Celebration of life services for Robert William “Bob” Exline, 91, who passed away early Tuesday, May 30, 2023, at Presbyterian Manor in Salina, were 11 a.m. Monday, June 5, at First Presbyterian Church, 308 S. 8th St., Salina.
Immediately after the service was a luncheon reception in Blair Hall at the Presbyterian Church.
Visitation with family was 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 4, 2023, at Ryan Mortuary, 137 N. 8th St., Salina.
Born April 3, 1932, at St. Johns Hospital in Salina, Bob was a beloved son of C. Wm. Exline and Inez Lorenz Exline.
As a young boy, Bob enjoyed his early years in Kipp until 1943, when his family relocated to Salina after a destructive tornado.
He attended Kipp Elementary until the fifth grade and continued his education at Franklin Grade School, Roosevelt-Lincoln Junior High, and Salina High School, where he graduated in 1951.
In pursuit of his passion for industrial technology, Bob earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Kansas State University in 1956.
He was even nominated as the “St. Pat” candidate in the College of Engineering.
Bob’s dedication to serving his country was evident through his service in the Naval Air Reserve from 1949 to 1954 and his time in the US Army, when he was stationed from 1956 to 1958, at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.
On Aug. 14, 1955, Bob married Mary Margaret Hannaford at the Presbyterian Church in Marion.
They welcomed three children into their lives: Robert W. Exline, Jr., born in 1957, in El Paso; David Eric Exline, born in 1959 in Salina; and Jean Elizabeth Exline, born in 1961, in Salina.
Bob’s professional journey led him to join as the fourth generation member of the family business Exline Diesel Engine Works in Salina upon his return in 1958.
Eventually, he became the president of Exline Inc. and served in that position from 1972 to 1993, totaling 35 successful years of contribution to the company.
His dedication took him across all states and many foreign countries. His remarkable leadership and contributions to the company led to its success.
Bob retired in 1993, leaving behind a legacy of excellence and innovation.
Throughout his life, Bob actively served his community and various organizations.
He was a past member of the Salina school board and served as president of the Salina United Way, the Salina Chamber of Commerce, and the Salina Rotary Club.
Bob also held leadership roles as president of the Associate Members Board of Southern Gas Association and on the Molokai Electric Board of Directors in Hawaii.
His dedication extended to his involvement in various groups, such as the 32nd degree Masons, Isis Shrine, Jester, and Gridiron.
He was a past president of the KSU Engineering Advisory Council and a member of the KSU Foundation.
Bob was honored with induction into the Kansas State University Engineering Hall of Fame and received the KSU Distinguished Service Award.
He also served as a member of the UMB Bank board of directors and the Presbyterian Manor Advisory Council and faithfully served many roles at First Presbyterian Church of Salina.
Bob’s family was a source of great joy and pride.
He cherished his role as a father to his children, Robert Jr. and his wife Kelli; David and his partner Amos Bracero; and Jean with her partner Glenn Stroer.
In later years he also took delight in the lives of his grandchildren, Scott and Tom Fredrickson, Robert William “Will” III and his wife Anne, and Carolyn with her husband Dylan Smith.
In his leisure time, Bob pursued his passions. After retirement, he dedicated countless hours to building radio-controlled scale airplanes and crafting graphite and bamboo fly fishing rods.
Bob was an avid member of First Presbyterian Church in Salina since 1943.
He had a keen interest in cooking and delighted in preparing delicious dishes such as smoked ribs, brisket, and turkey.
Bob had a knack for discovering tasty recipes in the numerous food magazines to which he subscribed, with his favorite soups being chicken and leek, beef borscht, and chili.
He became well known within the community for his special spaghetti sauce.
As he grew older, he developed a voracious appetite for reading, particularly World War II nonfiction and fiction, expanding his knowledge and passion for history.
He had a keen sense of early memories and loved sharing stories of childhood adventures, travels around the world, and humorous, self-deprecating anecdotes about his life.
Bob Exline will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and all those whose lives he touched.
His dedication, leadership, and love for his family and community leave an enduring legacy.
He is survived by his loving wife, Mary; his three children and their families; and his brothers, Jerry and Doug and their wives.
Memorial gifts can be made to First Presbyterian Church of Salina through the church’s website (www.fpcsalina.org) or the Exline Inc. Employee Charitable Fund at the Greater Salina Community Foundation website (https://bit.ly/Exline-Employee-Charitable-Fund), which provides numerous and substantial donations annually to various non-profit organizations throughout the community.
Online condolences at www.ryanmortuary.com.