR, Rest your oars!!
    Lieutenant Commander Franklin and Mrs. Sandra Gates

  9. CDR David J. Pearson, Commanding Officer, USS BAINBRIDGE (DDG 96)

    To the Bobola family,
    As my Commodore while I served onboard USS OSCAR AUSTIN, and embarked our ship many times. He was never without smile and a good joke-always ready to talk Sailors and tactics. I considered him a great man and mentor; always finding time for each and every Sailor. I can only share my thoughts of appreciation having known him and offer my deepest condolences on the loss of Captain Bobola. May all your family and friends give you strength and comfort at this difficult time.

    With deepest sympathy, Commander Dave and Mrs. Jennifer Pearson

  10. Mr. and Mrs. Keith Carroll

    Dear Suzanne and family,

    We are so sorry to hear of your loss. Please know that you are in our prayers. Praying for our Lord to hold you close.

  11. Chief Yeoman Cody D. Harmon, U.S. Navy

    To the Bobola Family:

    It is not too often that we come across a great man, Father, leader and person as Mr. Bobola was to me and my family. He often reminded me while he was Deputy and Chief of Staff of Naval Surface Force Atlantic with RADM Quinn, that a man is only as good as his family – he is an example of that. Always in good spirits and fair to everyone, he kept us focused yet smiling because life was too short to deal with the “BS” (as he would say). We, the Navy, have lost a great leader and certainly a great man in this time. His legacy will live on through us and he will never be forgotten.

    Always know that your Navy family and my family are praying for you now and always. Our thoughts are sincere and our prayers are to give you strength and comfort in this time and in the future.

    With deepest sincerity,
    Cody D. Harmon & fmly
    YNC(SW), USN

  12. LCDR Rosie Goscinski

    To the entire Bobola family,

    Capt Bobola was a great man who taught one of my maritime warfare classes at CSFTL and what I remember is that warfighting excellence was something of a legacy. I also remember his generous smile and also his ability to impart wisdom without sounding pretentious or condescending. I’m very sorry for your loss and will be praying for your family at this time.

    Sincerely and V/R,

    LCDR Rosie Goscinski

  13. LCDR Cindy Young

    Bobola family,

    I was so sorry to hear about CAPT Bobola’s passing. I worked with him at my last command, got to see at least three full-sized Halloween costumes which made me smile, and had enjoyed many lunches in the breakroom talking about post-Navy plans. Matt was gracious enough to offer to be my officiating officer at my retirement ceremony and, also, said the prayers for it. He always talked about you and had photos of the kids on his desk. He will definitely be missed.


  14. Reed Brown

    I was so sorry to hear of the passing of Matt. Matt’s Father, Ed, and I served together in the Navy and through that I knew Matt. I remember when Matt was commissioned by Ed at USC and we followed Matt’s career ever since. Matt was very gracious to us at the commissioning of the USS Roosevelt. He was a fine man and will be greatly missed by all. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.

  15. Michael Franken

    To the Family and Dear Friends of Matt Bobola: I am deeply sadden to hear of Matt’s passing. As a waterfront contemporary of Matt’s, I admired his comfortable command of his ship, his ready enthusiasm to help a squadron-mate, and his wit to find humor in even the most dire situations. May you find comfort in knowing that many in the navy were touched by him in a most positive way. Salute…ready, two. mtf.

  16. CTRCS (SW/AW) Michelle O'Grady

    My deepest sympathy to the Bobola Family during this very difficult time. Captain Bobola was loved by the Chief’s Mess! He was firm but fair at work but he also joined us during our Wednesday night bowling outings in Naples. You could always guarantee a win with the Skipper on your team! The impact he had on Sailors young and old lives on today. My thoughts and prayers are with you. He will be missed!
    Very Respectfully,
    CTRCS(SW/AW) Michelle O’Grady

  17. Joey Dehart

    Matthew Bobola was my CO. He was more than a supervisor though. He was a great man and tried to enhance everyones life and enrich thier lives in a lasting way. He was the best CO and easily one of the best people I ever met. The world will be much sadder without him. I would like to thank his family for allowing us so much of his time. Be proud of how much of an impact he has had. I look forward to sailing to heaven to meet him once more.

  18. OS1(SW) Brian Phipps USN RET

    Throughout my 20 years of naval service, I never had a commanding officer who cared more for his crew than Captain Babola. To this day, I tell my family and friends how he was my favorite commanding officer and how much of an impact he had on me. I am deeply saddened about his passing. Mrs. Babola and family, you have my sincerest condolences and pray that the lord be with you all in your mourning. God bless you.
    Brian Phipps

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