Born: Meriden, CT on 31 January 1946

Passed away: Dunedin, FL on 30 January 2015

Aged: 68 years

Service Details

A Celebration of Life memorial will be held at Harbor Light Towers (1270 Gulf Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33767), on February 28th, at 2:00 PM . In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Suncoast Hospice - “In memory of Rob Schipke", and mailed to 2675 Tampa Rd., Palm Harbor, Fl. 34684


The Story

Husband Extraordinaire, loving step dad, brother, friend, world traveler, and engineer with an optimistic, courageous fighting spirit, His body finally surrendered to a long, hard battle with cancer on January 30th, 2015, but his spirit lives on. My beloved husband went to his eternal resting place where he suffers no more. He fought with everything he had in him. While he suffered greatly and spent a lot of time in pain, he always put on a good face and never wanted people to see him as the sick guy with cancer. He never wanted people to feel uncomfortable around him or feel sorry for him…he always thought about children fighting cancer, and because of that, he never complained. He fought his battle with dignity and grace, and lived his life to the fullest.

He retired from Lockheed Martin (Orlando Division) in 2010 as an Aerospace Engineer where he enjoyed his career for over 30 years. He was born and raised in Meriden, CT and lived a wonderful boyhood life there. Rob was raised Catholic, attended Catholic school, and served as an alter boy for several years. Even though he wasn’t a big fan of organized religion, he reconciled his own personal relationship to God and was at peace before he passed. He was charitable to several organizations that he truly believed made a difference in people’s lives.

He settled in very quickly to his little beach condo in Clearwater, Fl.. He loved his wife with all of his heart, and his family and friends, loved his beach life, he loved cars, especially his, he loved to fish, swim, dive, kayak, work out at the gym, travel, ski, and sit on the beach with his wife and friends where he spent many wonderful days soaking up the sun and enjoying the wonderfulness of friendships that began there.

For those of us who mourn his loss, he wanted celebrations of his life where friends and family could gather together to celebrate his life and share stories that were unique to him. He always recognized and was grateful that he lived a blessed life. He will always be loved and missed, and he left all of us who knew him with rich, wonderful memories that will last for a lifetime.

Rob is survived by his wife Trish, Adam Long, his stepson, Andrew Schipke, his brother, Rose Schipke, his Aunt, Braden, Melissa, and Ryan Schipke, his niece and nephews, Connie Schipke, his Cousin, and the rest of his family and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, Robert N. Schipke and Ethel Schipke.
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"I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love." Leo Buscaglia Rob, you are missed. In thinking of what to share, and because Rob's passing came so close to my Dad's passing, it has just seemed too emotional to express feelings until now. Rob and my Dad had such a sweet friendship with mutual respect and love for each other. They both knew they were facing their mortality and were able to talk and share feelings about it together. Rob was so courageous till the end. Driving off in his "purple mobile" to workout, even if it was for 10 minutes showed his strength and will to live life to the fullest. His love for Trish, and Trish for him, is what novels are written about. His love of the beach was legendary and he never tired of the nightly sunsets that Trish has documented. They cherished every last moment together. It was a priveledge to have know him. "May every sunrise hold more promise, every moon rise hold more peace." Author Unknown

Lynne Sutherland

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As God would have it my first version of this tribute was lost in the abyss of the "cloud". Clearly God had a different set of words and purpose for my tribute. I write this not because I knew Rob intimately, but because I know well the woman who loves him, my dear friend Trish. Like Trish, I know the pain of losing your husband; but unlike Trish, I didn't know it was coming. It is in the knowing that Rob showed his true character to us all. When I think of Rob I think of these words penned by Luke, "he grew in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man" (Luke 2:52). What as not to love about this man? During a time when we can't imagine the physical and emotional pain he endured, Rob understood his days were numbered, and he made every moment count. Unlike most of us who squander our time with our loved ones, Rob was ever-aware of the precious gift of time. He was determined to live every day, like it was his last, and in that determination he gave Trish 10 lifetimes of memories. In a few short years these two traveled the globe, experienced life to the fullest, and loved each other with every fiber of their beings. Rob patiently allowed Trish to document these memories with her camera, giving her a gift that would carry her through the grief that would come when he was gone. Today she replays those memories as a testimony to their love, a little gift to us all and a reminder of our tenuous lives and the precious gift of time. In Rob we see proof of Romans 8:28, God DOES worth all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. God took something really bad, cancer, and used it to perfect a man by making him patient, persistent, and endurant...and while his physical body declined, Rob's spirit grew...he became wiser, kinder, more loving, more like Christ... No doubt Rob experienced Paul's dilemma, to be absent from the body and be home with the Lord would be so much better (2Cor 5:8) yet he stayed while he could until he knew that Trish was ready. Rob is a hero... he fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith (2Tim 4:7). What a legacy to leave to your loved ones or to non-believers. I salute a life well lived and a man well loved...

Barbara Serianni

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We didn't get to know Rob as well as we would've liked but we sure did enjoy his company! He was warm, friendly and obviously in love with his soulmate Trish. Their time together was special and we have no doubt they will be united once again in God's kingdom for eternity. Jake, Joanne, Bob and Nan

Joanne and Jake Jacob

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There are no words to say how much you are missed. I miss you more for my sister than anything but my heart is sad too that you are gone from all of us. You fought a long hard battle but God decided it was time for you to come home. I love you and pray you are at peace and will always look out for my sister. I hope she can find peace knowing you are with Jesus. See you again someday Rob

Rhonda stewart

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Rob, thank you for your friendship, words of wisdom, and wonderful spirit. We both learned so much from you in many ways and will cherish the memories of great conversation we had while enjoying the sun and the waves! You will certainly be missed!!!

Scott and Lana Mckinley

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Rob and Andy

Andrew Schipke shared a photo.

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Mom (Ethel) Rob and Andy they day he came home from the hospital in 1956

Andrew Schipke shared a photo.

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Rob and Andy

Andrew Schipke shared a photo.

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Rob and Andy -1956

Andrew Schipke shared a photo.

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Andrew Schipke shared a photo.

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