Dr. Robert Wildblood, 78, "Dr. Bob," Chantilly, Virginia, passed away at home Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, surrounded by loved ones. He had been ill since suffering a fall in December 2016.
Bob was born May 8, 1939, in Trenton, New Jersey, to Edward and Marie (Woolbert) Wildblood. Bob grew up in Woodbridge, New Jersey, where he excelled in academics (and sitting in the hall) and extracurricular activities. He was voted Friendliest of his senior class of 1957. Classmates remember him as a swell guy with a terrific personality. Bob played bass violin in the high school orchestra and in local dance bands; he also played several other musical instruments. He had a delightful singing voice and loved all kinds of music. He was a ham radio operator, loved to target shoot, and loved his green and yellow '50 Ford with Overdrive and his 50-something MG-TB. He owned several Mazda Miatas throughout his lifetime.
After graduating from Woodbridge High School (New Jersey), he matriculated to Purdue University, where he had way too much fun and was "invited not to return." He joined the Navy, where he served as a hospital corpsman, medical lab technician and blood bank technician. Upon discharge, Bob returned to Purdue, where he earned three degrees: BS in Psychology, MS in Child Psychology and PhD in counseling psychology (1972).
In 1970 he took his first college teaching job at Radford College (Virginia), where he distinguished himself as an inspirational psychology professor and a genuine supporter of students. He held subsequent positions at Christopher Newport College (Virginia), Hood College (Maryland), East Stroudsburg University (Pennsylvania), Carlow College (Pennsylvania), Mercy College of Detroit (Michigan), Indiana University Kokomo, and Northern Virginia Community College. In addition to positions as a college professor in psychology, he held administrative positions, including academic dean, director of counseling, director of professional studies, and vice president for academic affairs. He also provided therapeutic counseling as a private practitioner in both Virginia and Indiana.
Bob was a consummate supporter of students. He treated them as equals in both education and personal growth areas of their lives. He was an excellent listener, an astute problem-solver and had the unique ability of helping students find their true callings and acquiring the confidence to reach their highest dreams. Hundreds of his students had kept in touch with Bob throughout his career. Twice he was voted the Amicus Award (friend of students) by the student body at Indiana University Kokomo.
Bob was also a skilled communicator, college administrator and academic dean, winning appreciation and respect from his staff as a friend, colleague and mentor. He had a common sense, rational approach to supervision, coupled with a sensitivity for the human heart. Even as an administrator, he continued to teach in the classroom to stay familiar with students and their changing attitudes, issues and dreams.
Bob is survived by his spouse, Margie (Crowe-Gray) Wildblood, one of his most favorite students, whom he met in 1970 at Radford College and whom he married in 2000; brother, Arthur F Wildblood (Florida); half sister, Betty Lee Terryberry and husband Ken (Florida); daughter, Stacy Cullen-Rinker (Pennsylvania); grandchildren, Jade, James, Jason Cullen, and Jacob Rinker (Pennsylvania); great-grandchildren, Gavin Cullen and Donavin Tanner (Pennsylvania); stepson, Joshua Gray and wife, Jennifer Myers Gray; grandchildren, Kendall and Owen Gray (Virginia); and former spouses, Joan Wildblood (Virginia), and Rebecca Barnes (Maryland).
He was preceded in death by his father, Edward James Wildblood; his mother, Marie Elizabeth (Woolbert) Wildblood; and half brother, Edward J Wildblood Jr.
A celebration of life will be held in Virginia at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, at the Universalist Unitarian Church, 1625 Wiehle Ave., Reston, Virginia, and in Indiana at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, on the campus of Indiana University Kokomo, 2300 S. Washington St., in Kresge Auditorium, Kelley Student Center.
To sign the online guest book, go to: http://www.virginiacremate.com/locations/chantilly-cremation. Under "In Our Care," Click on Robert Wildblood.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in his name may be made to any of the higher education funds listed below to support Bob's lifelong commitment to his students. Please note your contribution in memory of Robert Wildblood. All donations are tax deductible, and you will receive a receipt.
Indiana University Kokomo: donations should be made to the IU Foundation for the IU Kokomo School of Humanities and Social Sciences Fund. Checks can be sent to IU Kokomo Main Building, 2300 S. Washington St, PO Box 9003, Kokomo, IN 46904-9003 or gifts can be made online by going to iuk.edu and clicking on the "Give Now" link. Northern Virginia Community College: memorial contributions may be made by check to the NVCC Educational Foundation, 4001 Wakefield Chapel Road, Annandale, VA 22003 or online at http://bit.ly/2dPNc0d. Select Robert Wildblood Scholarship from the drop-down menu. Purdue University: gifts in Bob's memory may be made to The Purdue Scholarship Fund at www.purdue.edu/give, or by mail: Purdue University, 403 W Wood St., West Lafayette, IN 47907.
Published on September 20, 2017