Charles Robert Laird “Bob” Staley, 93, passed away Saturday, July 26, 2014, after a valiant battle with pneumonia.
Bob was born May 8, 1921, to the late Dana W. and Helen K. Korn Staley of DeGraff. He also was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Wanda M. Flinn Staley; and his sister, Shirley Staley.
Bob is survived by his daughter, Cheryl (Steve) Seibert; grandson, Ben (Heather Rader) Wilkinson; great-granddaughter, Molly Wilkinson; three step-grandchildren; and 13 great-stepgrandchildren.
Bob was extremely proud of being raised on his parent’s farm, which he still owned at the time of his death. After graduating from high school, he worked for a couple of years and then enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943 and earned an honorable discharge.
Upon returning to civilian life, Bob took advantage of the GI Bill and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in business from Miami University in 1950. He put the education to good use, securing a job from the Massey-Harris farm equipment manufacturer.
He moved on to work for Oliver Farm Equipment Company (later bought by White Farm Equipment) as a territory manager. He retired from White Farm Equipment after two decades of service, receiving many awards for superior salesmanship.
He and Wanda then moved to Findlay in 1982 after the birth of their grandson, Ben.
Never one to be inactive, Bob did not really retire from working, but continued to be actively involved in agriculture, working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture for several years completing crop surveys in Hancock County.
Remaining active and always interested in the agricultural industry even after his “actual” retirement from employment, he often told stories of his youth such as experiencing electricity lines being run to the family farm for the first time by the local electric cooperative. Another of his very favorite stories was that of his mother’s cousin’s building the Benoist-Korn airplane in 1912, which hangs in the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. He recalled playing around the plane in the barn where it was stored as a child. He shared this and many other experiences with the public through the publication of several life stories in The Courier in Findlay.
He and Wanda loved to go to Florida each spring and they traveled all over the United States, and were especially pleased to be able to visit Alaska.
Bob was always busy in the community, as a member of Toastmasters and Kiwanis service organization, serving on church council at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Findlay, and working at the Hancock Christian Clearinghouse for many years. He enjoyed playing on the church’s Trinity B dartball team, along with his grandson, daughter and son-in-law.
Golf was his particular passion, picking up the game while he, Wanda and Cheryl lived in Lancaster. While living in Fremont, he became an accomplished golfer and introduced Cheryl to the game as well. He particularly was fond of the Green Hills Golf Course in Clyde.
After he relocated to Findlay, Bob was a regular at Findlay’s Hillcrest Golf Course, participating in many golf leagues and community golf events. He was on the League Champion team in 1983 at Hillcrest and was part of the team earning 4th Flight Champion during the 16th Annual Findlay Area Golf Classic in 1986. One of his proudest moments was where he claimed a golfer’s life-time achievement of a hole-in-one on hole 8 at Hillcrest Golf Course on May 13, 2000. He was active in many golf groups throughout Findlay and never gave up the game. He actively played in at least two golf leagues only days before his death at age 93, playing five days in a row, complaining that his score of 114 was not up to his usual game!
His greatest joys were attending Ben and Molly’s ball games, playing with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, family gatherings, and being on the golf course. He will always be remembered for his quick sense of humor, his constant smile, his never-ending energy, good advice and love of his family.
His presence in our lives will be greatly missed and never forgotten.
Bob’s family would like to thank the medical staff on the 5th floor, ICU and the ER at Blanchard Valley Hospital, Drs. Ajala, Beekman, Iboaya, Knor, Valdivia, and Watson for their exceptional care of Dad and concern for his wishes. A special thanks to the staff of Palliative Care and Hospice services at the hospital.
A funeral was conducted Tuesday at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Findlay, with burial beside his wife at Grove Cemetery, Kenton, and full military rites by the Hancock County Veteran’s Memorial Squad
Memorial contributions may be made to the Hancock Christian Clearinghouse and to the Hancock County Agency on Aging.
Express condolences at www.kirkpatrickbehnke.com.