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Robert Carl Iftner


1923 - 2014 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Robert Carl Iftner Obituary
Robert Carl Iftner Born: Jan. 16, 1923; in Pittsfield, IL Died: April 29, 2014; in Naples, FL Robert Carl Iftner ("Pops") passed away on April 29, 2014, in Naples, Florida at the age of 91. He is survived, and will be deeply missed, by his wife of 65 years, Hazel Marie (nee Birch); and his children, David (Kaye) Iftner of Pittsfield, IL, Steven (Lana) Iftner of Winston-Salem, NC, Christine (Jeff) Perenchio of Arlington Heights, IL, Phillip (Kelly) Iftner of Harvard, IL, and James (Jennifer) Iftner of Harvard, IL; 10 grandchildren, Clarisse (Brandon) O'Rourke, Nickolas Iftner, Grace Iftner, Cameron Iftner, Megan Iftner, Thomas Iftner, Eric Iftner, Max Perenchio, Cody Perenchio and Christophe Iftner; and 2 great-grandchildren, Noah and Savanna. He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Rebecca (Irick) Iftner; seven brothers and four sisters. Born in Pittsfield, Illinois on January 16, 1923, he grew up on a farm in Pike County and attended Aberdeen Grade School before graduating from Pittsfield (Higbee) High School in 1940. In 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served until he was discharged in 1946, earning the rank of Aviation Electrician 2nd Class. He served in the South Pacific theater, the Philippines, during World War II. After discharge, he attended Western Illinois University and graduated from the University of Illinois in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science degree. In 1958, he received his Master's in Education from the University of Illinois. He taught vocational agriculture in Shabbona, Illinois where he set up the Ag Shop and was a volunteer fireman and first responder due in most part to the fact that the firehouse phone was in his home. He also served as Shabbona Village President for five years. In 1961, he moved to Harvard where he was the Vocational Agriculture teacher for three years until 1964, when he became the Principal of Harvard High School, a position he held until he retired 20 years later. He was extremely proud of his students and the graduates of Harvard High who knew him affectionately as "Pops". During his tenure as high school principal, he instituted the Building Trades program (which is still part of the curriculum today), the Diversified Occupation program and the AFS program. Also, he lead the SHARK Conference in elevating the girls' athletic program to a conference level program. After retiring, he sold real estate and remained active in the community, receiving the Robert L. Sorenson Award. From 1988 to 1992 he served as Mayor of Harvard. He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Harvard American Legion. He was Commander of the Harvard American Legion and co-chaired the committee for the Veteran's Memorial that was built by the community at the Harvard Diggins Library. He was a member of the Harvard Moose, the Harvard Historical Society and the First Presbyterian Church of Harvard. He enjoyed gardening and sharing his produce with others. He was an avid fisherman and also a hunter in his younger days. He cheered for the Cubs, the Bears and the Fighting Illini. He was a proud American and he was delighted to participate in the Chicago Honor Flight Program, traveling to Washington D.C. in July, 2011. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Robert C. Iftner Leadership Scholarship fund at the Harvard High School or to a . Visitation will be on Wednesday, May 7, from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM ,at the Starline Building in Harvard (300 W. Front Street), Harvard, IL 60033. Morning viewing will begin at 10:00 AM followed by funeral services at 11:00 AM on Thursday, May 8, at the Harvard Bible Church, 5817 Island Rd., Harvard, IL 60033. Pastor Darrell Bendorf will officiate. Interment will follow at Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Harvard. Family and friends may leave condolences online at saundersmcfarlin.net. Call Saunders & McFarlin Funeral Home for more info at 815-943-5400.
Published in the Northwest Herald on May 1, 2014
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