April 23, 1940 ~ July 21, 2009
LININGER, Robert Ray (69)
Born April 23, 1940, in Upper Sandusky, OH, and went home to be with the Lord July 21, 2009, in Redondo Beach, CA.
See: Guestbook and more info at Carepages.com, Robert Lininger (for leaving confidential contact information)
The rest of the story?
Bob spent his early years in Ohio, where he attended elementary school. His family lived in Hermosa Beach on Golden Avenue and Prospect Avenue and/or in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, going back and forth depending on work. When he moved back to Ohio for middle school and high school he worked with his dad in drilling for oil. His dad, Homer, worked in Long Beach in the War effort during World War II.
In the mid-1940's, he saw the Spruce Goose traveling down Pacific Coast Highway in large pieces heading for Long Beach for final assembly and flight in the Long Beach Harbor. The landscape in Hermosa and Redondo was much different then with easily-seen rolling hills and a lot fewer houses!
While in California, he attended Community Baptist Church of Hermosa Beach/Manhattan Beach/Journey of Faith as early as age 5, and was a member for about 50 years. The church moved from Hermosa Beach to Manhattan Beach and was later renamed Journey of Faith. He also worked with short term teams from Peninsula Baptist Church, Pacific View Baptist Church, and North Redondo Chapel.
He attended Upper Sandusky High School and played football there. He graduated early at age 16 and moved back to California for the last time to play football for El Camino College, although he was offered a football scholarship in Oklahoma.
During/after college, he worked 3 jobs at one time, a graveyard Die Cast Operator at McCulloch Motors, a Gas Station Attendant by El Camino College, where he wore a costume to wave customers into the business, and another part-time job. He tested those McCulloch motors while racing boats with his brother-in-law, Carl Griffin, in the Coastal Outboard Boat Racing Association (COBRA). Speed was Bob's thing; he liked to go fast and furious in everything, whether it had 2, 3 or 4 wheels! He taught Junior High Sunday School and threw in a few courses at Biola University in his spare time! And you wonder where his kids get their energy! In the late 1960?s, he also owned and operated a surfboard shop on Pacific Coast Highway in Hermosa for awhile.
Some of his college roommates, Roger Fiddler and Roy Walls are still in his Crusaders/Legacy, Sunday School Class today!
Bob was originally drafted into the Military, but failed the physical. Looking back, clearly he was bound for God?s service, and the Lord wasn't going to have him work anywhere else!
He met Carolyn when she started attending the Cobus College Business class at church. He was the class President, but quickly recruited Carolyn to lead a Jr. High Girls Sunday School class, since he was leading the boys. Then they started an evening Jr. High program that included teams of kids competing for points to win a flight to Catalina Island with Ted Misenhimer and Mr. Crosley or a boat trip with Merritt Stokoe. The team competition services led to a Senior High service on Wednesdays.
Other missions started simply with several trips to Mexico, to the Door of Faith Orphanage between Tijuana and Ensenada. On one trip they took a load of plywood in the Dodge maxi van filled to the window level, and kids lying on top while going through the border to use for repairs. Another trip was for the purpose of taking a washer and dryer for them.
He must have really wooed Carolyn on all those water skiing date trips with at least 20 Cobus class members in tow! Truly a match made in Heaven, they were married on November 18, 1961, Carolyn was 19, Bob was 21. Carol came along in 1964, and Bobby in 1965. With two kids and a third (Patty) on the way in 1967, they decided things were just not busy enough for them, so they planned a two-month trip in 1969 to build a church in a very remote location--Belize, British Honduras (now the Country of Belize). They even decided to drive there with a trailer to bring their own tools. They discovered very poor, muddy roads and had a lot of stuck trailers to get here. In fact, when one trailer broke down, they had to cut down a tree and use a large branch to keep the trailer going! Kinda like the original Survivor challenge! This first group of teens sat on the floor of their living room and created the name, Teens With A Purpose? (TWAPS for short). Carolyn went and the kids, now 5, 3 and 2 years old, stayed with Grandmas Griffin and Lininger! It wasn't long before Bob/Dad hatched another brilliant idea for the following summer to convert a 12 ton, 36 foot, 84 passenger school bus to a fully equipped motorhome they called a Mobile Mission Station. Then they recruited teens for an outreach and singing tour across 21 states to Washington DC in 1970! This time it was the whole Lininger family in tow, including Carol (6), Bobby (4), and Patty (3) years old!
A similar cycle repeated itself every summer for about 40 years including at least one TWAP trip. Many projects were partially funded by the teens painting houses, replacing roofs of houses and churches. The remainder of the costs for food and travel was paid by each individual team member and Bob and Carolyn paid for each of their own family members. A few of the missions included Africa, Alaska, Belize, Canada, Belgium, France, Irianjaya/Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Maui, and Molokai.
As the kids entered their teen years, the family filled the rest of the year with church, a variety of sports (mostly soccer), dirt bike riding and dune buggying with Uncle Carl and Aunt Pat Griffin. Bob took his family on many desert dirt bike trips, spending many Thanksgivings around a campfire with a turkey dinner and all the fixin?s in Borrego, CA. Yes, he had several 2, 3, and 4 wheeled toys for the family to play with. Over a period of 10 years, Bob always came to the games for all three kids sports to support them! He would bring their dog, Lightfoot, a white Samoyed, wearing a red and white jersey, to Patty?s Redondo High School soccer games. He became their unofficial mascot.
In 2009, Bob continued to attend his grandkids soccer and baseball games in his mobile scooter when his health was failing and he could no longer use his walker.
Even when the kids grew up, moved away and started their own lives, the missions didn't end. In fact, some years included two trips and, in 2001, there were three teams and trips! Bob and Carolyn continued to receive requests for help from missionaries all over the globe and they responded. Bob continued with Homer in Lininger Construction until he retired in the late 1990's. They continued until the summer of 2006. Even though Bob had lost sight temporarily in one eye, then the other, he continued to have a drive to make a difference. So he mostly verbally directed construction activities in Brussels, Belgium. He could also still collate Sunday school printed materials and mailings for Biblical Literature Fellowship (BLF). Bob's heart continued to weaken and he needed a heart valve replacement in fall 2006. His drive and creativity never ceased, even when he was weak and unable to go on a trip, he was still planning the next one in his mind when he got stronger. In the meantime, he directed a large kitchen remodel for Carolyn. His heart gave out too soon. Bob is now relocated and working on a project for God in Heaven, because he could never sit still for very long!
Big Bob loved his family and devoted over 40 years of his life to short-term missions, leading his family, teens and adults to God's service. They were an encouragement to the missionaries in the field to further the goal of sharing Jesus Christ with the world. Several team members have continued in short-term missions and others have gone into full-time Christian service as missionaries and pastors. He leaves a legacy of service, willingness to serve, sacrifice, and getting things done, which will be difficult to duplicate!
Curt Cain, CFO of iHealth Technologies, and a two-trip TWAP (Teens With A Purpose) member from the 1970's wrote in 2009:
Those two trips left a significant impression on my life. First, I remember that Bob was never side tracked by all of those "nay-sayers" that always came up with reasons for not going - he simply ignored their excuses and pressed forward to get something done on the foreign mission field. As Chairman of the Board of a Worldwide Mission Organization, I wish we could find many more people like Bob out there who are willing to count the cost, ignore the "nay-sayers" and get out into the game of making an eternal Kingdom impact on the mission field. There are "doers" and there are "talkers" in life - I thank the Lord that I got to see the model of a real "doer".
Belgian missionary Bud Kroeker writes,
We appreciated his example of hard work and a servant's heart-both for our own children as well as the staff working here, Belgians and Americans alike. His role as a leader meant making decisions, but he also cared for individuals and it could be felt. The work Bob and Carolyn did will continue to bear much fruit many years after his departure. Even though Bob was still quite young, he accomplished a tremendous amount of work for the Lord. We are reminded of the passage of Scripture in Revelation that speak of this work going on after all the suffering and difficulties have passed.
This means that God's holy people must endure persecution patiently, obeying his commands and maintaining their faith in Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ?Write this down: Blessed are those who die I the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work; for their god deeds follow them! (Revelation 14:12-13)
Bob is survived by Carolyn, his wife of 47 years, his daughters, Carol Dela Cruz of Haiku, HI, Patricia Leland of Yuba City, CA, his son, Robert Ray Lininger, Jr., of Redondo Beach, CA, and 11 grandchildren, Zachary, Nicholas, Jacob, and Alyssa Lininger; Ryan Leland; Crystal, Evette, Ashley, Edison Jr., Iwalani, and Sarah Dela Cruz. He was preceded in death by his father Homer Jacob Lininger and his mother, Margaret Ann (Temple) Lininger.
He touched the lives of many, and he will be missed dearly.
As you think of us and Bob in the days ahead, you may want to honor his memory in some way. We would like to recommend a donation to the charity of your choice or to the following special fund for short-term mission ministries at:
Journey of Faith
Big Bob Memorial Fund
1243 Artesia Blvd.
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
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