Robert Briggs Estlick, 94, a former resident of Columbia City, died at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010 in Edina, Minn.
He was born April 1, 1916 in Troy Township, a son of Neil T. and Blanche M. Estlick. His formative years were spent in Troy Township. He was educated in the Etna Troy School, graduated from Columbia City High School in 1934 and from Indiana University in 1939 with a degree in business.
In 1939 he purchased Estlick Insurance Agency from his grandfather, Charles Estlick. In 1947 he organized the Whitley County Association of Independent Insurance Agents and was elected President of the Indiana Association of Insurance Agents in 1957 and 1958. He also served on several committees for the National Association of Insurance Agents. He retired in 1982.
On Feb. 25, 1940 he was united in marriage to Natalie E. Hoover. They made their home in Columbia City until 1984 when they moved to Dunnellon, Fla., often returning for the summer to spend time at Crooked Lake. Since 2001 they had made their home near their daughters in Marietta, Ga. until 2008 when Mr. Estlick moved near his son in Edina for health reasons.
In March 1944 he enlisted in the United States Navy and was commissioned an Ensign after attending Harvard Naval School in Boston. He served aboard the APA 55 USS Windsor, an attack transport ship, in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He was honorably discharged in March 1946.
A former member of Columbia City United Methodist Church, he was a member of East Cobb United Methodist Church in Marietta, Ga. His memberships also include Columbia City Lodge 189 Free & Accepted Masons, Scottish Rite, Mizpah Shrine, Fort Wayne Consistory Right Templars and Fort Wayne Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks 55.
An avid golfer, he continued to play several times a week until age 93 and shot his age several times in his late 70’s and 80’s. He also had four holes in one over his lifetime playing golf. He enjoyed pike fishing and took several Canadian fishing trips with his Columbia City fishing friends in the late 40’s and 50’s. In later years he enjoyed fishing with his wife, Natalie at the family cottage in Coldwater, Mich. and then with his son over the past several years in northern Minnesota.
In 1987 he developed an interest in genealogy and actively pursued the Estlick heritage back to the late 1500’s. His conversations, travel and research spanned from Washington to New Jersey. He compiled a very complete book and made copies to distribute to family members.
Surviving relatives include his wife, Natalie; three children, Karen (Tom) Sangillo of Columbia City, Tyron (Mary) Estlick of Edina and Tamara (Michael) Guilday of Atlanta, Ga.; seven grandchildren, Mark Rigg, Kristin Rigg, Daniel Estlick, David Estlick, Peter Estlick, Michael Guilday and Laura Guilday; five great-grandchildren, Andrew, Simon and Maren Ronald, Paul and Mary Estlick Rigg; and two sisters, Lois Blanding of Cedar Rapids, Mich. and Dorothy Wiltrout of Warsaw.
His legacy is one of an honest businessman not afraid to put in a hard day’s work while being a good friend to many. He very much enjoyed his entire family and special friends and in the latter years of his life counted his blessings as many. He will be sorely missed.
The funeral service will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City. The visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.
The burial will be at a late date at South Park Annex Cemetery.
Preferred memorials are to the Alzheimer’s Support Group at Columbia City United Methodist Church.
Condolences may be sent to www.smithandsonsfuneralhome.com .