Robert Byers Wilcox Jr.
Robert Byers Wilcox Jr. passed away on February 18, 2021, at the age of 72, in his home and surrounded by his family. Bob is survived by his wife, Barbara Hermansen, and their two children, Benjamin and Katharine.

The eldest son of Robert Wilcox Sr. and Laura Winston Wilcox, Bob and his four siblings grew up in Winnetka, Illinois. Bob graduated from Harvard in 1970 and moved to the Bay Area, where he spent a decade working as a car mechanic, living in a commune, and playing the mandolin before earning a JD and MBA from the University of California, Berkeley.

In 1984, Bob moved back to Chicago and joined Schiff Hardin as a transactional attorney. He built a successful practice at the intersection of intellectual property protection and market systems licensing.

In 1990, Bob married Barbara, a litigator at Schiff Hardin. Within the span of a few years, they had a son and a daughter, purchased Bob's childhood home in Winnetka, and acquired a dog and a station wagon. Bob adored fatherhood and devoted himself completely to family life. He took particular pleasure in puttering around the yard or patio, jogging at dawn on the Green Bay Trail, and coaching his kids' Little League and AYSO teams. Nothing gave Bob more joy than his thirty-one years of marriage to Barbara.

In addition to wife, his children, and their partners, Matthew Hartzler and Nadine Lehner, Bob is survived by his siblings Steven Wilcox (Kathleen) of Chandler, Arizona, Katherine Lambert (Ian) of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, David Wilcox (Melynda) of Alexandria, Virginia, and Brian Wilcox (Amy) of Brentwood, Tennessee. He is already so deeply missed by his family, which also includes beloved nieces and nephews and sisters- and brothers-in law.

In lieu of flowers, Bob wished that donations in his memory be sent to the Environmental Law & Policy Center (, an organization founded by his father to serve as legal advocates for the Midwest's wild and natural places.

Published by Chicago Tribune from Feb. 22 to Feb. 25, 2021.
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
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12 Entries
I so loved meeting the man. My heart is with all of you.
Wendy Hladick
February 24, 2021
We are so sorry to hear of your loss of your husband and father. He was an awesome, loving and kind gentleman. He will be dearly missed.
Beth and Stan Summers
February 24, 2021
I am so sorry for the family´s loss. Love and prayers go out to you all.
Jean Minard Umberger
February 24, 2021
My deepest condolences to his wife and family. Barbara, I have fond memories of you growing up. I know he will be truly missed.
Carla (Perkins) Watkins
February 24, 2021
My deepest condolences to Barbara and your family. I was so sorry to hear this news. I remember meeting Bob at Schiff almost 40 years ago and was impressed by his mind and heart from the beginning. I was so pleased to reconnect at our dinners in recent years. May his memory be for a blessing. Brian Hamer
Brian Hamer
February 22, 2021
Barbara, I was so saddened to learn this news. Bob (my Schiff classmate of sorts, since we started the same year) was the sweetest, gentlest person. My heart is with you and all your family. ~Catherine
Catherine Masters
February 22, 2021
Thank you for your friendship and kindness at Schiff Hardin. Your smile was always contagious. My deepest condolences to Barbara and the entire family. He will truly be missed.
Linda Trask
February 22, 2021
I was so saddened to read about Bob´s passing today. He was one of the most genuine, interesting and caring people I ever have encountered. May he Rest In Peace. Barb, please accept Jody´s and my condolences to you and your family for this tragic loss. Terry
Terry Moran
February 22, 2021
My profound sympathies to Barbara and family. Bob was such a gentle soul and fine example of a human being. Seeing Bob's smiling face in the galley at the crack of dawn always put me in the right frame of mind to start the day.
Jack LaBolt
February 22, 2021
Our hearts go out to the entire Wilcox family during this time of sorrow. Remembering Bob and all of you - so many memories - with great love always.
Fred and Fran Gougler
February 22, 2021
The Beshar Family
February 21, 2021
If by the fruit you know the tree, Bob was a brilliant, loving, quietly strong and generous tree whose branches made music of every breeze. We are so sorry for the entire Wilcox family, and are holding you all in our hearts.
Fritz Beshar and Peter Lehner
February 21, 2021