VANDALIA — Robert B. Chiles, age 87 of Vandalia, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 25 after a lengthy illness. Chiles retired as Postmaster of Vandalia after 39.5 years of service. He served as Past-President of the Vandalia-Butler Chamber of Commerce and later served eight years as the Executive Director. He helped with the annual Dayton Air Show parade for many years and was honored as its Grand Marshall in 2014.
According to current Vandalia-Butler Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Will Roberts, Chiles was the “consummate volunteer” and noted that if there was an event or organization in Vandalia, Chiles “had his hands in it.” During his years working as Executive Director for the Vandalia-Butler Chamber of Commerce, Chiles was instrumental in events like the Air Show Parade and stayed involved for many years by chairing the commemorative coin sales at the American Trapshooting Association (ATA).
“Bob was truly Mr. Vandalia,” said Roberts.
Many of Bob’s colleagues from the Chamber fondly remember his passion for the community and his yellow note pad.
“He kept everything on those note pads,” commented Bob Lewis, along with past Chamber Director Don Keebaugh and past Chamber Office Administrator Linda McCarty. “Unlike the tools available to us in today’s digital environment, Bob drew up and laid out events like the air show parade on his yellow legal pad.”
“We were all terribly saddened by the news,” said Roberts. “I had the privilege to learn the ins and outs of the air show parade under his guidance, and thanks to Bob’s commitment and dedication, the parade is still successful today.”
Roberts said that Chiles was passionate about everything he did and that passion spilled out to everyone involved.
“Bob was a behind-the-scenes kind of person who never wanted to be in the lime-light,” said Roberts.
Chiles was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the President’s Club of Vandalia in 1998. The Miami Valley Military Affairs Association (MVMAA) recognizes Chiles every year with their golf outing which was renamed several years ago as the Bob Chiles Golf Classic. He served as the Chairman of the MVMAA/Presidents Club annual golf outing held at Wright Patterson Air Force Base for 30 years and served as Past President and also on the Board of Directors of the MVMAA.
Chiles was instrumental in starting the Boy Scouts in his home church, St. Christopher Parish. He was active in the YMCA for several years in the Young Adult program as well as working in the membership office. Chiles served in the U.S. Army, being part of the Army of Occupation in Germany after WWII.
Chiles was a member of St. Christopher Catholic Church and served as one of the first Lay Lectors of the parish. He was a member of Sister Cities of Vandalia since 1979 and was among those who made several visits to Lichtenfels, Germany and Prestwick, Scotland.
Chiles is survived by his wife of 63 years, Thea (Pfeiffer) and four children, Timothy James Chiles (Jetta), Christopher Robert Chiles (Jennifer), Gregory Scott Chiles (Lori) and Carl Anthony Chiles.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held Monday, Nov. 30 at St. Christopher Church with Fr. Francis Keferl officiating. Interment followed at Dayton Memorial Park Cemetery. Contributions may be made to Fisher House, Inc., P.O. Box 33871, WPAFB, OH 45433 or to St. Christopher Church in Bob’s memory.
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