Date Of Birth: 1946
Date Deceased: Oct-12-2020
Age at Death: 74
Cause of Death: Cancer
Classmate City: Springfield
Classmate State: VA
Classmate Country: USA
Survived By: Wife, Gigi Sons, Joshua and Justin
Rob died late last week due to complications from lymphatic cancer. He was 74, most of us are. Our friendship began at McClure Junior High and continued til now. Rob played football in high school And also played hockey on the beloved Wolverines with such notables as Jack Butcher, Walt Rose, Steve Touzalin, Bruce Moore, Jim Phillips, Chris Parker and countless others. Rob went briefly to Earlham College in Indiana and later attended U if I in Champaign. Can’t remember if he was connected with the service, but he went to work as an accountant for the defense dept over in Germany and lived there with his wife, Gigi, and two sons Josh and Justin. They returned to the states and lived in Springfield, VA. Later in life , Rob became interested in a family property near Americus GA, where he spent some time in raising goats and sheep. He was a life long Cubs fan and travelled frequently with some or all of his family to see them play all over the country. Rob was an avid golfer and played up until a few years ago. Rob was a wonderful guy with a gentle personality and a dry sense of humor. I’m sure many of you knew him and liked him. I have fond and humorous memories of him and miss him very much.
From Phil Crittenden
Arthur C. West
Thanks Phil for posting this Memoriam. It really sums up the wonderful kind strong and yet gentle person Rob has been during his life. I remember him on our hockey team and playing football. He was so strongly quiet and dedicated to whatever he undertook. He was a gentle bear. Also many memories of playing bridge with our group and just enjoying being together. Rob was definetly a blessing to me during my time until college and life separated me from our group. May he enjoy the peace of his current existence and I pray he did not suffer too much in his last days. He was a tremendous person.
James (Jim) W. Payne
Phil and Art have summarized a life well lived. Like so many of us, I lost contact after high school as we went our separate ways. While other contacts and friendship were created over the years, reading the notes of Phil and Art remind me of the friendships at high school and before that made the foundation of who we are. Thank you, Rob, for allowing me and others even briefly to be benefit from your presence and friendship. Rest In Peace! Jim
James (Jim) H. Philips
Thanks you guys for the comments on Rob. He was a good friend to all that knew him. Wheather playing cards, touch football or hockey he gave his best. Playing hockey one night I tried to check him off the puck, but only bounced off his strong elbow and went sprawling. He stopped, came over and quietly said "you okay?" And helped me up. I've not forgotten that thought of kindness from him. We had a party at someone's house New Years Eve and somebody told a joke. Was'nt all that funny I recall but Rob laughed at it like it was the funniest joke he'd ever heard. That quiet guy made the rest of us smile as well.
Rest In Peace Rob.
Deane A. Nelson
I have not been on the site for a while so I did not know Rob was gone.
Background: The Castle family and mine go back a long way. Rob’s parents and mine were next door neighbors in Urbana when Rob and I were born a few days apart in 1946. Rob’s father took my mother to the hospital when I was born. In 1962 it was Rob’s father who talked my dad in to moving to Western Springs instead of Hinsdale. Great advice and great decision.
Rob was one of the settled and kind people I have ever met. Looking at some old pictures it does not seem to be that big and strong but his body was very mature.
A few anecdotes:
Rob was one of the first people I met at LT. It was quickly determined that I would play defense on the Wolverines with Rob. I think he and I were the only 2 that wore figure skates. He wore #2 to be like his idol “Moose” Vasko” of the Blackhawks. He liked playing at the same time as me because I was usually on my butt or in the penalty box and he could do his stuff.
Junior and senior year I doubled dated with him many times. He would drive his father’s (20 foot long?) 1956 black Cadillac. Six years later 6 or 7 of us would pile into that car for our great trips to northern Wisconsin to camp out, play bridge, golf, and drink beer.
Rob really loved to play bridge. He took it very seriously and was pretty good. I remember the one time I ever saw him upset was when we were at Clark’s and he missed a deep finesse that he could have made.
During the Corral show senior year, Rob was probably to the worst dancer on the chorus line. I remember Dottie taking him aside to show him the dance steps.
Rob went to Earlham College for the first 2 years of college. His parents wanted him to be a minister. His mother later told me that Rob did not have the “calling” and transferred to Illinois. He would have been a great minister.
Junior year Rob, Bill Walter and I were roommates at Illinois. Those two were so dissimilar in personalities. I don’t think they ever said a word to each other. After the 1st semester Rob moved out.
Before that junior year Rob, Bruce Moore, Chas Miller, and I took a road trip to New York. One night Rob and I were in a really seedy area of Manhattan. A rough character came up to us and once he saw Rob, he said “Don’t worry I won’t cause any trouble with him around”. Later that night Rob was in heaven—we found a bar that had hardboiled eggs for 50 cents. I think he ate nine.
I saw Rob once after those days. In the 70’s, He and Gigi were living in a Winnebago in a hotel parking lot in Reno Nevada. (Both our mothers lived there). They seemed to be the happiest people I had ever met.
Looking back I think Rob was one of the nicest people I ever met. He always wanted to be playing sports, not to be the winner but happy yo be involved. I think that it had to do with him having polio as a kid. Every memory of Rob is good!
Final Small World Note
During the 90’s,in San Francisco, I told a coworker that I was from Western Springs. He told me he had been there. He had dated Rob’s older sister for a few months.