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Robert Earle Idleman

January 26, 1951 ~ September 27, 2021 (age 70)




Robert Earle Idleman, age 70, of Champaign, IL, passed away Monday, September 27th at home.

Bob was born January 26, 1951, at Burnham Hospital in Champaign, the son of Elmer Lewis Idleman and Mary Alice Walters. He graduated from Centennial in 1969 and from Southern Illinois University with a bachelor’s in art. After graduating, he joined the Florida Grower’s Association and enjoyed his time managing a nursery, and also taught art classes at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale. Upon returning to Champaign, he joined the Champaign–Urbana Mass Transit District and was honored to serve as a union leader. 

Bob had a fairy tale love story with his wife Olga who he met in passing on the Amtrak coming from Chicago to Champaign and reunited at Century 21 three years later. Olga and Bob married on May 14, 1978, in Stewart, FL, and had 2 beautiful daughters, Ursulla Alexii and Alexandra Mary. Bob was a fantastic father with a warm heart and a drive to always be there for his girls. After an accident in 1978 left him with a broken back, he worked through that pain to provide an amazing life for his family.

He had a passion for photography, gardening, art, bicycling, and animals. He was an active member in the PTA at the state and local levels and taught Sunday school at St. Peter’s Church. He loved Champaign-Urbana history and was often found at Uncle John’s reminiscing with coffee and friends. He was a lover of rock n’ roll and roadied for the likes of Bluesweed, Janis Joplin, BB King, and many more. 

Bob was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2018 and fought bravely for many years. He is survived by his wife Olga, daughters Ursulla and Alexandra, brother Thomas (Deb) Idleman, sister Hedwig (Randy) Featherling, loyal pup Lola, and many loving extended family members. He was proceeded in his passing by his big brother Paul (Susie) Idleman, father Elmer Lewis Idleman, and mother Mary Alice Idleman.

In lieu of customary remembrances, memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society in Robert’s name. 

A celebration of life and reception will be held on October 30, 2021 from 3-6 PM at Papa Dels, 1201 S Neil Street, Champaign, Il. 61820. 


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