Family of late San Diego sailor Robby Barksdale Jr decorates Rose Parade float in his memory

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The family of late San Diego sailor Robby Barksdale Jr. is decorating a Rose Parade float in his memory.

The nonprofit “Lifesharing” has arranged for a floral portrait of Robby Barksdale Jr. to be featured on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float which will be seen in the New Year’s Day parade in Pasadena, California.

Over the weekend, Robby’s family traveled to Irwindale to decorate the float in his memory. They spent hours applying seeds and other organic materials to the structure in a delicate process that involved glue, paint brushes and hot irons. Lifesharing staffers also helped decorate the float with the family.

Robby Barksdale, Jr., 19, was a brilliant and charismatic young man who served as a Damage Controlman in the U.S. Navy. He was assigned to USS Bunker Hill (CG-52) in San Diego. Robby’s family says he was a “daredevil” with a bright smile and a crazy sense of humor. His family tried to capture that spirit when they created his floral portrait several weeks ago.

In 2018, Robby was rushed to the hospital after a motorcycle accident.

Tragically, tests revealed that he had suffered a fatal brain injury. After his death, Lifesharing carried out his organ donation and found matching recipients for his heart, kidneys, lungs, liver and pancreas. Robby saved five lives as an organ donor hero.

The 2022 Donate Life Rose Parade Float is called “Courage to Hope.” It celebrates the courage of organ donors and their families.

The float depicts the majestic winged lion of Piazza San Marco (Saint Mark’s Square) in Venice, Italy. The float will feature the floral portraits of organ donors from all over the country.

The mother of Barksdale Jr., Shanteé Broussard, discussed what it meant to be able to decorate a float in her son’s honor with KUSI’s Elizabeth Alvarez on Good Morning San Diego.

Categories: Good Morning San Diego