Photo courtesy of Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory

Robert G. Burress

Pekin, Illinois

Mar 19, 1941 – Nov 10, 2018 (Age 77)


March 19, 1941
November 10, 2018
Pekin, Illinois


Send Flowers

Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory Obituary

PEKIN ~ Robert G. "Bob" Burress, 77, of Pekin, passed away at 10:14 p.m. Saturday, November 10, 2018 at UnityPoint Health-Methodist in Peoria. 

Born March 19, 1941 in Corinth, Mississippi to Olen Quentin and Willie Mae (Barnett) Burress, he married Mary J. (Graves) Lavin on December 2, 1988 in Groveland.  She survives. 

Also surviving are four children, Michael (Karla) Burress, David Burress, Jason (Amy) Lavin and Sarah (Dustin) Wrhel, all of Pekin; eight grandchildren, Thomas Burress, Jennifer (Joe) Howard, Braden Lavin, Avery Lavin, Connor Wrhel, Brock Lavin, Roenick Smith and Easton Smith and one sister, Frances Smith of California. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother and one sister. 

He was a 1987 graduate of the University of Illinois at Springfield with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Social Science. 

Bob was a dedicated public servant, working for the City of Pekin for 27 years, retiring in 1995 as Chief of Police, a position he held from 1992 to 1995.  During his career with the Pekin Police Department, Bob was instrumental in investigating Operation Grainlord, a multimillion dollar grain fraud scheme.  He was a longtime member of the M.E.G. Board and the 911 Board in Tazewell County.  He also helped start the neighborhood crime prevention program in Pekin. He started his work life at Laidlaw Wire in Bartonville and at Pekin Park District.  

In retirement, Bob served as a member of the Tazewell County Board of Review, Cincinnati Township Assessor and a founding member and director for the Illinois Public Pension Fund.  He also served on the City of Pekin Police and Fire Pension fund.  He was a member of Pekin Moose Family Center 916 and also Pekin AMBUCS. 

Bob was all about community service and especially helping and mentoring others.  If you knew Bob, you would be touched by him.  Bob attended Pekin First Church of the Nazarene. 

His memorial service will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, November 16, 2018 at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin.  Pastor W. Lloyd Brock will officiate.  Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.  Inurnment will follow the service in Glendale Memorial Gardens in Pekin.  Honors will be accorded by the Pekin Police Department. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Tazewell Animal Protective Society, 100 Taps Lane, Pekin, IL  61554 as Bob was big into animals. 

To express condolences online, visit

Read More

Guest Book

Not sure what to say?

Bob was a very special person and came with a big heart. He lived his life for others and was always there to help, listen, advise and be a true friend. He will truly be missed! Our prayers will be with Mary and the Burress Family. May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

Deepest sympathy and prayers to the family. Bob was a strong supporter of public safety and fighter looking after their pension plans.

Bob was the salt of the earth. Despite hardships in his life, he never complained, he always overcame. Bob wanted to know about you and your family. Did you need any help with anything, he would always offer. I miss him and his generous heart.

I'm so sorry for your loss. As you remember your love one, may your precious memories and Almighty God comfort your broken hearts and strengthen you during this sad time. (Psalm 147:3)

Bob, or Bobby as I called him and Davey Nagel as he always called me. Bob knew I was a patch collector and was always asking me if I needed anything from his area of the state.Bob would come up with patches that I tried and tried to obtain but was unable to. He had the magic touch. Even when I was a little down Bob had the words to lift my spirits and make me laugh. He Will be missed by so many for doing so much to help so many people. God bless you Robert Burress.

It was always nice to see Robert at an IPPFA gathering. Learned a lot just sitting with him occassionally and listening to what he had to say. A remarkable gentleman.

Bob was a dedicated public servant. He was a long-time advocate for retired and disabled first responders. He lived as an example of selfless service to community and country. To Mary and the Burress family, please accept Erica and my deepest condolences. Bob is remembered, respected, and missed.

Bob was truly a gentlemen and he will be missed. His contributions to IPPFA and police officers throughout the State are immeasurable.