PEORIA - Robert H. "Bob" Coyle, 88, of Peoria died at 6:40 a.m. Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, at Lutheran Hillside Village in Peoria.
Robert was born Jan. 1, 1926, to Henry and Helen (Kern) Coyle in Peoria, Ill. He married Shirley Ann Critchlow on Aug. 28, 1948. She survives.
Robert is also survived by five children, Susan Marie (Richard) Gualandi, Robert Michael (Lynn) Coyle, Bonnie Kathleen (Terry) Essington, Peter Thomas (Katherine) Coyle, and Mary Colleen (Christopher) Mathis; 13 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and a sister, Alice (Dick) Healy.
He was preceded in death by a son, Timothy Critchlow Coyle; two sisters, Margaret (Jack) Bulger and Claire (Henry) Huser; and three brothers, William (Joan), Phillip (Sally), and John (Susan) Coyle.
Robert attended St. Bernard's Grade School and Peoria High School, where he served in leadership roles including class president, student body president and Mid-State Student Council president.
He was also an Eagle Scout.
Upon turning 18 and prior to graduation, he was drafted into the U.S. Army Air Corps and served on a flight crew as a radio operator, conducting weather reconnaissance over the North Atlantic during World War II.
A recent commemorative flight in a B-17 meant much to him.
After completing his military service, he earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois and soon began his career at Caterpillar Tractor Company.
He spent 35 years in sales and marketing, often mentoring young hires, a number of whom later expressed their gratitude upon his retirement.
Bob and his family represented Caterpillar all over North America, from Florida to the Yukon Territory.
One of his final career assignments took them to Tokyo, Japan, which was a great adventure, both personally and professionally.
Bob finished his Caterpillar career as the global sales manager - G.O. (General Offices).
Upon his retirement from Caterpillar on Dec. 31, 1983, Bob founded his own company, the R.M. Coyle Company of Peoria Inc., on Jan. 2, 1984, a partner of R.M. Coyle Company, an insurance agency owned by Bob's son Mike in Rockford, Ill.
Bob's son Peter joined the business in 1984. The agency continued to grow over the years, changing the name to Coyle Insurance Agency, before recently merging with Arthur J. Gallagher to form Gallagher Coyle in Peoria.
While the agency is much larger than in those early years, it is still centered on the same qualities and high standards with which it was conceived by Bob and Shirley Coyle.
Bob thoroughly enjoyed his family and friends, especially during rounds of golf at the Country Club of Peoria or at golf clubs in Alabama and Arizona that he frequented with his sons and friends.
He was also a member of Rotary North, a dedicated fan of the Chicago Bears and devotedly supported any and all Illini sports teams.
A member of St. Philomena Church, his faith was of great importance.
He and the love of his life, Shirley, recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary, with friends and family in attendance.
The family wishes to express heartfelt thanks to the staff of Lutheran Hillside Village, especially Jackie and Denise.
Warm gratitude also goes to helpers Gia Horton and Brenda Ross for their steadfast love and care for Bob.
A funeral Mass will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, at St. Philomena Catholic Church. Father David Richardson will officiate. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20, 2014, at Wright & Salmon Mortuary. An additional visitation will be one hour prior to the Mass at the church. Private burial will be in Resurrection Mausoleum.
The family wishes that in lieu of flowers, memorials be sent to the Wounded Warriors Project, Children's Hospital of Illinois Foundation or a
Tributes and condolences may be submitted to www.wrightandsalmon. com.
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