Robert C. Bierma
SPRINGFIELD - Robert C. Bierma, 83, peacefully passed away on June 29, 2014, at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, Ill. Bob was born on Aug. 31, 1930, in Riverside, Ill., to Clyde and Alice Bierma. Some of Bob's best memories of Riverside involved his friends, and sister, exploring along the banks of the Des Plaines River and on nights when the wind was just right, hearing the occasional roar or trumpets of animals in nearby Brookfield Zoo, with the occasional escaped peacock appearing in the neighborhood.
After graduating from Riverside High School, Bob attended Blackburn College in Carlinville, Ill., and graduated with a BA in 1952. The same year, on his birthday, he and Constance (Connie) Ott, a fellow student, were married. Bob went on to receive graduate degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Deciding on a teaching career, Bob started off at Northwestern Community Unit School District. Within a few years the Bierma family moved to Springfield where he taught math and science at Fairview Elementary School until his retirement. He also taught at Lawrence Education Center.
He enjoyed a natural affinity for sports, and in his younger years, enjoyed water skiing, easily mastered snow skiing, and played tennis. He especially loved camping, hiking canoeing, and sailing. Bob was also easily persuaded to add a pet or two to the family, the latest being a cat named Snickers.
He lived with grace, dignity and humor, and when his life was ending, approached death the same way. Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Clyde and Alice, his brother, Roy, wife, Connie, and sister, Alice (Siria). He is survived by his daughter, Lynn Bierma of Springfield; nieces, Pam (Chuck) Vose of New Hampton, N.H., and Carolyn Siria of Denver, Colo.; great-nephew, Eric Vose of New Hampton, N.H.; and great-niece, Julie Vose of Plainfield, Vt.
Celebration of Life: Bob's Celebration of Life will be held on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, at Staab Funeral Home, Springfield,from 5-7 p.m.
Graveside services will be held on Thursday, July 17, 2014, at Oak Ridge Cemetery at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Illinois Retired Teachers Foundations and Blackburn College Lumpkin Library.
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