Robert Douglas Gillikin was born March 6, 1940, in Goldsboro, North Carolina. He spent most of his young life in Goldsboro and graduated from high school in New Bern, North Carolina. He was a High School All-American in basketball and a very talented left-handed pitcher. He was drafted out of high school by the Baltimore Orioles, but chose to continue his education. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a member of the baseball team. He graduated from the University of North Carolina with an undergraduate degree in romance languages and a masters degree in parks and recreation administration. He began his career as park director in Champaign, Illinois and then Columbus, Indiana.
While in Columbus, he began a 34 year career with Cummins Engine Company. In 1991, he purchased Cummins Southern Plains in Arlington, Texas, where he worked until his retirement in 2008.
He was an active member of the Texas Motor Transportation Association and twice served as its president. He was named TMTA Leader of the Year in 1996. He was involved with the Trinity Trust and served on the Board of Visitors and many committees at the University of North Carolina. He was an avid North Carolina basketball fan. He enjoyed spending time with family and friends at his homes in Kiawah Island, South Carolina and Wilson, Wyoming.
He is survived by his six grandchildren, Connor, Sarah and David Johnson of Richmond, Virginia, and Kate, Alexander and Sally Gillikin of Dallas. They affectionately called him “Bob” and they were the greatest joys of his life.
He is also survived by his daughter, Elizabeth (Connor) of Richmond, Virginia; his son, David (Jenney) of Dallas; and his loving and devoted wife of 48 years, Martha.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Virginia Tech Men’s Golf Team where his eldest grandson will play as a member of the class of 2022. Please send contributions to Virginia Tech Athletic Fund, P.O. Box 10307, Blacksburg, Virginia 24062-0307. Please put “Robert Gillikin/Men’s Golf” on the memo line. Memorials may also be sent to The Trinity Trust Foundation, 114 Oaklawn Ave., Suite 200, Dallas, Texas 75207.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 11 at Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, 8011 Douglas Ave., Dallas, Texas.