US Air Force

Robert Gissing

September 30, 1924 ~ November 17, 2018 (age 94)


URBANA, IL- Robert Gissing, 94, of Urbana, Illinois passed away at 1:49 AM, Saturday, November 17, 2018 at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.

Funeral Services will be held 12:00 Noon, Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at Renner-Wikoff Chapel, 1900 S. Philo Rd., Urbana, IL, with a visitation two hours prior (10:00 AM- 12:00 Noon) to the funeral.  Immediately following the funeral, burial will be held at Roselawn Cemetery in Champaign.

Robert was born September 30, 1924 in New York, NY, a son of Herbert John and Charlotte Gissing.  He married Anna Duvall on June 25, 1945 in Champaign, IL, and they were married over 58 years.    She preceded him in death on September 20, 2003. 

Survivors include two sons, Scott Richard (Gwyn) Gissing of St. Louis, MO and Robert Dean (Janice Lynn) Gissing of Lancaster, SC; a brother, Bruce Gissing of Tucson, AZ; three grandchildren, Matthew Gissing, Michael Gissing and Ashley Schafering and three great grandchildren, Kael and Kaedance Schafering and Emma Gissing.  Also surviving is a niece, Julie Duvall.

Robert was preceded in death by his wife, Anna Gissing, parents, Herbert and Charlotte Gissing and a sister, Edith Shapiro.

Robert served in the United State Air Force, having flown B-17s during WWII.  He was a member of the Mighty Eight Air Force 384th Bomb Group 545 Squadron Group and was credited with 35 combat missions, along with six additional missions that were aborted after taking off. He served from October 26, 1942 – September 2, 1945. His rank was Technical Sergeant and duties included Engineer/Top Turret Gunner. While flying those 35 missions, his plane was shot down twice. Robert was an active member of the Illinois National Guard from October 1950 – April 1951.  After the war, he worked for various airlines in New York and San Francisco until coming back to Urbana to start his career at Chanute Air Force Base in 1955.  He continued advancing in position until reaching the level of Chief of Training Evaluation Division at his retirement in 1991.  During his career at Chanute, he graduated from the University of Illinois in 1971 with a Bachelor in Industrial Science. 

Robert loved cowboy novels, watching football, the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Yankees, and swimming. Memorials may be made to the Urbana American Legion.  Condolences may offered at

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