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Story - News

Dec 11, 2017 11:40 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Robert Stelling Remembered For Sharing Love Of Beach, Family And Community

Dec 14, 2017 10:37 AM

UPDATE: 4:45 p.m.

Mr. Stelling’s wife, Dr. Dawn Burns Stelling, was on the plane at the time of the crash, but survived, and was returning to Southampton on Monday, according to a close family friend who asked not to be identified.

The friend said that the Stellings, along with a friend they were visiting in San Diego while attending an annual veterinary medicine conference, were on the plane with the pilot. Mr. Stelling and the family friend were killed in the crash, while Dr. Stelling and the pilot survived.

The family friend was not immediately identified.

It’s not clear why the group was on the airplane, a 1995 Beechcraft Bonanza, a six-seat single-engine airplane registered to Altitude Aviation Inc. out of Hermosa Beach, California.

Original Story:

The owner of the Southampton Peconic Beach and Tennis Club in Shinnecock Hills was killed in the crash of a small plane in San Diego, California, on Saturday.

Robert Stelling, 50, of Southampton was a passenger on a single-engine, six-seat Beech BE36 Bonanza, which multiple publications reported took off from Montgomery Field in San Diego, just east of Clairemont, California, at about 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, the pilot reported engine failure shortly after takeoff, and tried to make an emergency landing in a schoolyard. After touching ground, the plane crashed into a fence and into the back of a house at approximately 4:35 p.m., the publication read.

Mr. Stelling’s wife, Dr. Dawn Burns Stelling, owns the Olde Towne Animal Hospital on County Road 39 in Southampton, where a spokesperson confirmed that Mr. Stelling was killed in the crash. No other details were provided by the spokesperson, other than to say she had received confirmation from members of the Stelling family.

An investigation into the cause of the plane crash is being conducted by the National Transportation and Safety Board.

Multiple calls to the San Diego Police Department seeking confirmation of the events were not immediately returned.

The Stelling family has owned the Southampton Peconic Beach and Tennis Club since 1978.

Gil Flanagan, a Southampton-based attorney, said he knew Mr. Stelling for at least 20 years, and was a member of the Peconic Beach and Tennis Club. He said he heard about Mr. Stelling’s death through another club member, and is upset at the news.

“He was the greatest host,” Mr. Flanagan said. “He always made a point to make everyone feel special and welcome.

“Whenever the sun went over the horizon, he would run over and ring a bell,” he added.

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God Bless The Entire Stelling family, Robert will be forever in our hearts
By mychildmatters (68), SOUTHAMPTON on Dec 11, 17 1:08 PM
2 members liked this comment
Our thoughts and prayers are with the whole Stelling family
By photo friend (31), southampton on Dec 11, 17 1:13 PM
1 member liked this comment
Devastating news. Such a gentleman. So many local kids can say he was their first boss.
By Draggerman (915), Southampton on Dec 11, 17 2:15 PM
So very sorry for their loss. Preayers and peace to the family. Speedy recovery to Dawn. ����
By LovedHerTown (132), southampton on Dec 11, 17 5:23 PM
1 member liked this comment
So sorry for your loss Dawn and the whole family - our thoughts and prayers are with you
By Jac-man (21), Southampton on Dec 11, 17 6:07 PM
1 member liked this comment
My heart is breaking for this beautiful family. ��������
By Woods woman (135), East hampton on Dec 11, 17 6:31 PM
1 member liked this comment
Robert was beloved by so many and adored by his beautiful family. All who knew him are heartbroken. Prayers and love for the Stelling and Rosko family.
By mcreste (6), Hampton Bays on Dec 11, 17 9:20 PM
1 member liked this comment
My deepest sympathies to the Sterling family. I remember when Robert was
just a young boy helping his dad. Such a nice boy who grew up to be a fine
man and gentlemen. May God Bless the family.
By Jimion (125), Hampton Bays on Dec 12, 17 7:44 PM
1 member liked this comment
Our hearts pour out for the whole Stelling family. We will continue to pray that Robert's family and friends can find some comfort in the many wonderful memories he created. Robert will forever be loved and remembered by all, young and old.
By BK East (1), Southampton on Dec 12, 17 8:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
I too was blessed and privileged not only to be a member of the SPBC community but also an employee. My heart aches for this family. My prayers go out to all of them.
By born & raised LI (1), Lynchburg on Dec 13, 17 7:42 AM
Robert's memory will live on in all of us who were fortunate enough to enjoy his warm and friendly hospitality at ''the beach club''. Heartfelt prayers for Dawn and the children.
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Dec 13, 17 8:26 AM
1 member liked this comment
When my dog Bridey was hit by a car on Forth of July night a few years back, Dawn and Bob, left a party they were at, to come help. I had never met him , but he made us feel at ease. Ill never forget that. Thank you. Rest in Peace.
By clamdigger (80), Quogue on Dec 13, 17 10:50 AM
1 member liked this comment
Some of our best memories for my family were our years as members of the beach club. The Stellings were gracious hosts. My heart goes out to Bob and Renee, Dawn, Denise and all the grandchildren. I wish you all peace and strength. RIP Robert. ��
By Pat (1), Southampton on Dec 13, 17 7:23 PM
Growing up at the Club with Robert and Dawn, watching them fall in love, having practically every childhood summer memory acquainted with them, my heart is hurting unlike I have known. My love, prayers and hugs goes out to everyone. Love you all!
By THalsey1 (3), Southampton on Dec 13, 17 8:06 PM
1 member liked this comment
Growing up at the Club with Robert and Dawn, watching them fall in love, having practically every childhood summer memory acquainted with them, my heart is hurting unlike I have known. My love, prayers and hugs goes out to everyone. Love you all!
By THalsey1 (3), Southampton on Dec 13, 17 8:06 PM
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