Robert “Bob” Schindler of Holiday, Florida passed away on Sunday, May 1, 2022, surrounded by his wife of 52 years, Barbara; his son, Ken; his daughter, Sharon; and his sister, Elaine. Everyone who met Bob described him as a character – he made them laugh and he likely made them a little mad on more than one occasion. Despite this, they saw clearly his love for family and friends was infinite.
Bob was born April 12, 1948, in Jersey City, New Jersey to Irene Drasheff and Robert E. Schindler, Sr. Inspired by his uncles, Bob learned the fine arts of wit, sarcasm and pranks – an art he refined his entire life. He graduated from Dickinson High School in Jersey City and enlisted in the United States Navy. Bob served two years in Vietnam aboard the USS Kitty Hawk. Not long after he honorably finished his tour, he met the love of his life, Barbara.
Bob and Barbara were married October 4, 1969. While Bob was never one to be defined by his career, he and Barbara ran several businesses through the 1970s and 1980s, including Town Deli in Cliffside Park, New Jersey; KenShar Limousine Service in Hackensack, New Jersey; and B&B BBQ in Marietta, Georgia. Bob worked long hours to ensure his and Barbara’s businesses were successful. After missing his son’s first out-of-the-park homerun, Bob decided being a father to his son, Ken and daughter, Sharon, was more important than his career. This prompted the family’s move from New Jersey to Georgia. Bob and Barbara lived in Marietta until the kids were grown; in 1997, they moved to Florida.
Bob always supported and encouraged his children’s hobbies, which were predominantly baseball and softball. After work, he would spend countless hours playing catch with both Ken and Sharon. Bob perfected the “if you don’t throw the ball right into my glove, you have to chase it yourself” stare. While this frustrated his children, their throws were typically the most consistent of their teammates. When Bob, Barbara, and several other parents noticed the girls softball program was not being funded to the same extent as the boys baseball program, they founded the Sandy Plains Softball Association. Bob and Barbara were also instrumental in creating the first youth co-ed fall softball program in Marietta, Georgia. Prior to this, softball was only available during spring in a competitive format. “Fall Ball” as it was affectionately called, was grounded in learning and having fun. Players, coaches, umpires and scorekeepers commonly played pranks on each other and Bob was always at the center of it.
Those who knew Bob best knew he was more than a master of jokes and sarcasm. He loved to fish, was a formidable opponent at mini-golf, dabbled in a variety of arts (writing, painting, jewelry making and music) and achieved a purple belt in taekwondo. Although Bob would occasionally mutter to his family, “why are you fussing over the dog,” he had a special place in his heart for his family’s pets. When it was time to add a new family member, Bob sought the one he thought most needed a family and was regularly busted for cuddling with them. Bob was also, quick to befriend the people who worked at stores he visited. After 3 days of visiting Sharon in Texas, she was not surprised to hear the staff at a local BBQ restaurant greet him by name. It was common for Bob to leave a hundred dollar tip for someone making minimum wage or secretly pay on behalf of someone in need.
Bob was immensely proud of his wife and both of his children – for their strong work ethic, their compassion, and of course their sense of humor. The only people who made Bob smile more were his grandson, Trey, and granddaughter, Olivia. Despite being a big and loud person, Bob was a gentle teddy bear with his grandchildren. He was completely smitten when Olivia bestowed upon him the title of “Bobby Booty” rather than “Grandpa.”
Bob is survived by his amazing wife, Barbara; his favorite (only) son, Ken; his favorite (only) daughter-in-law, Leila; his favorite (only) grandson, Trey; his favorite (only) daughter Sharon; his favorite (only) son-in-law Jay; his favorite (only) granddaughter, Olivia; his favorite (only) older sister Elaine; his favorite (only) younger sister, Karen; several dear cousins, uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews, and many friends who were as close as family. Bob will be missed immensely and I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.
In lieu of flowers, Barbara, Ken and Sharon ask any memorial contributions be made to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay or Gary Sinise Foundation. There will be no formal service (because you know Bob and church), however the family will be planning an informal memorial near Holiday, Florida later in the month.
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