STERLING — Robert Merrill “Bob” Corwell, 89, of Sterling, died June 25, 2017, at Avonlea Cottages.
Bob was born Feb. 28, 1928 and raised in St. Albans, Vermont. He graduated in 1950 from Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont with a mathematics degree. Bob served in the U.S. Navy in Charleston, South Carolina, for 2 years and then worked for Travelers Insurance of Hartford, Connecticut, before being recruited to move to Sterling in July 1955.
Upon his arrival, Bob began his career in home building and real estate with Beeler and Beeler and later Family Tailored Homes, successful home construction companies and recipients of many achievement awards. Bob later opened the local Remax office, which became one of the dominant brokers of real estate in the Sterling, Rock Falls and Dixon areas. He sold his position in Remax to pursue his retirement interests.
Bob took pride in his businesses and was particularly excited about bringing people together and creatively pursuing ways to help them with home and business ownership. He was an active member in numerous boards and community and civic organizations, including president of the local Optimist Club (1964), CGH Medical Center board member, United Way and the Jaycees. When he had time for other activities, Bob enjoyed hunting, fishing, playing cards and making mustard, applesauce and other culinary creations.
He leaves six children from his prior marriage to Doris Corwell: Linda Corwell of Minooka, Stephen (Kay) Corwell of Naperville, Julie Ford of Batavia, and Gary (Kate) Corwell, Brian (Jennifer) Corwell and Jeffrey (Carol) Corwell, all of Sterling; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Eugene and Myrtle (Casavant) Corwell, and by his son-in-law Karl Ford.
Special thanks to the helpful and compassionate staff of Avonlea Cottage of Sterling and Gaffey Hospice for their loving care of Robert during the last years of his full life.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Schilling Funeral Home & Cremation. Mass of the Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Sterling, with the Rev. Bruce Ludeke officiating. Private burial will follow.
Should you wish to commemorate and celebrate Bob’s life through charitable giving, please consider Gaffey Hospice or Newman Central Catholic High School.