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Robert C. Denlinger

"The bond that links your true family is not of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life." - Richard Bach

Robert C. Denlinger

The Descendants of Marie Ferree organization lost a dear friend with the passing of Bob Denlinger on August 15, 2007. He was an integral member of our Reunion Planning Committee and because of his assistance and commitment to our organization he became an honorary member of the Ferree family. Many will remember him as the moderator for our Ferree Family Reunion tours of Paradise. His knowledge of the area and in particular the stories of history of the homesteads and historic sites connected with the Ferree family made the tours memorable. Many of the Ferree family are also familiar with him as editor of "Paradise: Our Heritage, Our Home". He was admired and respected by all who knew him.

Robert C. Denlinger was born in Kinzer, PA, in 1926, the son of Walter S. and Nora Armer Denlinger. He attended Belmont Elementary School and Paradise Township High School where he was editor of the newspaper and an associate editor of the yearbook. He served with the Army Corps of Engineers during World War II. In 1950 he earned his B.S. in Education from Marshall College and later, in 1962, his Master of Education from Temple University. His teaching career began in 1952, and for over twenty nine years his career included serving as a teacher, an administrator of federal programs, a member of the P.S.E.A., and as a commissioner's assistant for the Pennsylvania Department of Education. He retired in 1989, but remained very active in many aspects of community service. Bob and his wife, Betty Shirk Denlinger, were parents of four children: Beth, Barbara, Bonita, and Robert, Jr.

He was a member of the Leacock Presbyterian Church in Paradise, Paradise Township Lions Club, Christiana Masonic Lodge, and the Paradise Township Citizens Committee.

In 1994, when the Paradise Township Citizens Committee discussed reprinting "250 Years in Paradise", it was decided to upgrade the information, develop, and publish a new book. Bob Denlinger was named editor and "Paradise: Our Heritage, Our Home" was published. The following was written about him in the opening pages of that book

Community service on the part of Bob and his wife, Betty, Denlinger, is a primary strand in their life style. They have met the family responsibilities that were part of rearing their four children and still have found time to be part of the projects of benefit to their fellow men. - Sam Stoltzfus

Below are just a few of many tributes that have been paid in honor of his memory.

I will always remember Bob Denlinger and how my sisters and I contacted him when we had the idea for the first reunion in Paradise. If it were not for Bob, we would not have been able to organize and found The Descendants of Marie Ferree association. That first year, Bob connected us with people in Paradise. He set up and led the first tours we had of the Ferree Homesteads at that first reunion. He recruited other tour guides for us since we had four bus trips that first year - two in the morning and two in the afternoon. Bob sat at the table at the Community Center most of the weekend and sold any books on Paradise he could find where we could make a small profit, including his own "Paradise: Our Heritage, Our Home". He continued to help us each year we have had a reunion. Bob and his wife, Betty, became good friends with my sisters and I. The more I got to know him the more I realized that he was a wealth of information on the founding of his birthplace and our heritage in Paradise. Bob will be greatly missed by many, many people. - Nancy Kosman


I had the privilege of knowing Bob Denlinger and working with him on our Ferree Family Reunion Planning Committee. As plans for 2007 reunion were being finalized we had opportunity to correspond and speak on the phone organizing the Paradise Homestead Tour. He was so knowledgeable of the area and caring about the community. I recall during a phone conversation his expressing concern over what was happening to some of the historic sites. Bob became ill soon after that and was not able to complete plans for the tour or to attend the reunion. Although he was not there in person, we knew he was there in spirit. - Nancy Johnson


Though I never met him in person, I had talked with him when I was looking for a copy of his Paradise book to send to my sister. Speaking for myself, his work on the Ferree history helped me link with cousins I never knew I had. He will be missed by all Ferrees and many others. - Chris Ferree