Robert S. Klinger, 97, of Ephrata Manor (formerly of New Holland) journeyed peacefully to Heaven this past Sunday, February 23, 2020. Born in Shamokin, PA in 1923, Bob was the son of Marlin and Nellie (Shoemaker) Klinger. He was the husband of the late Doris (Goodman) Klinger, having celebrated 54 years of marriage prior to her passing in 2006.
Drafted into the United States Army during WWII, Bob served his country in campaigns in Normandy, Northern France, the Rhineland and Central Europe. A lover of music all his life, Bob spent the final few months of his service playing trombone in a jazz band in soldier rest camps in the south of France.
Briefly a minor league pitcher in the Yankees organization prior to WWII, Bob was involved with sports at all levels throughout his life. As a pitching coach at Garden Spot High School, he shared his passion and knowledge of baseball alongside valuable lessons of life. He coached various New Holland American Legion baseball teams as well as providing private coaching for generations of young athletes in Central Pennsylvania. Known as the “Voice of the Spartans", Bob served as the announcer and master of ceremonies for Garden Spot football, the New Holland Farmers parade and the New Holland Band for more than two decades.
Employed by Sperry New Holland, Bob retired in 1983. Along with his joy of sports and music, Bob loved the Lord and sharing his gifts with young people. He was a youth leader and college class teacher at New Holland EUM church. He was a regular volunteer with the Kiwanis Club, writing and directing local variety shows and musical reviews helping to raise money for college scholarships.
Rounding out this “life well-lived" was an ever-present devotion to his wife and family. Bob is survived by his daughter, Bonnie D., wife of John W. Hildebrand of New Holland and two grandchildren; Christopher R. K. Hildebrand of Broomall, PA and his fiancé Jilla Benson, and Kara (Hildebrand) McClelland wife of Jason J. McClelland of Downingtown PA, and two great-grandchildren, Paige and Landon.
At the time of his passing, Bob was a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Leola. Services will be private at the convenience of the family.
In honor of Bob those desiring may send contributions to the Federation of Christian Athletes at my.fca.org/adamburns or mail to Lancaster FCA c/o Adam Burns, 2913 Spooky Nook Rd., Manheim, PA 17545.