MARQUETTE HEIGHTS - Robert William "Bob" Lickiss, Sr., a retired lieutenant colonel with the United States Air Force, 89, of Marquette Heights, passed away at 10:01 a.m. Tuesday, May 6, 2014, at Manor Court of Peoria.
He was born Sept. 1, 1924, in Percy, the son of William and Bernice (Tudor) Lickiss. He married Colene Saak in 1946 in Chester. She survives with endearing memories of their 68 years of marriage. Also surviving are his six children, Pamela Lickiss of Peoria, Dr. Karen (Scott) Weiss of DeLand, Fla., The Honorable Monica (Stuart) Marlow of Redding, Calif., retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Robert (Mary) Lickiss Jr. of DeLand, Fla., Jeff (Vickie) Lickiss of Peoria, and Sandy (Michael) Isom of Memphis, Tenn.; thirteen grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his beloved stepfather, David Cross; and one granddaughter.
A 1949 graduate of Southern Illinois University with honors, he achieved a master's degree in political science and international relations from the University of Chicago in 1950. He was an award-winning sales representative for the topical law publisher, Commerce Clearing House and CCH Computax Inc., retiring in 1990 after 30 years of service. After his retirement, he and his wife became investors and traveled extensively. In his early work years, he was a motion picture machine operator for his family's movie theater in Percy, and a Borden Dairy Plant foreman in Peoria.
Robert was most proud of his service to his country. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II from 1943 to 1945 as a B-17 bombardier/navigator. As a lieutenant he flew missions over Germany, Italy, Austria and Yugoslavia. He was one of the first members of military aviation to be trained in the use of navigational RADAR. He continued his military career in the Air Force Reserves, retiring in 1972 as a lieutenant colonel and commander of the former Peoria Air Reserve Squadron. After retiring, he remained an active member of the Reserve Officers Association, serving on the board of directors and as chapter president in 2001. He also served his community as chairman of the Marquette Heights Zoning Board from 1964 to 1978. He served briefly on the Marquette Heights Fire Department during a period of manpower shortage in the 1960s. He was involved in numerous community projects and improvements.
Robert was a dedicated husband, father and grandparent. He will be remembered for his integrity, intellect of international affairs, and his unwavering support for his children and their children.
His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Monday, May 12, 2014, at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin. Roger Monroe, a family friend, will officiate. Visitation will be from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Monday at the funeral home. Military rites will be accorded following the funeral by the United States Air Force and Tazewell Area Ceremonial Team. Graveside services will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Percy Village Cemetery in Percy.
For those who choose to make a donation in Bob's memory, the family suggests the Junior Reserve Officer Training Program (JROTC) at Pekin Community High School or the www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
To express condolences online, visit www.preston-hanley.com.