Robert J. McCabe Jr., 74, of Westchester, a former longtime resident of River Forest, died on June 25, 2017. Born March 29, 1943 in Selma, Alabama, he grew up in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He attended the University of Cincinnati, where he played football and enrolled in the Army ROTC. Upon graduating, he went onto Officers Training and Flight School. He served his country in the Vietnam War where he was stationed in Vinh Long, Vietnam, 1968-69. A captain and helicopter pilot, he also served as a platoon leader in an assault aviation company, company commander in the Army Security Agency, and group aviation maintenance officer. He was awarded several medals for distinguished service, including the Bronze Star. 

Upon returning, he married Kathleen in 1970 and raised their family of five children in River Forest, where they created lifelong friendships. 

He was proud to be a “coalman,” brokering coal sales in the energy industry for over 40 years. He had the gift of making everyone’s day brighter. He loved to make people smile, including the Starbucks barista, the mail carrier, and even the hospital cafeteria worker, who was convinced she made the best tuna fish sandwich after he called to tell her. 

Robert McCabe Jr. is survived by his wife, Kathleen (nee Sittler); his children, Robert III (Amy), Kevin (Tara), Brian (Katherine), Julie (Dan) Stratis, and Jenny (Marc) Hans; his grandchildren, Nora, Sean, Brendan, Sadie, Madeline, Jacob, Aiden, Henry, Jackson, Danny, Ellie, Charlie, and Chloe; his sisters Cindy (Don) Langguth and Terry (James) Riley; his sister-in-law, Mary Ellen (the late Daniel) Gibbs; and his brother-in-law, Ed (Joni) Sittler. He was preceded in death by his parents Robert and Helen McCabe. 

Visitation was held on June 29 in Westchester. A funeral Mass was celebrated on June 30 at Ascension Catholic Church in Oak Park. Burial with military honors followed at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside. 

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Fisher House Foundation (, which provides support to military families. 

Arrangements were handled by Peter B. Kennedy & Co. Funeral Directors.

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