Obituary: Robert Sollenberger
September 14, 1945 – May 15, 2021
Robert Travis Sollenberger passed away on Saturday, May 15, 2021 in Virginia. He was born on September 14, 1945 in Pensacola, FL while his father was in Naval Flight School. Rob lived many places as a child, including on Okinawa. He graduated from Mercersburg Academy, a boarding school in Pennsylvania, while his father was stationed in Denmark. Rob was also a Boy Scout and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Rob attended the United States Naval Academy. After graduating from USNA in 1967, he served aboard a ship in Vietnam, and went on to a distinguished 26-year career as a Surface Warfare Officer (a “black shoe”). His proudest tour was as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. Lang (FF-1060). He was also honored to serve as the Defense and Naval Liaison Officer in Hong Kong from 1990-1992.
Rob retired from the United States Navy in 1993, having attained the rank of Captain. He continued his life of service through volunteer work with the Virginia Beach Police Department, and later with the McLean Volunteer Fire Department as a paramedic. The call of the mountains was strong, and in 2007 he moved to Silverthorne, Colorado, where he joined Summit County Rescue Group. He loved his log home, which he shared with his rescue dog “Piper”.
Rob was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2010. He refused to let it slow him down and used every opportunity to help newly diagnosed “Parkies” stay positive. An avid supporter of medical research, Rob participated in every clinical trial offered to him, making semi-annual trips to Johns Hopkins at his own expense. He knew he would not personally benefit from his participation, but was comforted by the knowledge that those who came after him would.
As befitting a Naval Officer, Rob’s ashes will be scattered at sea by his son, daughter, grandson and granddaughter.
Gifts in memory of Robert Sollenberger may be made to:
1.Summit County Rescue Group (P.O. Box 1794; Breckenridge, CO; 80424 or https://www.scrg.org/)
2. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (P.O. Box 5014; Hagerstown, MD; 21741 or https://www.michaeljfox.org/)
3.Boy Scouts of America (P.O. Box 152079; Irving, TX; 75015 or https://www.scouting.org/)
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