Robert “Bob” Pyle, the voice of the Independent Bakers Association for nearly three decades, passed away. He was 83.

Robert “Bob” Pyle, the voice of the Independent Bakers Association for nearly three decades, passed away. He was 83.

In the mid 1970s, Pyle started a government relations firm and began his career in the baking industry by consulting with the American Bakers Association as its Republican lobbyist.

In 1976, the Independent Bakers Association tapped him to run a meeting in Washington, D.C., and he eventually became president of the association. He held this position for 29 years, but was actively involved in the association even after his retirement.

During his tenure at IBA, Pyle lobbied Congress on numerous issues critical to the baking industry, including the elimination of federal production controls over wheat and peanut markets. His greatest victory was putting an end to the expensive wheat certificate tax on which bakers paid the federal government a tax based on flour weight consumption.

In addition to the bakers, Pyle represented other food companies including Welch’s. The family joke was that between “bread and grape juice – Pyle had communion covered with Congress.”

His son, Nick Pyle, current IBA president, remembers his dad as a partner and mentor in the baking industry for the past 25 years. His father, he adds, persevered to represent the causes of the baking industry even when others had lost hope.

“He never gave up. That’s what he taught me. One time, I was going to give up on something, and he told me, ‘Never give up,’” Nick Pyle says.

He adds that his father always tried to “think outside of the box” and find a “win-win situation” no matter what the debate in the nation’s capital might be.

In 1981, former President Ronald Reagan named Bob Pyle to the Selective Service Commission, and he served local host on many Republican Inaugural Committees. According to his family, he loved Republican Conventions and attended every one since 1950. Most recently, he served as floor security in Minneapolis in 2008. Bob Pyle remained politically active, recently teaching a popular public affairs class at Palm Desert Senior Center in California.

Pyle was born in Wilmington, Del., where he graduated from the Tower Hill School with high honors and received a student award from Time magazine.

In 1948, he completed Dickenson College on the GI Bill with service in World War II and attended Japanese Language School at the University of Michigan. He also wrote for Stars and Stripes and was called “Little Ernie” with assignments covering the Nuremberg War trials and the Paris Peace Conference.

After Dickenson, he attended Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania 1949.

Pyle came to Washington, D.C., with Wilmington Rep. Herbert Warburton (R-Del.) in the mid-1950s, and later served on the campaign and as chief of staff to Rep. Perkins Bass (R-N.H.). He left Capitol Hill in the early 1960s to found a construction business in Severna Park, Md. In 1972, Pyle returned to Capitol Hill serving as chief of staff to David Emery (R-Maine) and as field staff to Republican Congressional Committee.

In 1974, a year that swept many Republicans from office due to Watergate, he managed two winning campaigns for Rep. Ben Gilman (R-N.Y.) and Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.). These were two of the three so-called “Watergate Babies.”

Pyle was an avid tennis player and golfer playing almost daily since residing in La Quinta, Calif., in 2002. He was a world traveler and the family genealogist. He dabbled in real estate in both Washington, D.C., and greater Palm Springs areas. Bob was an active member of Palm Desert Presbyterian Church, Palm Desert Country Club, Kenwood Country Club, City Tavern Club, National Press Club and La Quinta.

He is survived by his wife Patricia Carlile Pyle and brother Joseph. He also is survived by his children: Sarah Moore, Dr. Robert Noble Jr., Mark C., Nicholas A, and, children of Edith Ayrault Rose, and Louis Crosier, son of Claire Thorn. He is survived by nine grandchildren.