Robert Gaebler, 87, a longtime resident of Oak Park, died on Aug. 16 in his residence at Belmont Village. Born in 1932 in Cleveland, Ohio, he moved to Chicago to begin graduate studies in psychology at Northwestern University. In 1969, he moved to Oak Park with his wife, Carol Armin Gaebler.

As a prominent school psychologist in Illinois, he was Chicago’s first Head Start psychologist and held leadership roles in the Chicago Psychological Association, the Illinois Psychological Association, and the National Association of School Psychologists. He was also a lifetime member of the American Psychological Association.

He worked at Oak Park and River Forest High School as a contractual school psychologist from 1992 to his retirement in 2002. He served as a local election judge in Oak Park for over 15 years and was active in various political groups in Oak Park.

His life experiences ranged from working on ore freighters on the Great Lakes to leading a nonprofit organization that arranged volunteer programs around the world. His passion for genealogy connected him with like-minded ancestry enthusiasts in many countries. 

Robert’s warm sense of humor and his passion for helping those in need will be missed by friends and family who loved him dearly.

Robert is survived by Carol, his wife of 58 years; his sons, David, Ken and Michael, his daughters-in-law Lois Griff, Ellen Hanson, and Susan Lowance; his grandchildren, Rebecca, Joey, Ben, Anna, Madeline and Sam; and his siblings, Dick, Ted and Peggy. 

A private memorial service will be held at Waldheim Cemetery.

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