Robert was born in Hudson, New York, on February 16, 1967, to Robert Sr. and Shirley Spinner and was joined by his younger brother, Russell. Robert graduated from Ichabod Crane High School in 1985 and right away joined the Navy. While in the Navy, he learned how to work on and build engines for the Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowler. He served in Guam and Naval Air Station Whidbey. While at Whidbey, he met his wife, Tammy Farris, and they were married on August 13, 1991. Together they have two children, Austin and Emma.
Robert loved spending time with his family, riding ATVs at Oak Harbor Motor Cross, and attending car and truck meets with his children. He enjoyed customizing his many different trucks, but his favorite was his current Chevy. He was a mentor to many young people in the firefighting and car and truck show community.
After his honorable discharge from the Navy, Fire Chief Robert Spinner began his 28-year firefighting career by first volunteering at North Whidbey Cornet Bay Fire Station in 1989, then was hired as a federal firefighter serving at NAS Whidbey Island. He transferred to Arizona’s Tonopah Valley Fire Department, then on to Rock Hill Fire Department in South Carolina, eventually returning to Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue in Coupeville, Washington. Robert then served with Rural Metro Fire Department in Scottsdale, Arizona, before serving his last six years at Lynden Fire Department, where he became chief just three months prior to his passing.
City of Lynden Fire Chief Robert Charles Spinner Jr., while on duty, passed away on Friday, July 14, 2017, at the age of 50. He was known for his loyalty to his family and fire department, his integrity and honesty, and his ability to motivate and inspire others in his love of firefighting.
Robert is survived by his wife, Tammy, of 26 years, and his children, Austin and Emma. He is truly missed and will be remembered in the fire community for many years.