CHARLESTON — 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. His wife of 56 years, Markay Saltmarsh, passed in December 2015.
In addition to his family and football, education and counseling were the focus of his later career. After marrying Markay, he taught Biology at two 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 order to pursue that, he earned his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Guidance from Indiana University.
After graduating, he began his career as a professor in, and became Chairman of, the Educational Psychology and Guidance Department at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. In addition to teaching, he served as NCAA faculty representative for 14 years. He also had a private marriage and family counseling practice. He retired from EIU in 1997.
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, 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 (https://www.givetomiamioh.org/) or Eastern Illinois University (https://www.eiu.edu/develop/). Cards may be sent to Sue Saltmarsh, 517 S. Park Ave, Springfield, IL. 62704. Bisch Funeral Home West is in charge of arrangements, www.bischfuneralhomewest.com.