Robert Francis Sheline, our beloved husband, dad, grandpa, great -grandpa, and friend passed away quietly at the age of 90, on January 5th at the Raincross Retirement Complex in Riverside. His life’s journey began in Detroit, Michigan on March 10, 1921.
Without a mother and because his father was rarely around, he was forced to take care of himself at an early age. He lived with friends’ families, where he and his buddies fished, hunted and played ice hockey in their spare time.
During the Great Depression, he trapped mink, muskrat, and beaver for their fur and harvested fresh water clams; all of which he sold to button factories and furriers for spending money. Robert attended Vicksburg High School where he played drums in the marching band, was senior class president, and was an all-state football player as a tackle.
He also met his future wife Mary Jane Smith at Vicksburg High. He then chose to attend Western Michigan University and Michigan State. When WWII broke out Bob decided to enlist in the Army Corps. He was sent to Fresno for his B-25 flight school training and while there, he played professional hockey on the local air force team, the “Skyhawks”.
He was deployed to Hawaii as a radio-man, machine gunner, and co-pilot. He spent two years in battle, made 54 bomb missions, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery in combat. He retired with honors in 1945. Bob returned to Vicksburg where he married Mary Jane on April 20, 1946 and they had three children.
He became a top Mid-West paint salesman for Sherwin-Williams. In 1955 he moved his family to Garden Grove, California, where they had their fourth child. Bob became a very active coach volunteer, and leader in local youth programs; including the Brookhurst Little League, the Boy’s Club, and the Cub Scouts. He was also the booster club president at Garden Grove High School.
Professionally, he spent the next 44 years as a successful materials salesman at two companies, United States Gypsum and C.G. Hardy. As the Sheline children left home Bob and Mary pursued their hobbies for golf, bridge, and travel. They enjoyed spending time with friends and being grandparents.
Bob retired in 1990 and he and Mary moved to the Menifee Lakes Golf Community where they were active members of the golf club.
Bob is survived by his beloved wife of 66 years, Mary Jane; son Michael (Pamela); daughter-in-law Debbie; daughter Jamie Jensen (Robert); and son Patrick (Suzanne). He was preceded in death by his son, Terry.
He is also survived by 14 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
Bob loved his family dearly. He was a man’s man with class, poise, dignity, determination, intelligence, and an infectious wit. Robert Sheline was bigger than life and his soul has touched us all. Thanks for the memories!
Memorial Service at Pierce Brothers Crestlawn Chapel, 11500 Arlington Ave., Riverside, CA at 2:00 pm, Wednesday, January 11, 2012. Reception immediately following at Hidden Valley Golf Club. Private interment at Riverside National Cemetery.
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Thursday, January 12, 2012
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