Robert E. Saltmarsh

February 3, 1931April 13, 2019

Dr. Robert E Saltmarsh, crossed his last goal line on April 13, 2019 at the age of 88, of natural causes. He was surrounded and is survived by his daughters Sue, Kathy, and Kerry, son-in-law Chris Smith and treasured granddaughters Camille and Tess. Bob, or “Salty” as he was called, was born in Sydney, Ohio and lived most of his formative years in West Milton where he first discovered one of the guiding lights of his life – football. A member of the Milton Union High School Bulldogs, he was recruited to Miami University by none other than Woody Hayes and became a Miami Redskin (he would never accept the politically correct name change to Redhawks) on a football scholarship. While at Miami in Oxford, Ohio, two significant things happened. He was part of the Salad Bowl team that beat Arizona State in 1951 under Coach Ara Parseghian and he met his future wife, Markay Hendricks who passed away in 2015. One of his greatest joys was keeping in touch with former teammates and players. He loved to hear from players he’d coached and even after he wasn’t physically able, he would long to travel to Oxford for the annual reunion of that team and share the memories of their glory days together. His daughters like to think of those guys who passed before him welcoming him to the Big Game! In addition to his family and football, education and counseling were the focus of his later career. After marrying Markay, he taught Biology at Lemon Monroe and Princeton High Schools near Cincinnati, also coaching their football teams. It was while coaching that he saw the importance of caring for the total player, not just the athlete. In 1965, he moved the family from Ohio to Bloomington, Indiana where he earned his PhD in Educational Psychology and Guidance from Indiana University. After graduating, he began his college teaching career in the Educational Psychology and Guidance Department at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. He later became Chairman of the Department. In addition to teaching he served as NCAA faculty representative for 14 years. He also had a private marriage and family counseling practice. When he retired in 1997, many former students and colleagues filled the room at his party and many heartfelt stories were told. Bob and Markay moved from Charleston to Springfield’s Villas at Pine Creek to be near middle daughter Kathy, being joined by Sue in 2014. After Markay’s death in 2015, Salty moved to Centennial Pointe Assisted Living where the incredible staff took care of him as his health declined until the end. His life was long and full and he leaves behind a legacy of valuing learning, generosity, compassion, and the bonding of teamwork to achieve the victories life offers. As was his wish, his daughters will scatter his ashes on the football fields where he played. In lieu of condolences, you can celebrate Bob’s/Coach’s/Salty’s victories by making donations to either Miami University ( or Eastern Illinois University ( and cards may be sent to Sue Saltmarsh, 517 S. Park Ave, Springfield, IL. 62704.


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Robert E. Saltmarsh

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Debbie Gerdes

April 22, 2019

Bob, you will truly be missed! You were my supervisor, professor, mentor, friend, and one of my biggest supporter. I have so many wonderful memories. One of them was when you sent me a letter at work one day when I was feeling overwhelmed. I still have that letter. In it you told me "Your being and your work has touched many unseen lives. Closer to home, you've touched those of us who are seen every day." You always played this belief forward. As a result your students became educators and/or counselors and, in turn, are effecting thousands of more student lives. I know you and Dr. Hubele are smiling down on all of us! Your daughters and family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Shannon Meyer

April 20, 2019

I have countless memories of Salty. Caring for him these past few years were many ups and down. I will always cherish his smiles the most. Seeing his smile on the morning he passed was so rewarding. Salty taught me alot of things but his "spelling" lessons were wonderful. I will miss you Salty and your amazing daughters

Gloria Leitschuh

April 19, 2019

Bob Saltmarsh was a legend in his own time. He had an impact on many lives including my own, while I was working on my master's degree at EIU. He was one of my favorite professors who made the job look easy! He was always supportive and taught by example. I now teach the same courses that he taught and in the same department at EIU. I use everything he taught me, every day. I will not forget him and I hope I have passed on what he gave me!

Jacqueline Stocks

April 17, 2019

Dr. Saltmarsh was very good to me. I worked as an undergrad in the counseling department for a couple years just before he retired. When my grades were poor, and the threat of being dismissed from the school was a good possibility, he went to bat for me. He personally called the Dean of EIU and gave his personal guarantee I would bring my grades up. He saved my ass and changed the trajectory of my life. Next term I made the Deans list!
He also brought me a small wooden box with a sunflower on it from a vacation one year that I still keep in my room with my children’s first tooth in it.

Charles Eberly

April 17, 2019

When I flew to Charleston, Illinois, for my faculty interview in late January, 1987, Dr. Robert Saltmarsh was my host for the weekend. He took me to the Panthers Basketball game, and he did not hold back his enthusiasm nor his advocacy on behalf of the team. He stood up when others were not to express his joy at their successes, and yelled loudly at the refs when he did not like their calls. When I started as a new faculty member, Bob and I shared an office together. I acquired what I think was the equivalent of a second master's degree as I was present when he worked with his students, heard him practice his counseling skills, and listened while he emoted when events were not as he thought they should be, particularly in his role as the NCAA Representative for the Athletic Department. I still use words and phrases that I first heard him state, such as "Tell me more about that," and "Specifically, what do you mean?, and turn-arounds such as "I am just having a good time," when most people say the opposite. I would never have had the success I did as a faculty member at EIU without the skills I learned by osmosis from being in his presence. I "see you, Bob", and just as you often said, "enjoy the experience" as you go on to the next life.

Steve Allen

April 16, 2019

"Salty" loomed large in my graduate student years and for many years following our professor/student relationship as friends and as professional colleagues. He was always supportive of my efforts and was that guy who worked to find positive aspects and gifts in people and to encourage and build upon those strengths. He had an engaging sense of humor and provided a model for networking among others. I will always be thankful for his friendship, his support and his openness.

Jerry Hicks

April 16, 2019

An important person in my life, a most supportive and encouraging teacher. Bob’s encouragement inspired me, and likely many others, to enter into the helping profession.