Robert Edward Preller, 81, of rural Congerville, died May 3, 2017 at the Roanoke Apostolic Christian Home, where he had been a resident for the past 3 years. Arrangements are being made through Otto Argo Calvert Funeral Home in Danvers. A private family memorial will be held at a later date. Robert was born January 9, 1936 in section 16 Rutland Township, Kane County, Illinois to John Adolph Preller and Norma Jean Steven Preller, both deceased.
Robert married Barbara Ann Hoffman, June 14, 1957 in Evanston Illinois, also deceased. He is survived by his brother John Richard Preller (Joyce) of Rio Hondo, Texas, his son William of Hudson, and his grandson Alexander of Lebanon, Indiana. Robert graduated from Dundee High School in 1953 and from Northwestern University in Evanston in 1957 with a BA in Mathematics and Education. He received his MA in Education from the University of Illinois in 1960, and earned his PhD from Illinois State
University in Education Administration and Foundations in 1972.
Robert worked for the Illinois State Board of Higher Education, during the formative years of the Illinois junior college system, and then worked at Illinois Central College from 1968 until his retirement in 1992, beginning his administrative career as Director of Educational Research and then returning to his true love as a teacher, becoming a professor in the mathematics department. He received the Outstanding Teacher Award, in recognition from his students for his deep commitment to them and to his love of teaching. Many of his students remember his kindness, stories with a point of learning, and his ability to relay complex mathematical concepts in easy to comprehend ways. He owned a small farm southwest of Congerville and for many years ran a cattle operation. He and Barbara were ahead of their time, marketing high quality freezer beef, custom cut to the customer’s specifications, long before that was commonly available. He was also highly interested in conservation working in conjunction with farming, working to establish wildlife habitat including a number of native prairie grass areas and species. Robert was a member of the Northwestern University Alumni Association, the National Rifle Association, Illinois State Rifle Association, Champaign County Rifle Association, National Conference of Teachers of Mathematics, the Libertarian Party, the Republican Party, the American Farm Bureau, Illinois Farm Bureau, McLean County Farm Bureau, the DuPage County Pioneer Cemetery Association, the Preservation Society of Lockport Illinois, the Louisiana Forestry Association, the Missouri Prairie Foundation, the Henry County Indiana Historical Society, Dawson County Nebraska Historical Society, Lexington Kentucky Historical Society, and Venango County Pennsylvania Historical Society. Robert was a highly intelligent individual who was interested in a wide variety of things from mathematics, education, and protection of the Second Amendment to the Constitution as one element of a strong commitment to personal freedoms and the accompanying personal responsibilities, to the preservation and restoration of Illinois natural prairie. He enjoyed traveling and learning about family genealogy, having visited and helped to
preserve and restore family cemeteries from Quebec to Montana, but relished most especially spending time with his cherished wife Barbara. He will be sadly missed by family and friends.
Memorials can be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.