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Tuesday, September 26, 2023
3:00 - 6:00pm (Central time)
Wednesday, September 27, 2023
Starts at 11:00am (Central time)
Robert Dell, 97, of Sandwich, IL, passed away on Friday, September 15, 2023 at The Pavilion on Main in Sandwich, IL. He was born June 25, 1926, in Clarkston, WA to Mildred (Cole) and Cecil Dell.
In 1930 the family moved to Billings, MT where Cecil became the manager of the local JC Penney store. Bob attended school in Billings and graduated 1944 prior to being called to active duty in the Army Air Corps serving during WWII.
Bob started at Eastern Montana College and finished at Carleton College in 1950. From 1950-1952, Bob worked in WWII refugee resettlement with Church World Service, and then the World Council of Churches in Germany and Austria. His final assignment was as Sr. Resettlement Officer for the British Zone of Germany.
While serving as a summer intern in 1953 in Columbus, MT, Bob met Joyce Peterson, and they were married on August 17, 1954.
Bob graduated from Yale Divinity School in 1955. His first parish was the Community Church of Baker, MT, and then as Associate Pastor at the Congregational Church in Great Falls, MT. Bob served the Sandwich Congregational Church 1962 through the merger in 1970 with the United Methodist Congregation to form the United Church of Sandwich. After the 1970 merger, Bob served for a time as Director of the Acorn Yokefellow Center, followed by several years as a sales manager with World Book. Bob’s final pastorate was from 1981-1992 at the Union Congregational Church in Somonauk. During this time the new addition was done.
With mental illness a family concern, Bob and Joyce were among those who began the Illinois Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI. He also served as the first President of the DeKalb County Mental Health Board. Bob, together with the Rev. Ellen Hiatt, of St. Louis, formed the Mental Illness Network for the United Church of Christ. In addition, Bob served many terms as Chair of Pathways to Promise – Ministry and Mental Illness, a national coalition of faith groups, including the United Church of Christ. He had early involvement in Hope Haven and The Open Door.
Bob is survived by his wife, Joyce; three sons, David of Chandler, AZ, Rob of Sandwich, IL and Peter (Susan) of Sandwich, IL; six grandsons, Joshua, Isaiah, Steven, Adam, Evan and Tanner.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, two sisters, and a brother-in-law.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to The Open Door Rehabilitation Center in Sandwich, IL or the charity of your choice.
Visitation will be held from 3:00 - 6:00 pm on Tuesday, September 26, 2023, at United Church of Sandwich, 512 Lions Rd, Sandwich, IL 60548. Memorial service will be held on Wednesday, September 27th at 11:00 am at United Church of Sandwich with a luncheon immediately following. The Union Congregational Church (Somonauk) and New England Congregational Church (Aurora) will participate with the service. A private graveside service will take place at a later date.