Robert E. “Bob” Whiteside

May 23, 1928 ‒ October 05, 2015

Delaware, Ohio

Robert “Bob” Whiteside local inventor and founder of Whiteside Manufacturing in Delaware passed away Monday, October 5, 2015 following a two week illness at the age of 87.

Best described by his family “what set Robert apart was his fundamental attitude toward business and life. He believed in quality, working hard, and never being satisfied. His handshake was trusted just as his word. He was the picture of the American Dream.”

Now in its third generation his family business was started by him and his wife Mary Lue in a two car garage with $800 in 1954. Their first product was a wooden creeper which has been used by every mechanic. Over the years he learned his ideas and creations required protection, today Whiteside holds over 79 patents and the innovative company offers a selection of over 150 models of creepers and seats used by the mechanic trade.

Bob Whiteside b

Bob was born in Ostrander on May 23, 1928 to the late Franklin and Hildredth (Davis) Whiteside. Graduating from Magnetic Springs High School in 1946, he went on to attend Bliss Business College and The Ohio State University. He also served 8 years in the US Navy Reserves.

He married Mary Lue (Wilcox) in 1950, together as mentioned they lived the “American Dream”. Raising their children who became men; they made a home, supported the Delaware community and built a successful company.

His love of family and friends is surpassed only by his love of God. He was an active member of New Beginnings (Grace) United Methodist Church. Over the years Bob was a past member of the Delaware Chamber of Commerce and served as President of the Kiwanis Club and on the Delaware City School Board.

He enjoyed a passion for harness horses and all sports. For 33 years he officiated high school and college basketball and was an interpretor for basketball. A commissioner of the former Central Ohio Buckeye League for 12 years, Bob was also a member of the Ohio High School Officials Association and the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association.

Evolving through life Roberts traits changed from the driven mentor, achiever, and perfectionist, to enjoying the lighter side of life being entertaining and fun loving.

Bob and Mary Lue’s greatest achievement was working to “raise men”.

He is survived by his beloved wife of Mary Lue, sons Kirt (Karen) of Marion, Jeff (Tracy) of Powell, and Terry (Cindy) of Delaware, 8 grandchildren Tenille (Matt) Schoonover, Cortney (Chad) Mays, Sheleah, Cara, David (Lindsey), and Robby Whiteside, Lauren and Will Wright, 6 great-grandchildren Mia, Liam, Alia, Leia Schoonover, Kajsa and Kai Mays, siblings Margaret (Paul) Anderson of Coshocton, Pat (Jim) Lathrop of FL, sisters-in-law Pat Whiteside of Delaware, and Judy (Ray) Ferguson of TX, and a host of nieces, nephews, and friends.

He was also preceded in death by son Gary in 1962, brothers James, William, Donald, sisters-in-law Eunice Whiteside, Bette Zimmerman, Jeane Brokaw, brothers-in-law Ray Ferguson and Paul Anderson.

Friends may call 1-4 p.m. on Sunday at the Snyder-Rodman Funeral Center, 1510 W. William St. at Valleyside Dr., Delaware where services will be held 11:00 a.m. Monday with Rev. David Carter officiating.  Burial will follow in Oak Grove Cemetery.

Memorial contributions can be made to New Beginnings United Methodist Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 1268, Delaware, Ohio 43015

To share a condolence or a fond memory with the Whiteside family visit

  • Our hearts and prayers go out to all of you. Bob was a great man and always had that smile on his face. And I’m sure St. Peter is pushing him through the gates — but bob has to get a two-piece chicken dinner.

  • I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I so enjoyed your dad coming in to the doctors office and telling us his stool joke and many others! We all love your mom and dad. They are such sweet and loving people that makes me want to be a better person myself! May God bless your family during this difficult time!

  • My prayers and condolences are with and your. Your father was a positive influence on so many people he touched.

    • Karen and Kirt

      Please accept our heartfelt condolences on the loss of your father.Kirt you are a credit to your father’s work ethic and his love of his family.

      I am very sorry for your loss, God Blessed him because he did not suffer very long. He is with Jesus and he is smiling and pain free.


  • Bob had become a regular part of my day during his collection of Dum Dum suckers. As mentioned by others, I too have seen his stool sample, dime-n-clip, Pride and Joy, along with his many side jokes. Bob brought the reminder to me daily that a job doesn’t define who we are, but how we make others feel does. I will truly miss his visits, his smile, and his love of life. I am grateful to have known him. Thank you, to the family, for sharing such a wonderful man with the rest of the world. God Bless.

  • We wish we could attend the service but we will be out of the country during that time, Your father had to be a great man, to raise and guide such a great family as yours! We pray for your families comfort and peace until you are all united again. The Schutte’s

  • Kirt, Karen, Tenille, Cortney, Shelea and family,
    I am very saddened to hear of Bob’s passing. I have many wonderful memories! He always had a pocket full of candy, and my favorite was the KitKat. My thoughts and prayers are with you all!

  • Dear Whiteside Family,
    I am saddened by the news of Bob. I can’t tell you how much he ment to me. He gave me so many opportunities and memories. He treated me as if I was his own daughter. I’m willing to bet that he would of still been able to remember the list of random objects that he and I made so many years ago on our way to the races. God Bless – RaeJean

  • I am saddened to hear the loss of such a sweet kind hearted man. He was such an entertainer when he came to the office. I’ll never forget the first time he gave me his “stool sample”! The world lost a wonderful man, but heaven gained an angel. May the grace of God be with your family, thoughts and prayers.

  • My prayers and thoughts are with your family at this time. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Whiteside by his dropping off a “stool sample” and many other smile inducing meetings. He let my grandgirl stand beside his mini car at Buehlers to get her picture taken with it and made her day. God Bless.


  • Dear, Mary Lue, Sons & family,
    I knew Bob through harness horses, so many fond memories. I then had Jeff in Willis, as a teacher! Bob & Mary Lue are 2 of the sweetest Christians I know and adore! Will be praying for comfort for you all! Lee Ann Davenport

  • May God continue to be your strength during a time that is emotional for the family, yet with your Faith in God, find peace that Mr. Whiteside is and will be watching over his family. For now, it is not Goodbye, only see you later ! God Bless and many prayers, Mike and Betty Hopper.

  • My heart goes out to all of you. Bob was by far the best employer I have ever had, and can never be surpassed. He was and still is a man to be looked up to. I deeply miss him. I am currently and will continue praying for peace for his loved ones. Bob’s love for people was astounding. A life well lived.

  • Our thoughts and prayers to family and friends during this time. A celebration of the life, contributions, love, and friendship to all.
    Truly a blessing and one remembered for a lifetime of those who had the privilege to be touched, in any way, by family, business, or friends.
    The McWherter’s

  • We are extremely saddened by Bob’s passing. Everytime he came in our dry cleaners he always made it brighter with all of his wit and gags. I truly believe he never met a stranger. He always spoke of his love for his wife and family. We will keep you all in our thought and prayers.

    Everyone at T & N Dry Cleaners

  • Bob will be missed greatly. He always had something funny to say to brighten the day when he would stop by.He had a full life, by working hard to full fill his dream.We all should hope to be so blessed.

  • My sisters and I worked for Whiteside’s when we were young. Fond memories of Bob and the boys. May you find comfort in your memories.

  • Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mary Lou and family. We are just a little bit better off because we knew Bob and Mary Lou for the past 12 years. Never did an occassion go by when Bob would not share something unique and funny along with a word or two of wisdom. He will be missed but not forgotten.

  • What an amazing man! So very sorry for your loss. I never saw him without a huge smile and a ready joke. What a legacy he leaves in his wonderful family and all that he contributed to his community and beyond. I will always remember his kindness to me. I was having car trouble and he luckily happened to be behind me at a stop light. He got out of his car, asked if he could help, fixed my problem, gave me a joke and was on his way. Blessings Bob!

  • My condolences to the family. I had many great years of knowing and dealing with Bob and Kirt while representing Whiteside products on the West Coast. Bob was always a pleasure to see at the shows and always had some great jokes to share. Besides being a great man, Bobs products reflected his passion for making quality items which is rare today. His legacy will continue to live on through his family and the company both of which he loved.

  • Our thoughts and prayers go out to you all. Bob was like family to many who knew him. He always made people feel comfortable and loved through his humor and friendship. Wish we could be there to give real hugs. All our love, Keith and Teena

  • Bob was a local legend and a man whose Personna was bigger than life! His generation did so much to make Delaware what it is today. His friendship, his sense of humor, and his business acumen were worth their weight in gold to those who were blessed to know him. And it was impossible to meet him and not end up knowing him, or at least one of his jokes 🙂
    He was a great friend to my father, Richard K. Snouffer, another legend of that generation of which there are many still among us.
    His impact will go on and on through his sons and their families and their continuance of the Whiteside legacy. Godspeed, Bob. And speaking of living legends, God bless you, Mary Lue Whiteside, a woman of God and most to be admired. Peace.

  • Sharing Horse stories, and his smiles to all. He will be missed by many as He touched so many lives. Rest in peace, prayers.

  • Mary Lou, Kirt, Jeff, Terry and families,

    My heart has been heavy since I first heard he was not doing so well….but oh….so quick. And I know how that just rips your heart(s). It is like you don’t quite know what to do with all the pain. I am praying that the Lord gives you strength right now. And He will. Bob brought smiles and laughs to you and so many others. His love will be with you forever, and you will again smile at memories, and you will be able to feel his presence. He is in good hands, and good company. You will see him again.
    Becca (Richmond) Eddy

  • Bob had a gift that he shared with everyone. Always smiling, always optimistic, his love for life. He made everyone feel special. His rewards await him in heaven. I’m sure he is saying “Don’t cry for me my friends”

  • What a void is left by the passing of a truly wonderful gentleman. He has been an exemplary , husband , father, and a friend to hundreds from all over the country and beyond. There is joy in Heaven.

  • Bob was such a caring, kind, funny, warm and usually ornery man that all who had the privilege of meeting this wonderful man will feel his absence in our lives everyday. He could put a smile on your face no matter what kind of day you are having, it was his goal in like to make people happy. Every time our orange cars were coming down the road towards each other he wanted to play chicken and then exchange keys. Each time I parked down town I knew Bob was near by with my wind shield wipers standing straight up or the note he left on my car, hence another smile and warm and fuzzy feeling thanks to Bob Whiteside, he will be missed by all of Delaware!

  • My heart goes out to you Kurt and your family. I remember the first time I met your father next to the shop at his granddaughters apt. At that time I learned of his jokes and happiness. I’ve known the “Whiteside” name for many, many years.Bob will be missed. Delaware is losing a wonderful and funny man.
    To you sir It was a pleasure meeting you! RIP

  • Praying that Mary Lue and family find strength and peace during this time, knowing that Bob is resting with the Lord. Bob will always be remembered, loved, and missed. Bob was so much a part of so many lives. We were all so blessed to know him! Delaware and Grace Church will never be the same.

  • I’m so sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. My prayers and condolences are with you. Bob was such a joy to know and never met a stranger. His love for our Lord was evident in all that Bob did.

  • I admired Bob when I was a kid, he was such a positive attitude around all of my “sports” activities. I remember his smile and enthusiasm.

  • God got another good man. God Bless Bob and his family through their time of grief. The Mustard family will always remember him and his joy.

  • I am so sorry to hear about your loss. My prayers go out to each of you. May God bring you strength through this trying time. Hang on to those wonderful memories and keep them close in your hearts, where he will remain forever.

    God bless,

  • Mary Lou and family Our prayers and thoughts are with you .
    Bob is going to be greatly missed… We knew him at church and threw Tim
    Horton”s … Never dull always with smile and happy thoughts…….
    Love and Hugs Mary lou

    God loves you all ,
    Lisa Young , Cortney Young, Margie and Phil Richert.

  • Our hearts are with your family, Bob was an inspiration to all who knew him, always a smile on his face and a joke to tell. We share most of his grandkids and great grandkids, his influence is evident in their lives.
    Mary Lue and Bob lived a God fearing life showing love to all they met.
    He will be sorely missed but not forgotten, imagine what it was like to walk from this life into the arms of
    Jesus. God bless you all

  • Our Family sends condolences, and ‘Warmest Hugs’ during this sad time. Bob was a “One of-of-a-kind’. May God embrace your lives in the darken days ahead… prayers for each of you

  • My favorite memory of Bob is in the grandstands during one of the Brown Jugs where he tried to convince my daughters (who were 3 and 6) to have me buy them a horse. He became a favorite of both although no horse was bought!

    We will miss that wonder sense of humor and mischievousness.

  • Our prayers goes out to the Whiteside family. He always had a joke to tell and no matter how many times I had heard it he still made me laugh.

    The Lord has comforted His people and will have
    compassion upon them in their sorrow. Isaiah 49:13

  • Mrs. Whiteside, Kert, Terry and rest of family,
    I am so sorry for ur loss. Bob was a very kind and great man. I remember he loved pulling jokes on people. I know he loved pulling jokes on me when I worked atWhitesides. He loved putting fake spiders in and around my station I was working at. He even pulled a prank on me in Krogers when it was on S. Sandusky St. He was a wonderful man and a great jokester. He will greatly and sadly be missed.
    Lucy Kanniard

  • Terry, Cindy, & families,
    We were sorry to read of your dad’s passing. We always looked forward to his “joke of the day” and his big smile. We will miss him next to us at the races next year. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
    Jim & Bonnie Caudill

  • No words can take away the pain of loosing a loved one. My thoughts are with the entire Whiteside family.

    My father worked for Whitesides building creepers back in the 60s. Dad enjoyed working for the company.

  • Bob was one of those individuals in a community who was everywhere and knew almost everybody. Not one to be shy he crossed our path several times and it was always a joy to see him. It was a real pleasure to know him and we are very saddened by his passing. He leaves an empty spot we are sure in the lives of many. We pass along our sincere condolences. Kelley (Scott) and Karen Kelley

  • Mary Lue,
    Bob has gone to join Loy, Bob Elliott and some of the others from the 1946 Magnetic Springs graduating class. He has left a memorable legacy for his family. May you rejoice in his long and productive life.
    Becky George

  • Mary Lue,
    Bob has had a long and fruitful life and he leaves a fine legacy for you and your family. Now he will be joining Loy, Russell, Bob Elliott and some of the other 1946 graduates of Magnetic Springs High school.
    As I write this I think of the beautiful smile I always saw on your face. You undoubtedly were responsible for supporting the successful life we read about.
    God bless you,
    Becky George (Mrs. Loy George)

  • I am saddened with learning the loss of your Dad Mr Whiteside. I used to watch your brothers play basketball with Kenny Chan , while I would watch the Bennett girls who lived on the corner. I didn’t know your dad well , but when I did cross his path he always had a smile on his face, a true jokester. He was well loved by his community , and his family. Now he will be among the Angels watching over his family and embracing them with his angel wings . Keep the memories close to your heart. He truly was a man of honor !!

  • An employee many, many years ago, I enjoyed working for Whiteside Mtg & all the good times at Souls Haven Church. Bob & Mary Lou were always smiling & spreading joy wherever they went. My thoughts & prayers are with all the family.

  • I am so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful man. My mom loved working for him. He even took a chance with me a couple years after she passed away. It was to hard for me working there after she died so I just left one night. I thought bob would be mad at me but he said he completely understood. High school was very hard for me because I missed my mom so much. So I would play hooky and walk across the street to just hang out with Mary Lou . She was always so good to me. She never lectured me about school she would just make me a sandwich or something and we would just sit and talk for a bit until I was ready to go back to school. She probably doesn’t know it but it was because of her that I made it through 9th grade. What wonderful people.

  • Our thoughts and prayers go out to you Mrs Whiteside and to your entire family. Such a special man, great sense of humor, compassionate and fun loving. I will always remember the good times we had having you guys as neighbor’s. I am sure Mr Whiteside is now working up some deal or inventing something up in Heaven. Hopefully he can hook up with my Daddy and share some good memories. Love out to all of you.