Press Releases

May 15, 2012

Arizona Democratic Party Regrets The Loss Of Bob Stelling

Bill Roe, Arizona Democratic Party chair, issued the following statement on the death of Bob Stelling, former chair of the Arizona Democratic Veterans' Caucus:

"Veterans, the state of Arizona and the Democratic Party have lost a major supporter with the passing of Bob Stelling. His efforts gave veterans, particularly those from Native American communities, a desperately needed voice through the Arizona Democratic Veterans' Caucus and the Forgotten Veterans Project. His efforts impacted lives for the better, and we are thankful to have known Bob. We offer our deepest condolences to Bob's family and his Arizona Democratic Party friends at this difficult time."

Bob Stelling's Obituary:

Robert M Stelling 

Born January 21, 1940, to Sidney Jacob Stelling and Dena Mace Stelling in Raleigh, NC, passed away May 15, 2012, at Phoenix VA Hospital, Phoenix, AZ. He resided in Chandler, AZ.

Robert served eight years in the US Air Force. For many years he worked in the casino business in Las Vegas and Mississippi.

He was very active in the Arizona Democratic Party. He founded and was the Chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party Veterans' Caucus, which worked with veterans, elected officials and military families for the causes and issues important to veterans and their families. He was a Democratic Precinct Committeeman and Arizona Democratic State Committeeman, and awards presented to him for his volunteer service from the Greater Eastern Maricopa Democrats (GEMDEMS), The Maricopa County Democratic Party, The Arizona Democratic Party, and Organizing for America (OFA). He worked on various campaigns from city to national levels, including advocating for veterans’ issues to various elected officials and serving as the recording secretary for the Legislative District 21 Democrats.

Robert donated to various campaigns, candidates and organizations; he was a Charter Member of the GEMDEMS. He was the first chairman of the Maricopa County Democratic Party Veterans Caucus. He met and spoke with elected officials from national to city/county levels advocating for more funding, better healthcare and better benefits for veterans and military families. Many states have used the model of the Arizona Plan Bob was instrumental in creating to assist returning Veterans to get active in their own communities on Veterans issues.
Robert advocated for more VA hospitals within Arizona, especially the Navajo Nation area of our state.He met with veterans and lawmakers about the need for better benefits and a VA hospital on tribal land. He attended the Navajo Nation Fair in Window Rock annually; registering veterans to vote, listening to their concerns and getting them involved in politics that affected their lives. He was a major player in the Vets for Vets program that opened a store front in Phoenix that provided a place for returning vets to go to find information on housing and benefits available to them. The storefront was a clearing house for household items, from furniture to appliances to everyday equipment needed to set up a home. The storefront assisted hundreds of returning veterans and homeless veterans find housing and set their houses up.

He was preceded by his parents and brothers, Thomas, John, Charley, William, Sidney Jacob Jr. and sisters Katherine, Mildred and Rosemary Cook. Surviving Robert is a sister Marguerite Stelling, Missoula, Montana, and many nieces and nephews.

The family of Robert Stelling would like to thank all the wonderful friends that stopped by for a visit with Bob in his last few weeks. Special thanks to the Phoenix VA Hospital Community Living Center (CLC1) for the wonderful care and loving hands that held Bob. We would especially like to thank Beverly Fox-Miller for her help and caring of Bob in his last few weeks.

It was Bob's wishes that his remains be cremated and his ashes be spread in the desert without any type of service.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to the Arizona Democratic Party or the Phoenix VA CLC1 hospice unit. A celebration of Bob's life is being planned.

His dying wish was to see President Barack Obama re-elected!


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