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Robert "Bob" Anstine, 81, of Macomb, passed away on Friday, April 27, at St. John's Hospital in Springfield. He was born on January 27, 1937, to Harold and Dorothy Anstine, in the village of Industry. Five years later, the family moved to Adair, where Bob attended school. In the early 1950s he attended Western High School in Macomb, while working part time at Jack Stites Pharmacy. After graduating in 1955, he attended the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy, receiving his degree in 1959. Then, for a dozen years he worked for Jack Stites Pharmacy and also managed the Grant Street location, near McDonough District Hospital.
During that time, he also served in the military (1959-1965), with the 180th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the Air Force National Guard. He was called to active duty in 1961-1962, by President Kennedy, during the Berlin Wall crisis.
Bob married Sue Kaufman of Peoria in 1962. They raised two children of their own. Doug now resides in Discovery Bay, California, with his wife Beverly and their children, Jacqueline and Colette. Susan now resides in Novi, Michigan, with her husband, Scott Eiler, and their children, Stephanie, Madeline, and Elizabeth. When Sues brother and sister-in-law died, the Anstines also raised their niece and nephew. Patti (John) Kaufman Sloca has three children (Chris, Wesley, and Brianna) and resides in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Their nephew, John (Nancy) Kaufman, has three children as well (Emily, Haily, and Ethan) and resides in Manteno, Illinois.
Bob's only brother Ed (Jean) Anstine lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. His nephew Eddie Anstine also lives in Sioux Falls and his other nephew Jay (McKenzie) Anstine and their children (Rubie and Hill) live in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Committed to community service, Bob served on the Board of Directors of both the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce and the McDonough County Cancer Society, and he was Vice President of the Macomb Jaycees, as well as Exalted Ruler of the Elks Lodge, before his career in government began. Bob was also a founding member of the Bears and Bulls investment club in Macomb.
He then served on the Macomb City Council for a year (1972-1973) and was elected mayor in 1973. At the age of 36, he was the youngest and the longest-serving mayor in Macombs history as he was re-elected six times and held the office until 1991.
Bob and Sue also developed a wedding photography business, and he was for twenty years a member of the Professional Photographers of America.
Bob was the inspiration behind the Macomb Downtown Development Corporation that was founded in 1975 and a co-founder of the Macomb Area Industrial Development Corporation (MAIDCO) in 1983. He also formed the Macomb Public Building Commission, which joined with the McDonough County Board in constructing the Elms Nursing Home. Also, he was the originator of Heritage Days, Macombs largest annual festival, in 1981-1982.
Bob served on the state level, too. He was a leader in the Illinois Municipal League for several years and served as that groups president, 1989-1990. That organization included the mayors of 1,279 Illinois cities and villages. After his years as mayor, he was an assistant to Governor Jim Edgar during the early 1990s, living much of the time in Springfield. Then, he became the senior advisor for local government at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs. During that work in the 1990s, he established a public relations network with regional councils, local government associations, development groups, and local officials throughout Illinois and was the state governments authority on issues relating to community development. Bob also served on the governors Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Task Force and the Illinois River Coordinating Council.
After his governmental service, in his Macomb retirement years, Bob continued as a civic leader, serving as president of the McDonough County Historical Society, co-chairman of the Heritage Days Festival, co-founder of the Macomb Community Foundation, and board member of the Friends of Oakwood Cemetery. He returned part-time to his first career as a pharmacist as he maintained his pharmacy licenses in 3 states for over 50 years. He also received several local awards during his long career in community service.
Bob was honored to receive the prestigious Bowl of Hygeia award (for pharmacists with outstanding community service) for the state of Illinois in 2002. This award is particularly meaningful because it represents a culmination of Bob's working life pharmacy and community service.
On a personal level, the family has cherished Bob as a loving, thoughtful, easy going husband and father, who always displayed his affection and concern, despite his time-consuming responsibilities as a governmental and civic leader.
Bob is survived by his wife, children and brother. Bob was preceded in death by his parents (Harold and Dorothy Anstine) and great niece, Naya Sloca.
The visitation will be at Clugston-Tibbitts Funeral Home, on Wednesday evening, May 2, 2018 from 5 to 7 pm. Masonic services will be held at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. Funeral services will be held at Wesley United Methodist Church, at 10:30 am., on Thursday, May 3, 2018 with Reverend Dr. Howard White officiating. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery in Macomb with full military rites being conducted by the Macomb American Legion and Macomb VFW. A luncheon at the church will follow immediately after the graveside services at Oakwood Cemetery.
Memorial gifts may be made to Macomb Library, Wesley United Methodist Church or WIU Foundation.