Robert Wallhaus
Robert Wallhaus
Robert Wallhaus

Obituary of Robert Arthur Wallhaus

Robert Arthur Wallhaus (Bob)

July 11, 1937 – November 20, 2023

Husband, father, grandfather, uncle, friend departed this life for his heavenly home on Monday November 20, 2023. He died peacefully at his home.

He was born on July 10th, 1937, the only child of Bernice and Louis Wallhaus. He grew up in Waterloo, a small town in Southern Illinois. He loved sports and played high school basketball and baseball, scoring 55 points in one high school basketball game. He was valedictorian of his high school class.

He attended the University of Illinois where he received a B.S. in Mathematics, an M.S. in Theoretical & Applied Mechanics, and ultimately a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. While there he met and married his true love and companion, Penelope Pietrus, who he married in January 1961. Together they raised three children, Ted, Tom and Gretchen.

While Bob began his career with IBM as a systems engineer his lifelong career was in higher education serving as faculty and administrator at the University of Illinois, the University of Michigan and the University of Colorado. In 1970, he moved his family to Boulder Colorado and became Director of Research for the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. While living in Colorado, they took up skiing, hiking and the great outdoors.

He moved back to Springfield, Illinois in 1979, becoming Executive Deputy Director for Academic and Health Affairs at the Illinois Board of Higher Education. After retiring Bob continued to work part time consulting. He moved to Chicago where he and Penny enjoyed life on Lake Shore Drive attending the Lyric Opera, the symphony, theater and running along Lake Michigan. In 2000 they moved to Hilton Head Island where Bob turned his attention to golf, the beaches and close friends. He also enjoyed bridge, poker, playing games with family, and relaxing with a martini and a fine cigar. He never stopped watching the Illini play football and basketball. He loved to travel and together, he and Penny, traveled the world, visiting China, Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia, Poland, Alaska, Hawaii and many other destinations.

Bob's Christian faith was a core part of his life. He was a lifelong member of the church and an active leader in his local church community. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church for over 20 years where he was as an Elder and member of Session.

He was charming, gentle, and joyous. He was known for his intelligence and wit. He loved a good story and told plenty of his own. He lived a complete and joyful life, fully experienced, free of regret.

He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him. A life well lived is worth remembering.

Bob leaves behind his wife Penny, son Ted Wallhaus (Nancy), son Tom Wallhaus (Abbie), daughter Gretchen Buschmann, and his grandchildren Taylor, (Trevor), Truely, Sophie, and Joseph.

A celebration of life will take place in the spring on Hilton Head Island.

A Memorial Tree was planted for Robert
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at The Island Funeral Home & Crematory
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