SAN ANTONIO – Bob Pheil found eternal peace on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, shortly after turning 99 years old.
Bob was born in Carroll County at home on the farm his family sharecropped. He graduated from Lanark High School in 1937, and continued to work the land with his father until age 22, when he joined the Air Force. After completing basic training in Rantoul, he was sent to Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas. There, he met the woman who would remain his life partner, Tommie, at a nearby restaurant/dance hall while out for a night on the town with some friends. After only a 49-day courtship, the two were married and would remain so for the next 73 years.
After World War II ended, Bob was stricken with polio and encephalitis. He was hospitalized for two years. After acclimating to life in a wheelchair, he became a payroll clerk for a clothing manufacturer. Later, he retired after working for U.S. Customs at the airport.
Bob was a gifted woodworker/carpenter who made many items out of necessity during the Great Depression. Many years later, he used his talent to create items such as clocks and animals for displaying around the home and as gifts for family members.
Bob and Tommie enjoyed many wonderful trips together, including Hawaii, Paris and London. They had the pleasure of seeing their sons grow up and form families of their own. Grandchildren and then great-grandchildren held a special place in their hearts.
A devout Christian, Bob was an active – and the oldest – member of the Prayer Ministry at The Fellowship of San Antonio. While spending many summers at the family farm in Illinois, he attended services at Lanark Church of the Brethren. He read his Bible daily, and was a true testament to the power of faith, having persevered through many struggles, including World War II, polio, and the death of his beloved wife.
The family wishes to thank the many friends who continually visited Bob over the past few years and the staff at Oak Park Nursing and Rehabilitation for the great care and compassion they provided during his last weeks.
A devoted husband, father, grandpa and great-grandpa, he is survived by his loving family: sons, Robert B. (Lisa) Pheil II and Joe (Carol) Pheil; grandchildren, Christopher (Amy) Pheil, Tomi (Adam) Miranda, Hillary (Stefan) Cadra, and Robert B. (Tara) Pheil III; and great-grandchildren, Joshua Pheil, Madeline Pheil, Mackenzie Pheil, Brendan Stephens, Ethan Miranda, Camille Cadra, Raia Pheil, and Kaila Pheil. He was looking forward to the upcoming birth of his first great-great-grandchild, Naomi Rose.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 73 years, Minnie Tom “Tommie” Pheil; parents, Joseph Albert and Vallie Marie Pheil; and a sister in infancy.
Bob will be laid to rest with honors at 10 a.m. Dec 29 at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio. Porter Loring Mortuary in San Antonio handled arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Lanark Church of the Brethren, 326 S. High St., Lanark, IL 61046.
Visit porterloring.com to send condolences.