Bob Real passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early morning hours of Thursday November 19, 2020. In one week, we will celebrate Thanksgiving which is the perfect time to give thanks for a wonderful man who gave of himself in a very selfless way. He was born on March 24, 1927 to Emma M (Connolly) Real and Theron J. Real and became the only sibling to his big sister, Helen Mae (Koch). He lived as an adventurous, carefree child even though under the cloud cover of a debilitating depression. Thankfully he never thought of it as such. After graduating from Elgin High School at age 17, Bob enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was sent to the Philippine Islands just as the war ended. Lucky for him! Upon completing a 14-month stint, he was honorably discharged and came home to find his future. He found it without looking very hard when going on a blind date with Lois J. Beckman, a farmer’s youngest daughter. He thought she looked like a movie star. They married on May 14, 1949 at Saint Laurence Catholic Church, bought a home 2 blocks away, and began their new life.
Bob was hired by the Elgin Police Force during his early married years but discovered it wasn’t a perfect fit with a wife and 2 young children. He moved on to Bunge’s Sinclair Gas and Service Station and remained with them as a salesman as well as owner (for 4 years) until his retirement in 1989.
During their first 17 years of marriage, Lois and Bob were blessed with bringing into the world 8 children. But before their 19th wedding anniversary, sadly, Lois passed away, leaving Bob a widower at age 41. Doing his best at raising a large brood it was extremely beneficial that he loved his job. He truly enjoyed his work in sales as he loved interacting with people. This love led Bob to become a man of God. He took his vows as a Deacon in the Catholic faith on Valentine’s Day in 1982 and served at St. Laurence Church for 25 years, performing baptisms, assisting at mass, distributing Holy Communion - the list goes on. Deacon Bob didn’t stop there. He also took on the role as Chaplain at Saint Joseph Hospital in Elgin for almost 30 years.
As a Chaplain he held many hands, prayed many prayers, passed out a lot of candy and stuffed animals, and tirelessly gave of himself to those who needed comfort. His hope was to ease pain and put smiles back on faces and keep the Love of God foremost in everyone’s heart.
That is how our dad lived his life and his example will continue to guide us through our lives. For this, Dad, we are forever thankful and our love for you will never die.
Your children: Ted (Pam), Janet (Ron, dec.), John, Karen (Max), Jim (Vicky), Andy (Doreen), Liz, Patty (Craig); Grandchildren: Erin, Adam, Jenna, Rachel, Elizabeth, Stefanie, Max Robert, Kevin, Hanna, Austin, Emily, Shawna, Marie, Louis; Great Grandchildren: Chester, Theron Sonny, Elena, Elliot, Charles, Ashley, Madilyn, Logan, Christopher.
A private Church ceremony will be held on Sat., Nov. 28 for family only. Burial immediately afterward at Mount Hope Cemetery.