We are saddened to report on the passing of Bob Shanklin (1925-2018), half of the duo of Bob and Sandra Shanklin, known as “The Lighthouse People.”
In 1987, the couple started on a journey, beginning at Portland Head Lighthouse in Maine, to photograph every lighthouse in the continental United States that eventually included Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, a journey they completed in 1999.
Bob once said that, “Photographing and visiting lighthouses was like getting a bug with no known cure.” It is thought-provoking that Bob died on August 7, National Lighthouse Day.
Bob and Sandra Shanklin then became involved scanning historic images from the Coast Guard’s historian’s office and the National Archives and other sources to ensure that these historic photos were saved for future generations. Bob and his wife Sandra also did research for Lighthouse Digest and were big promoters of the magazine wherever they went. As well as photographing all United States lighthouses, the dynamic duo also photographed most of the lighthouses in the Canadian Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.
They were the first ones to publish a booklet titled, “List of All Existing U.S. Lighthouses,” which went through several editions. They also self-published a number of other colorful books such as Lighthouses of Florida, Lighthouses of the Hawaiian Islands, and Lighthouses of Alaska. A number of their stories have also appeared over the years in the pages of Lighthouse Digest.
Bob was well known for handing out quarter-sized tokens with a heart that said “Good for One Hug,” and saying, “Walk with a hug from Bob and you will never walk alone.”
Bob Shanklin was a good man, liked by all, and an asset to the lighthouse community. We will always have fond memories of our time spent with Bob and Sandra Shanklin during their visits to Maine. We will always be in Bob’s debt for the legacy he left. He will be missed by us. Our sincere condolences go out to his wife Sandra, his entire family, and many friends.
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This story appeared in the
Sep/Oct 2018 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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