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Obituary: Robert Dunham Reilly, 90, Was a 5th-Generation Chicagoan, Served in WWII

Reilly was born in Evanston on Jan. 7, 1924, and attended Northwestern University. He served in WWII, was elected to the Winnetka Village Council and traveled around the world. He died at his Glenview home on Jan. 21, 2014.

Obituary: Robert Dunham Reilly, 90, Was a 5th-Generation Chicagoan, Served in WWII

Robert Dunham Reilly, 90, passed away peacefully at his residence in Glenview January 21. 

A fifth generation Chicagoan, Bob was born in Evanston January 7, 1924 to John Rice Reilly and Anna Dunham Reilly. His great-great grandfather, John B. Rice, built the first theatre in Chicago in 1847, was Mayor of Chicago from 1865-1869 and was elected to Congress in 1872 representing the first district. The youngest of five children, all of whom served during WWII, Bob was raised in Winnetka and graduated from New Trier High School in1941. He attended Northwestern University’s Technical Institute (now the McCormick School of Engineering)from 1941-1943 when he joined its Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps. In 1944 he was commissioned and served as a lieutenant aboard the USS Healy in the Pacific from August 1944 until April 1946. He returned to Northwestern and received his degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1947. 

He married Martha Boone Baldwin (Boonie), also a Northwestern graduate, on November 22, 1947 in her hometown of Paris, KY. Married until her death in 2006, they had 3 children, Martha, Robert Jr. and John. Beginning in 1947, he worked for Signode Corporation, managing their plant in Baltimore, MD for over 10 years. He was transferred back to Chicago in 1963, moved to Winnetka and 
began working at Signode’s Glenview office. He formed the Corporate Facilities Planning & Engineering Division, which oversaw the company’s expansion both in the U.S. and overseas. He retired in 1978 and founded Robert Reilly & Associates. He was awarded patents on a new steel strapping process and a collapsible pallet. His civic activities included 9 years on the Baltimore County Welfare Board, 9 years on the Board of Short Milling Co., 2 years on the Winnetka Village Council, and 10 years on the Board of the Chicago Academy of Sciences. 

Bob enjoyed golf, sailing, swimming, and skiing. He was an avid traveler. He and his wife visited many countries including an around the world trip in 1995. In 2010, Bob travelled with his children and grandchildren to China where he stood at the entrance to the Forbidden City where his grandfather was killed in1900 during the Boxer Rebellion. 

He is survived and will be greatly missed by his children Martha (Scott) Smith, Robert (Carrie) Reilly, John (Linda) Reilly; his grandchildren Carolyn (Yale) 
Henderson, Thomas (Heather) Smith; Catherine, Hope, and Holly Reilly; and great grandchildren Reilly & Amelia Henderson and Sawyer & Holt Smith. 

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the following organizations: In 
memory of his WWII service to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Fund, Attn. Development, 875 North Randolph Street, Suite 225, Arlington, VA 22203 or at www.nmcrs.org. and in support of his end of life care to Midwest Palliative & Hospice CareCenter, 2050 Claire Court, Glenview, IL 60026 or at www.carecenter.org

Info (847) 675-1990 or www.donnellanfuneral.com 


Saturday February 1, 2014, 3:00 PM at Christ Church in Winnetka, 784 Sheridan Road at Humboldt, Winnetka, IL 60093. 
Click for Map and Directions

This obituary was reprinted with permission of Donnellan Family Funeral Services.

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