PEORIA - Robert "Bob" Shelton Wilkins, 83, of Peoria died Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, at Buehler Home, with family at his side.
Bob was born Jan. 18, 1930, in Owensboro, Ky., to Dewey E. and Sara (Cullen) Wilkins, who both preceded him in death. He married Marlyn Sitton on June 7, 1958, in Peoria. They celebrated 50 memorable years of marriage before her passing in 2009.
Surviving are his brother, Jack (Dawn) Wilkins of Peoria; four daughters, Nanette (Paul) Weers of Edwards, Jamie (Rick) Yemm of Galesburg, Sara (Mike) O'Brien of Peoria and Wendy (Jeff) Kolbus of Edwards; seven grandchildren, Rich and Sara Yemm, Bobby, Megan and Kelly O'Brien and Michael and Nick Kolbus; and many friends who will miss his outgoing personality and mischievous nature.
Bob was senior class president at Peoria High School, and later graduated from Colorado College with a degree in Economics and Banking. He was a member and Treasurer of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and is remembered as the captain and driving force behind the formation of the Colorado College Swim Team.
While in Colorado Springs, he took up skiing, which he enjoyed for many years.
From 1952 to 1954, Bob served in the U.S. Army in Baltimore, Md., and Stuttgart, Germany, as an intelligence specialist. While stationed there, he had the opportunity to travel to many European countries.
Bob quietly made a substantial impact on the Peoria area through his community involvement and as a real estate broker and developer for nearly 60 years. His passion for Peoria and surrounding areas led him to serve as a director of Jefferson Trust and Savings; director and vice president of economic development for the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce; member and chairman of the City of Peoria Planning Commission; director of the Peoria Junior Chamber of Commerce; Urban League of Peoria Board of Directors; Peoria City Beautiful Board of Directors; Better Business Bureau Board of Directors; charter member of Peoria Rotary North; Boy Scout Scoutmaster and W.D. Boyce Council president, executive committee member, chairman of sustaining membership enrollment, and chairman of Honor Guard. Bob's involvement continued as president, vice president, secretary and director of the Peoria Area Association of Realtors; president of Peoria Area Land Developers Association; president of Central Illinois Chapter of the Institute of Real Estate Management; Illinois Association of Realtors Chairman of the Local Government Committee; State of Illinois On-Site Waste Water Management Advisory Board; Proctor Hospital Board and executive committee member; First Baptist trustee and chairman of the Board of Trustees; and vice president of Mt. Hawley Country Club Board of Governors.
As president and owner of Traders Realty & Development Corporations, Bob is remembered for his fairness, honesty and integrity. Throughout his career, Bob was instrumental in the development of over 40 subdivisions and thousands of residential home sites, providing many Central Illinoisans a place to call home.
In addition to holding his Illinois Realtors license since 1958, he earned additional designations including Certified Property Manager and Graduate of Real Estate Institute. Bob received the Distinguished Member Award for Community Service, the Industry Achievement Award and is the only two-time recipient of the Realtor of the Year Award, all given by the Peoria Area Association of Realtors. He was further honored as the Illinois Association of Realtors Distinguished member for Service to Community and Real Estate Industry.
Other business endeavors included Inventory Technology, Inc. and Pioneer Park One, Inc.
Although Bob was the father of four daughters, scouting was an extremely important part of his life. He wanted other young men to have the same opportunities he had enjoyed and assisted with many fundraising efforts in support of the W.D. Boyce Council. Bob was an Eagle Scout and was awarded the Silver Beaver Award from the Boy Scouts.
He had a great love of the outdoors and countless hours were spent on his beloved tractors or tinkering at his work bench.
As a young man, he enjoyed racing his Star sailboat with his brother. His father taught him the game of golf and he continued to play throughout his lifetime. He thoroughly enjoyed the many friendships made through Mt. Hawley and "The Squires" and the memorable golf trips they took.
In recent years, Bob joined the annual fishing trips to Canada with the First Baptist Men's group, which "spawned" many humorous fish tales.
Although Bob was extremely involved in the community, he always took time to be with his family, passing on his wisdom and love of life. He loved adventure and shared this with his family on many camping vacations, skiing trips and other excursions. Bob lived every aspect of his life by The Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, at First Baptist Church of Peoria, 411 W. Lake Ave. Pastor Jim Carlson will officiate. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 3, also at the church. An additional visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church on Wednesday. Wright & Salmon Mortuary is handling arrangements.
Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church of Peoria, 411 W. Lake Ave., Peoria, IL 61614 or W.D. Boyce Council of Boy Scouts of America, 614 NE Madison Ave., Peoria, IL 61603.
Tributes and condolences may be submitted to www.wrightandsalmon. com.