Bob Pyle dies at 83; retired head of I.B.A.

by Josh Sosland
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WASHINGTON — Robert N. Pyle, the retired president of the Independent Bakers Association, died March 18 in Palm Springs, Calif. He was 83.

Mr. Pyle served in World War II and graduated from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., in 1948 on the GI Bill. He later attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Pyle began a Washington career in the mid-1950s on the staff of Representative Herbert Warburton of Delaware. During the 1960s, he left Washington for entrepreneurial work, establishing a construction business in Severna Park, Md. He returned to the Capitol in 1972 as chief of staff to David Emery of Maine and as a field staff to the Republican Congressional Committee.

In the mid 1970s Mr. Pyle began a government relations firm and consulted with the American Bakers Association as a Republican lobbyist. In 1976 the Independent Bakers Association tapped Mr. Pyle to run a meeting in Washington, and later he became the group’s president, a position he held for 29 years.

“After the Russian Wheat Deal, hundreds of independent baking companies went out of business,” said Nicholas A. Pyle Jr., current president of the I.B.A. “He took over the I.B.A. during a period in which the group’s focus shifted from anti-trust work to lobbying.”

As head of the I.B.A., Mr. Pyle lobbied Congress on numerous issues critical to the baking industry, helping end federal production controls over wheat and peanut markets.

“The baking industry was always important to him,” Nick Pyle said. “Even after he retired he remained engaged. He felt strongly about the I.B.A. and continued raising money for the group.”

He is survived by his wife Patricia Carlile Pyle; children Sarah Moore, Dr. Robert N. Pyle Jr., Mark C. Pyle, Nicholas A. Pyle Jr.; and, children of Edith Ayrault Rose, and Louis Crosier, son of Claire Thoron Pyle, his late wife, who died in 2005.
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