Robert Leon Hanlon a.k.a. “Peewee” or “Bob”, a kind-hearted and humorous man, passed away peacefully on March 13, 2023, at the age of 95. Please send a comment, story, or picture about Peewee that we can post at the visitation to email@example.com. Here are just a few of ours.
He served his country with honor in the U.S. Army when he was stationed in France in 1946. He often spoke of giving the chocolate from his rations to the local children, and the experiences he had with wrongdoers while assigned to guard an American cemetery in France.
Peewee had many changing hobbies and interests throughout his long life. In his younger days, he was quite good at hunting and fishing. After retirement, he took up bowling, with a 169 average, and golfing where he hit a hole-in-one! However, his greatest passion was responsible and affordable gambling. He loved betting on almost anything with close friends and family. Including but not limited to horses, dogs, golf, bowling, card games such as pitch, euchre, and poker, and slot machines. His last visit to the casino, or “the boat” as he called it, was just last month. The morning before he passed, he asked about scheduling the next trip. During his retirement, he most enjoyed traveling to Las Vegas to participate in slot tournaments. He spoke of seeing famous performers at the tournaments after shows. Peewee lived life to the fullest and enjoyed every moment. Late in life, he always fought to pick up the check, including the afternoon of his passing. Incredibly at 95 years old, he still maintained a valid driver’s license and drove daily. He didn’t understand why driver's license examiners would insist he come to a complete stop when “no one does that.”
Peewee ran a shaper machine at the Wurlitzer Piano factory in DeKalb, IL for 25 years until its closure in 1973. He had a strong work ethic that he instilled in his children. Even knowing he would have to hitchhike home, he would accept an optional hour of overtime. Peewee bragged about his high production rate on the dangerous machines and that he was one of the few workers that still had all his fingers.
He then joined General Electric in DeKalb and worked there as a maintenance mechanic until his retirement in 1994. Some GE colleagues speak lovingly about him to this day.
Born in Marseilles, Illinois, Peewee was the son of Edward Hanlon and Selma Norem.
In 1948, Peewee married his sweetheart, Mary Lou O'Dille. They were great parents who always put their children first. They gave their children unconditional lovewho became honest, caring, and family-first people. After buying his modest house in DeKalb, he dug out his whole basement by hand with him on the shovel and Mary Lou working the wheelbarrow. Mary Lou and Peewee were together until her passing in 1994.
Peewee's family and friends will miss him dearly. Peewee is survived by his loving children, Lee (Paul) Gampfer of York, PA, Linda (Richard) Faivre of Polo, IL, Bob (Shawn) Hanlon of DeKalb, IL, and John (Marla) Hanlon of Polo, IL, and his fiancée of 25 years Carol Plesa of DeKalb, IL. He was also the proud grandparent of ten grandchildren and fourteen great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, two brothers, Jim Hanlon, Edward (Banjo) Hanlon, and a granddaughter.
Anderson Funeral home in DeKalb will host a visitation on Saturday, April 8th, from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., a service from 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. with military funeral honors to follow at 4:15 p.m. Peewee will always be remembered for being a kind jokester and prankster. Rest in peace, Peewee. You will always be loved and remembered with a smile and a funny story.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial is being established for Robert for a charity to be determined by his children in care of Anderson Funeral Home.
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