Dr. Bilinski was born October 12, 1920, in New York's Westchester County to Veroniqa and William Bilinski who emigrated from Poland.
He was active in high school basketball, football, and track. He entered what was then Penn State College where he was a 'walk-on' in their basketball program and lettered in his second year just shortly before he volunteered for WWII military service.
A recipient of the Bronze Star
, the Combat Infantry Badge, and several campaign medals, he was with the 104th Infantry Division and participated in the fighting for France, Belgium, Holland, and down to Cologne (Germany) on the Rhine River. His rifle company was one of the first units to arrive in Cherbourg by water.
Prior to being assigned to the 104th Inf. Division as a rifleman, he was selected for training with a Foreign Area and Language Unit, which required that each member be proficient in at least one foreign language - his was Polish. In this endeavor, he received further training at Auburn University and then the University of Illinois
. No stranger to California, Dr. Bilinski was stationed at Camp San Luis Obispo, Fort Ord near San Francisco, and at San Diego's Camp Callan (which is now Torrey Pines Golf Course). He was also on military maneuvers in the Salton Sea area just before leaving for Europe.
While on the front lines, he frequently assisted a Military Intelligence unit in the interrogation of POWs and particularly displaced persons. These contacts gained him a transfer out of the infantry and into Military Intelligence School in Le Vesinet, France.
Upon completing his WWII military service, he went ahead with the promise that he made to himself as a rifleman, that he would return to college. The credits that he had gained during military training at Auburn and Illinois Universities, and Penn State College allowed him to complete his undergraduate BA degree, having carried a double major (Psychology and Business Administration at Albright College.) He received a fellowship at Oklahoma State University where he received a Master of Arts degree, and later a Doctorate. But first, he attended the University of Missouri where he received a M. Ed. Degree and then to his home town, Westchester County - N.Y. and attended ivy league Columbia University where he received a Master of Science degree before returning to Oklahoma State for his specialty area of Psychology. Whenever possible, he doubled up on classes to finish his degree requirements quickly.
When he talked about the colleges and universities he had attended, he would always seem to be amused at the fact that he disliked elementary school, did poorly in junior high school, and almost flunked out of high school. Despite pre-WWII dislike of school, he did exceptionally well at the undergraduate and graduate school levels.
Following completion of his doctoral studies, he accepted a position with New York City's McCann-Erickson advertising firm. Not liking the New York City rat-race and crowded conditions, he accepted a Senior Research Engineer position at Convair's Atlas Missile where he was a Project Director for several years. He spent his final years of research efforts as a scientist with Point Loma's Naval Electronics Laboratory. His final assignment was to direct a U.S. Marine riflemen study at Oceanside's Camp Pendleton.
A prolific writer, Bilinski authored a number of technical articles in the Human Factors, Man-Machine, and Human Engineering areas. However, he also published less technical articles in sports fishing, several travel articles in local newspapers, and numerous articles on numismatics, including four books on investing in coins. One received a positive review in the San Diego Union's Book section. Because of his wide interest and writing on numismatics, the San Diego Union described him as an internationally-known numismatic analyst.
In addition to being licensed as a California Psychologist, he also held an advanced ham radio operator license, WA6DZT, as well as a Community College Instructor Credential (and was perhaps one of the few people in the developed world to never use a credit card or ATM machine).
Dr. Bilinski moved to Point Loma in 1952, and worked as a U.S. Navy Scientist. He was called "C.R." in the office, and Bob by his friends - a Project Director of more than 30 major military studies
He and his wife were married for 56 years; they became Del Mar residents in 1959. After purchasing acreage near Rancho Santa Fe, he and his wife spent almost five years building their home. The custom-built home was given a full-page write up in the Sunday Edition of the San Diego Union's Homes and Garden section in 1969. In the early 1970's, he became interested in investing in commercial beachfront property, from Oceanside to as far south as San Ysidro. Later he centered his investment interests in residential properties in La Jolla, Ramona, Escondido, Fallbrook and Solana Beach.
He and his wife enjoyed hiking and fishing throughout the Southwest, and in particular, in the far northern reaches of Canadian provinces which could only be reached by float plane.
Dr. Bilinski departed this life on Friday, October 25, 2013.
He is survived by his wife and three children.
Private services will be held.