Bob Shilling was a 42-year member and past president of the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association. Coming most recently from WBFF-TV in Baltimore, Bob brought his credible, old-school journalism to the board. When it came time for him to retire from WBFF, CAPBA changed its bylaws to create a director-at-large position – a professor emeritus -- for him.
No one was more dedicated to our association and to the journalism it embraces than Bob. He was our historian, our conscience, and our scholarship committee chair. As head of the committee, he always enjoyed reading the applications, organizing the judges, and meeting the winners. He continued to mentor the recipients long after our annual awards banquet.
Every year, Bob would arrive a few days early in Ocean City to soak up the first few days of summer prior to the convention. He would sit on his striped beach chair, in the sand at the ocean’s edge, with a cooler beside him. And poking out of his beach bag, a scanner would be squawking. The former lifeguard would explain riptides, lifeguard arm signals, and the rigorous training to anyone who cared to listen.
Friday, he would mill about the lobby of The Dunes as people arrived to register, greeting old friends and giving a shy smile to new ones. On Friday and Saturday night, it was Bob who was reminiscing in the hospitality suite. It was Bob who provided the alternative to the bar scene – good old-fashioned socialization. But his favorite part of the weekend was the awards banquet, when he introduced all of us to the scholarship winner. It was his time to show his love to the new generation who would take journalism to the next level.
Rest in peace, Bob. We miss you. We love you. We know your presence will still be felt with us.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation; P.O. Drawer 498; Emmitsburg, MD 21727 www.firehero.org. CAPBA is donating $100 to the foundation in Bob’s name.