December 22, 1998
Bob Dellinger's name should be familiar to a lot of folks in this sport-happy town. Bob began his career in journalism at the Ponca City News where he covered all high school athletic endeavors as well as the Ponca City team in the old class D Sooner State Baseball League. He moved on to the sports department of the Daily Oklahoman and eventually became sports editor. During his tenure at that paper, Bob was well known throughout this state and far beyond its borders. He was (and still is) one of the most knowledgeable writers on the subject of amateur wrestling, notably at the high school and collegiate level. That is a difficult sport to write about because of the complexities in weights, variety of holds, penalty points and individual scoring. I would say Bob was one of the top two writers on that subject, the other one being our own Gene Seat, who used to cover the PHS Maroon wrestlers for this paper. The late Coach John Divine thought highly of both of them.
In due time Bob moved from sports editor of the Daily Oklahoman to executive director of the National Wrestling Federation Hall of Fame in Stillwater, and there he remained until retiring last year. Bob and his wife, Doris, have operated a publishing business, Oklahoma Bylines, Inc., based at their home in Stillwater. Among other things, a few years ago they handled the publication of Perry Tales, a sampling of material from my North West Corner. Doris is an accomplished writer, editor and journalist in her own right. When she and Bob lived in Oklahoma City she wrote a column called the Eternal Triangle, with practical and witty information about child-rearing, for the Oklahoman's women's page. She also contributed in a major way to writing and editing some of the volumes for Oklahoma State University's acclaimed centennial history.
Bob has been a familiar figure at national NCAA wrestling tournaments for several years. He has officiated and assisted at many matches and at several levels. He is a tremendous natural resource and historian for the ancient art. He is highly regarded by coaches, wrestlers and anyone else connected with the sport.
All this is prologue to some information I received the other day from Bob and Doris. He has been diagnosed with a troubling illness and is undergoing treatment for it now. It's not the best time of year to be dealing with an issue like this, but the two of them are handling it, characteristically, in a methodical and cheerful way. Even if you don't know Bob or Doris, they'll appreciate your good thoughts and prayers. Just thought you would like to know.