Retired Illinois State Senator Robert Walter Mitchler, age 91 of Oswego, IL passed away at his home on Thursday, April 19, 2012. He was born on June 4, 1920 in Aurora, IL the son of John L. and Clara (Rub) Mitchler.
Senator Mitchler was united in marriage on June 16, 1950 to the former Miss Helen Drew and they spent the next 61 happy years together. He was a longtime member of the Fourth Street United Methodist Church of Aurora, IL. He attended East Aurora public schools, graduating from East Aurora High School in 1937 and is a member of the East Aurora High School Hall of Fame. In his youth, he was employed by the CB&Q Railroad until 1941.
Bob enlisted in the United States Navy in November of 1941 and his assignments included amphibious and minesweeping operations until the end of World War II. In 1950 he was recalled to active duty in the Korean War and served as a Chief Petty Officer under Admiral Allen Smith before being assigned with the United Nations Military Armistice Command as a stenographer at the Panmunjom armistice talks.
Following his service to his country, Bob went back to the railroad working with the Burlington Northern. Bob was a 1953 graduate of Aurora University with his Bachelor of Science Degree. In 1958 Robert began working in the Sales and Marketing Department of the Northern Illinois Gas Company in Aurora, IL. Senator Mitchler was always politically active in his community serving as a Precinct Committeeman for 60 years. In 1964 Bob was elected to the Illinois State Senate and continued to serve for the next 17 years, until his retirement in 1981. During his tenure as Senator, the then Governor Jim Thompson, appointed him to serve as Legislative Liaison to the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs. Senator Mitchler was appointed in 1991 by Governor Jim Edgar to the rank of Permanent Captain in the Illinois Naval Militia as Military and Naval Aide and reappointed in 1999 to serve in this capacity with Governor George Ryan. Senator Mitchler served in the Aurora Navy League Council since 1965. He also served as National Director of the Navy League in 1982 and was elected as the National Director Emeritus in 1993.
Senator Mitchler was a life member of the Aurora Masonic Lodge No. 254 A.F. & A.M., a 32nd degree life member of the Scottish Rite Order, and the First Ceremonial Master of the Tebala Shrine in Rockford, IL. He has also served as the Vice-President of the Kendall County Republican Central Committee, the Kendall County Young Republican Organization, the Illinois Republican Veterans League, the Illinois Police Association, and as a member of the Board of Trustees for Jennings Terrace in Aurora, IL.
For an incredible 22 years, thru the age of 91, Bob enjoyed competing in the Annual Mid-America Canoe and Kayak Race on the Fox River.
Robert is survived by his wife, Helen Mitchler of Oswego, IL; his children, John (Kathy) Mitchler of Golden, CO, Kurt (Sharon Buntain) Mitchler of Santa Rosa, CA and Heidi (Daniel) Lyjak of Grayslake, IL; his grandchildren, Briana, Scott, Haley, Joseph, Natalie, Olivia, Matthew, Garrick and Trevor; his sister-in-law, Cecile Mitchler of Montgomery, IL; as well as several nieces and nephews. Bob was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle who will be deeply missed by his family and many dear friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Clara Mitchler; his sister, Helen Virginia Mitchler; his brother, William G. Mitchler; and his daughter-in-law, Maria Aragon.