xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

‘Taneytown is better because he lived there’: Former mayor Flickinger remembered for dedication to faith, family, community

Kyle Greenholt said some of his best memories with his grandfather involved sitting at the dinner table, listening to him tell stories and give advice.

Greenholt said these treasured moments, plus many more, are those he will hold on to forever.

Advertisement

William Robert “Bob” Flickinger, 88, of Taneytown, who served three terms as the city’s mayor, died Jan. 1 at Lorien Taneytown from pneumonia brought on by complications of COVID-19. Flickinger had a dedicated history of public service to his family and the Taneytown community, say those who knew him.

“The pastor yesterday said it perfectly,” Greenholt said. “He was a true servant and his religion was very important to him. Being a true servant of the Lord and helping people was really what my grandfather loved.

Advertisement

“As far as his personality, he was just outgoing and fun-loving, gregarious and warm. He was incredible, he really was.”

Robert Flickinger, former mayor of Taneytown, poses for a portrait in his front yard in 1999.
Robert Flickinger, former mayor of Taneytown, poses for a portrait in his front yard in 1999. (NANINE HARTZENBUSCH)

Flickinger was born Dec. 3, 1932 in Tyrone, Maryland and married his wife, Fairy, on June 30, 1957 while serving in the U.S. Army from 1955-58. They were married for 63 years. He worked at Random House, Inc. in Westminster for 26 years and retired in 1993.

Flickinger was an active member of Grace United Church of Christ in Taneytown and helped at the Grace United Learning Center, a nonprofit childcare facility that serves children from 2-8 years old with a before and after school program.

He served as mayor of Taneytown for three terms (1978-79, 1995-99, and 2003-07) and he was a Taneytown city councilman for more than 16 years. He was inducted into the Municipal League Hall of Fame in 1997 after serving more than 20 years in public office.

Robert Flickinger, who died on Jan. 2, 2021, served three terms as mayor of Taneytown. Among other things, he helped with mowing lawns. This file photo was taken after he finished mowing the lawn at the United Church of Christ in 2003.
Robert Flickinger, who died on Jan. 2, 2021, served three terms as mayor of Taneytown. Among other things, he helped with mowing lawns. This file photo was taken after he finished mowing the lawn at the United Church of Christ in 2003. (JERRY JACKSON)

Bradley Wantz, in his first term as mayor of Taneytown, said Flickinger, his great-uncle, was one of the most hands-on mayors the city has ever had. Flickinger’s dedication to local politics and public service inspired Wantz to pursue a similar path.

“He spent a lot of his time being out mowing people’s lawns for them or helping public works as opposed to being in City Hall,” Wantz said. “He was instrumental in getting a lot of major projects through during his tenure and he was just an absolutely phenomenal worker — one of the best public servants you would ever meet.”

He served twice as club president of the Taneytown Lions Club (1977-78, 1996-97) and was awarded the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award as well as the District 22-W Honor Roll Award for 46 years of perfect attendance. In addition, he was a former member of the Taneytown Jaycees, former member and chairman of the Carroll County Commission on Aging, Carroll County Parks and Recreation Council, and Carroll County Historical Society.

Doris Rasche, Donna Sako, Doug Heck, Kim Carter, George Naylor, Mayor Robert Flickinger, George Crouse, and Tyler Boone participate in the opening of the Taneytown History Museum on Aug. 25, 2004.
Doris Rasche, Donna Sako, Doug Heck, Kim Carter, George Naylor, Mayor Robert Flickinger, George Crouse, and Tyler Boone participate in the opening of the Taneytown History Museum on Aug. 25, 2004. (Baltimore Sun)

Flick’s Pub and Flickinger Park in Taneytown are named after him.

Greenholt said Flickinger was one of the hardest-working men he had ever met and he was fond of gardening, planting trees and vegetables, and yard work.

“I think he would want to be remembered as being kind,” Greenholt said. “We all have those people we don’t get along with, but by grandfather, really, when he was mayor, he published his home phone number so people could get ahold of him.

“That’s the type of person he was. He wanted to help people and be involved in his community.”

Greenholt said Flickinger’s accomplishments were surpassed only by the pride he felt for his family, noting his 63-year marriage to Fairy.

Advertisement

He said Flickinger pinned grandson Sean Flickinger as a first lieutenant at his Officer Candidate School commissioning ceremony for the U.S. Marine Corps and was exceptionally proud to see his three grandsons get married.

“He was an incredible man,” Greenholt said. “I read a line I saw from the internet when I was giving my eulogy that said, ‘To leave a legacy means to leave the places you’ve been and the people you met a little bit better than when you were there.’

“That is my grandfather to a ‘T,’ and Taneytown is better because he lived there, and anyone who’s ever met him is better because they knew him.”

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement