Robert W. Eder, 92, formerly of Oak Park, died on March 18, 2012. Born in Chicago on Dec. 2, 1919 to the late John W. and Emma Robl Eder, he was educated at Holy Cross Seminary in Notre Dame, Ind., and St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein before deciding to devote his life and express his love of God as a member of the laity.
After serving honorably in the U.S. Navy in World War II, he took up a sales career, landing his dream job in 1946, selling advertising for the Chicago Tribune. He was employed there for 38 years. Among his proudest achievements at the Tribune included receiving the Chesser Campbell Award for Top Salesman twice. He also initiated the advertising program, along with Paul Butler and his staff, that resulted in modern day Oak Brook. His volunteer activities included a lengthy term with Junior Achievement, teaching business skills to young people.
After marrying the love of his life, Margaret Ann Gladstone, in 1952, Mr. Eder enjoyed many years of success and fulfillment — as a husband, father, salesman, golfer and sports aficionado. His seven children all attended and graduated from Ascension Elementary School. He was very active in Ascension Parish well beyond the time his children attended school there, including the Holy Name Society, the Parish Finance Committee, the Knights of Columbus, and lay server of communion. He continued to serve his local parish in retirement in Michigan City, Ind., and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and remained supportive of and involved in the activities of his children — academic and extracurricular.
His studies in the seminary gave him a particularly sharp mind for Latin and English. He could conjugate Latin verbs and decline Latin nouns with the best of them. Many have remarked of his abilities in sports, from his youth well into his 80s. A multi-talented athlete, he developed a special affinity for golf. A member of Elmhurst County Club for many years, he played to a low single-digit handicap in his golfing prime. In 1963 he won the Chicago Notre Dame Alumni Association Golf Championship and finally carded his first ace at Long Beach Country Club in 1996.
A devoted fan of local sports teams — primarily the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Chicago White Sox, and Chicago Bears — when the White Sox won the pennant in 1959, he arranged with his boss at the New York Daily News for a vacation on short notice. He flew to Chicago to watch the White Sox beat the Dodgers in the first game of the World Series. It was a long wait after that, but he his devotion was finally rewarded when the White Sox won the World Series in 2005 for the first time since two years before his birth.
Bob Eder is survived by his children, Robert Jr. (Janet), Laura Kearney, Karen (Joe) Romano, Joseph (Shelli), Mary Madden (Ray Coyne), Paul (Anne) and Julie Oskroba; his many grandchildren; one great-grandchild; his siblings, Francis (Mary K), and Charles (Bernie). He was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret Ann; his siblings, John (the late Louise), Bernard (Harriet), William, and George.
Bob died in the loving company of his family, who said that he touched many lives with his commitment to Christian service and will be deeply missed and remembered by all.
Visitation was held on March 22 at Blake-Lamb Funeral Home in Lisle. Funeral Mass was celebrated on March 23 at Sacred Heart Monastery Chapel in Lisle.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 11 S. LaSalle St., Suite 1800, Chicago, IL 60603.
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