Robert Paul Slaff "Bob", 89, a 31-year resident of Annapolis, died peacefully March 8 in Crofton. Born on May 6, 1923 in Mt. Vernon, NY, Bob was the son of the late Samuel Slaff and the late Ethel Gaffen Slaff. He graduated from Wyoming Seminary Preparatory School, Kingston, PA in 1940, and the University of Michigan in 1947 with a degree in Political Science. Bob joined NROTC at Michigan, enlisted in the Navy in 1942, served in Naval Lighter- than Air operations and was commissioned as a Lieutenant Junior Grade. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service. The Navy introduced Bob to boats and his professional life was about the marine world. In 1958 he founded Inland Marine in Wilkes Barre, PA and became a distributor of British Seagull engines, Avon inflatable boats, and other marine equipment. In Pennsylvania, Bob was a Councilman for the Borough of Kingston; a Commander of the Kingston American Legion; a President of the Rotary Club; and a President of the Susquehanna River Basin Association. In 1982 Bob moved to Annapolis when his company merged with Imtra Corp. In addition to expanding the business, he also became a freelance marine journalist. Bob wrote a boating column for The Annapolis Capital Sunday sports section for over ten years and a boating calendar for The Baltimore Sun. In 2007 Governor Martin O'Malley appointed him the Maryland Chesapeake Bay Ambassador. Bob was a member of the Maryland Boat Act Advisory Committee for over twenty years, including one term as chairman; a member of the Marine Trades Association of Maryland, including two terms as president; a member of Eastport Yacht Club for 27 years; and a member of the Maryland Watermen's Association and the Democratic Central Committee. He enjoyed boats and savored Annapolis- his license plate read "BOATBOB" -and he was the Minister of the Navy of the Maritime Republic of Eastport. Bob is survived by his wife of 65 years, Esther Shapiro Slaff; his son, Bruce T. Slaff and spouse Amy Rockmaker; three daughters, Susan Slaff Lefkowitz and spouse Melvin Lefkowitz, Amy Slaff Creelman and spouse William Creelman, and Sara Slaff and spouse Andrew Levine; eight grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter. A funeral was held today, Tuesday, March 12, at Congregation Kol Shalom, 1909 Hidden Meadow Lane, Annapolis. Shiva will be at the family home from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., tonight, Tuesday and on Wednesday. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Bob's memory to Congregation Kol Shalom or to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, 725 8th Street, SE, #A, Washington, DC 20003.
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Published in The Capital on Mar. 12, 2013