It is with profound sadness that the family of Robert Rinker “Bob” Tresslar announces his death on Jan. 26 of this year at the age of 98.
He was born on Sept. 5, 1922, in Bicknell, the son of Ralph Howe and Bernice Rinker Tresslar. A funeral mass was said on Jan. 30 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Vincennes with the Rev. Father Tony Ernst presiding.
Bob was a lifelong resident of Knox County, save the years he spent away at school or serving in the military. He received his primary education in Bicknell, was a graduate of Culver Military Academy and attended Wabash College until his ROTC commission was activated shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He served in the United States Army Air Corps as a fighter pilot, flying P-40s and later P-47s. He was assigned duties as a test pilot and flight instructor before serving in the European theater for the balance of the war.
He met his wife of 69 years, Maria Teresa Avalos, during a summer school session at the University of Mexico. They were married in 1943, had nine children and 20 grandchildren. After being discharged from the Army, Bob worked alongside his father operating the Tresslar Company variety stores in Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky.
He is survived by his daughter, Maria Cristina Tresslar of Vincennes; his daughter-in-law, MarvaLee Tresslar of Vincennes; his sons and their spouses, Robert and Nancy Tresslar of Denver, Colorado, Chris and Nancy Tresslar of Bloomington, Tim and Young Ae Tresslar of Bloomington, Stephen and Teresa Tresslar of Bloomington, Peter and Linda Tresslar of Denver, John and Mary Tresslar of St. Louis, Missouri, and Michael and Amy Tresslar of Evansville; grandchildren, Jason, Eric, Grace, Chris, Nick, Sara, Rob, Tom, Mike, Dan, Ellie, Maggie, Charlotte, Catie, Patrick, Kathleen, David, Tim, Matt, Jake; along with 22 great-grandchildren.
Bob Tresslar was a member of too many organizations to list them all. Locally he was the past president of Rotary Club of Vincennes, the Knox County Chamber of Commerce, Wabash Valley Soaring Association, and the Christian Education Foundation. He was an avid golfer, playing in the senior league through this past summer. He was a competition sailplane pilot, a member of the U.S. National team who competed in international events several times. He was an enthusiastic member of Dr. Gerry Hippensteel’s annual Canadian fishing expeditions, accompanied by his son Steve and some grandsons.
He was proceeded in death by his wife, Maria Teresa; his son, Mark Edmond Tresslar; and his sister, Ethel Louise Prince.
The family wants to extend thanks to Dr. Hippensteel, the Rev. Ernst and all the selfless and devoted staff of Good Samaritan who provided such excellent care to Bob during his illness.
If desired, memorial contributions may be made in Bob’s name to: YMCA of Vincennes, 2010 College Ave., Vincennes, IN 47591, or Rivet Booster Club, 210 Barnett St., Vincennes, IN 47591.