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Robert D. Fleck

September 22, 2016

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Robert D. Fleck, Jr., of New Castle, Delaware, passed away after a brief battle with cancer, on Thursday, September 22, 2016. Robert was born on February 4, 1947 and was the son of the late Robert D. Fleck, Sr. and the late Mollie Reeves Fleck.

Bob graduated from University of Delaware in 1969 with a BS in Chemical Engineering and from University of Virginia in 1971 with an MS, also in Chemical Engineering. He worked only briefly as an engineer before deciding to follow his passion for books.

Bob founded and spent 40 years running Oak Knoll Books as an antiquarian book dealer. He specialized in the field of books about books; essentially the history of all aspects of book making, including printing, typography, binding, design and papermaking. Bob was also lucky enough to have his son Rob join him in business at Oak Knoll after Rob graduated from the University of Delaware.

Bob became one of the founders of Delaware Bibliophiles and The Fine Press Book Association. He was also president of The ABAA (Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America), a two-time president of ILAB (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers), Treasurer of ILAB, and ILAB named him President of Honor. ILAB also honored Bob in 2015 with the ILAB Medal in recognition of his service.

Always immersed in his love of books and Delaware history, Bob was a board member for the New Castle Historical Society and the Library Associates of the University of Delaware. He was also honored by the University of Delaware as a member of the Wall of Fame.

When not involved with business or books, Bob enjoyed his Friday night dates with his wife Millie, playing tennis, watching sunsets with a glass of wine at their beach house in Fenwick, watching Phillies games, and spending time with family, especially his grandchildren.

Bob is survived by his loving wife of 34 years, Mildred Williams Fleck, as well as by his children, Wendy (LV) Killen, Paul (Amy) Fleck, Jenni (Adam) Fleck Jones, Robert D. (Lauren) Fleck, III and seven grandchildren. Bob is also survived by two brothers, E. Thomas (Sylvia) Fleck and David Fleck.

A memorial service will be held Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at the Arsenal at New Castle, 30 Market Street, New Castle, DE. Visitation will be from 10am to 12pm, with the service beginning at 12pm. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to The New Castle Historical Society, The University of Delaware Library Special Collections or the ILAB Benevolent Fund.

To offer condolences, visit:

  • Visitation

    September 27, 2016
    10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

    The Arsenal at New Castle

    30 Market Street
    New Castle, DE

  • Memorial Service

    September 27, 2016
    12:00 PM

    The Arsenal at New Castle

    30 Market Street
    New Castle, DE

  • Burial

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