BARTLETT – Robert Vernon Oldham, Jr., 93, of Bartlett, Ill., a World War II veteran, died of pneumonia on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates.|
Bob was born on March 16, 1920, in Lorain, Ohio. After high school, Bob delivered telegrams and performed equipment maintenance for Lorain Telephone Company. When World War II began, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served as chief electrician's mate aboard the YMS-57 minesweeper operating from Maine to North Carolina. The ship located and destroyed anti-ship mines laid by German U-boats in U.S. waters.
After the war ended, Bob began a long career in the telephony industry with Leich Electric in Genoa, where he designed telephone switchboards for both rotary and electronic communications. He was very proud of his patent for a new design of a PABX business telephone switchboard with several innovative features. During his 30+ year career, Bob also worked at GTE in Northlake and United Telephone in Mansfield, Ohio. His avocations included photography, gardening, genealogy, music and baseball.
Bob married his high school sweetheart, Lois E. Dobbeck, in 1942. They spent the war years stationed in Virginia Beach, Va., and after the war, moved to Genoa where they began raising their family. The family also resided in Bartlett for more than 10 years. Lois predeceased Bob in 1982. He also was predeceased by his mother, Mary Rhue Benson, and his father, Robert V. Oldham Sr., formerly of Lorain.
In 1983, Bob married his second wife, Geraldine "Jerry" Nelson. Prior to 2011, they lived in Genoa and later in Sycamore. The two enjoyed bowling with the seniors at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb, vacation time at their Wisconsin lake cabin and the day-to-day activities of retirement.
For the last year of his life, Bob was a resident of the Assisi Health Care Center in Bartlett, where he and Jerry continued to be together.
Bob is survived by Jerry; daughter, Sandra (John) Bailey; son, James (Molly) Oldham; stepson, James (Phyllis) Nelson; stepdaughter, Jan (Dan) Luecking; five grandchildren; five step-grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and four step-great-grandchildren.
The burial of his cremated remains will take place at Ridgehill Memorial Park Cemetery, Amherst Township, Lorain.
Published in Daily Chronicle on Mar. 27, 2013