Ervin Robert “Bob” Pape III, 70, of Danville, was suddenly taken from us, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013.
Services will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, at Pape Memorial Home, 10 E. Williams St., Danville, with Pastors Raymie Gordon and Mark Jordan officiating. A Masonic service by Further Light Lodge 1130 will begin at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, with honor guard by the Knights of Columbus. Visitation will be 3-8 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to Rotary International, One Rotary Center, 1560 Sherman Ave., Evanston, IL 60201.
Bob was born on Feb. 26, 1943, in Danville, to Ervin Robert Pape Jr. and Helen Frances (Lange) Pape.
He attended Liberty, Edison, and Danville High School, graduating in 1961 and going on to attend Danville Junior College, the University of Illinois, Bradley University and Northwestern University. Bob studied computer programming. He later went back to school at The Indiana School of Mortuary Science, where he graduated in 1966 as a Licensed Funeral Director & Embalmer.
Bob began his career at TeePak, Inc. for three years as a supervisor of quality control. In 1977, Bob purchased Berhalter Funeral Home and operated it until 1984 when he became the fourth generation owner of Pape Funeral Home. In 1985 and 1995, respectively, the Pape Botanical Gardens and a crematory were added to the facilities. Also in 1995, Bob donated the Berhalter Funeral Home building to the Christian Home for Youth, and it was later transferred to the Illiana Genealogy Society. Bob was a licensed Illinois, Indiana and Florida funeral director, and a member of The Illinois Funeral Directors Association, The Indiana Funeral Directors Association, and The Florida Funeral Directors Association.
Bob is a longtime member of the Danville Noon Rotary, Olive Branch Masonic Lodge 38, Further Light Masonic Lodge 1130, Valley of Danville AASR past Thrice Potent Master and coroneted 33rd Degree in 1986, Eastern Illinois Shrine Club, Ansar Shrine, The Knights of Columbus, and the Danville Country Club. He is a former member of Danville Elks Lodge (Elk of the Year in 1973), The Jaguar Club of North America, the National Nomad Club, the Vermilion County Board and the Danville Jaycees. In his younger years, Bob was also very active in the United Fund, the YMCA Drive and Boy Scouts.
Never an idle man, Bob always had many irons in the fire. He cared about his business and his community, was a generous and inquisitive soul, and always tried to find a way to make things better. His genealogy endeavors dug not only into his family background, but into the history of every family that entered the funeral home. Thus, he created a priceless resource for the community that will last for years to come. His other hobby and one true passion was flying. For many years Bob maintained his pilot’s license, and along with his wife, Mitzi, they went on many small trips in their Piper Saratoga. Later, he enjoyed flying commercially all over the country, whether it was monthly wine dinners at the Orlando Hyatt, events at the Lyric Opera and Joffrey Ballet, or taking part in the Russian American Foundation and Bolshoi Ballet. In July of this year, he achieved his lifelong goal to attain diamond status with Delta Airlines.
Bob found meaning in discovering Russian culture and language. He had not only taken multiple trips there over the past few years, but he developed many cherished friendships and was very active in securing a Matching Rotary Grant to secure a bus for a Russian orphanage.
Bob leaves behind his four children, Adrienne Pape, David (Kristin) Allen, Alexandra Pape (Jeff Daeschler), and ER “Roby” Pape IV (Morgan Ritchie); two grandchildren, Sophia Pape Allen and Payton Daeschler; a sister, Patricia Ann (Vince) Tumminello; a nephew, Vincent Tumminello; his ex-wife, Mitzi Ann (Williamson) Pape, with whom he has co-owned and ran the business with for the past 30-plus years; his beloved dog and daily companion: Blue; and many, many people whose lives he touched throughout the years. Bob was preceded in death by his parents.
Bob loved people and life. He loved his country, his God, and most of all, he loved his family. His passion, work ethic, and everyday charisma have inspired us all. He was never afraid to voice his opinion and say what needed to be said. Bob was liked by many and loved by most. For, “When a great man dies, for years beyond our ken, the light he leaves behind him, lies upon the path of men.”