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Robert W. “Bob” Zerkle


Robert W. “Bob” Zerkle, 75, of Macomb, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009 at McDonough District Hospital in Macomb.

He was born April 18, 1934 in Macomb to James Elkins and Iva Canavit Zerkle. He married Marylou Hays in 1954 and later married Rose Jennings on July 29, 1972. She preceded him in death on Aug. 29, 2008.

He was also preceded in death by his parents and one stepson, Scott Jennings.

Surviving are four sons, James K. (Carol) Zerkle, Springfield; Robert Walter (Carol) Zerkle, Lehigh Acres, Flo.; Brian Kirk (Theresa) Zerkle, Tallahassee, Flo.; Michael Scott (Gloria) Zerkle, Lehigh Acres, Flo.; one stepson, Charlie Jennings, currently working in Iraq; one stepdaughter, Ila (David) Mense, Clinton; one sister, Doris Nell Bailey, Lehigh Acres, Flo.; and seven grandchildren, Adam, John,  Michael, Daniel, Ketra, Scott, and Tasha.

He graduated from Macomb High School in 1952 and attended Western Illinois University; he was a member of the Sons of the American Legion.

As a young man, Bob was a reporter for the Macomb Journal and KIRX radio. As a radio news reporter, he covered the first 707 accident in the US. He also had the honor of interviewing former President Harry Truman. Bob later worked for King-Seely Thermos and retired from Bower Roller Bearing as a Metallurgist. In his retirement, he enjoyed supervising anyone that was around him, including sons, friends, acquaintances and strangers.

Bob was an avid hunter and fisherman. He excelled in shooting sports. In his early years, he represented Winchester at shooting exhibitions around the Midwest. He later competed at the Grand American in Ohio. Bob particularly enjoyed early morning duck hunting at Spring Lake.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009, at the Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home.

Visitation will be held Friday, Sept. 25 from 6 - 8 p.m. with Rev. Ron Green officiating.

Cremation rites have been accorded. Burial of ashes will be in Oakwood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Scott Jennings Memorial Fishing Tournament, an annual event for young people established by Bob in memory of his stepson, now administered by the Macomb Police Department.

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