Robert was an Operating Engineer of Local 520, and retired in 2004. He bought his farm in 1952, after serving in the U.S. Army after World War II and during the Korean Conflict. He actively farmed his ground through May of this year. Robert enjoyed God’s creation, being outdoors, faming, and traveling through 43 of the lower 48 states, and several trips abroad.
He was a member of St. Teresa Catholic Church, Belleville, IL, the Knights of Columbus Belleville Council 1028, the American Legion Belleville Post 58, the Catholic War Vets, and the St. Clair County Farm Bureau.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Hilda S., nee Cordie, Bechtoldt; his brothers, Elmer, Cletus, Raymond, and Hank Bechtoldt; his sisters, Marie Zimmerman and Catherine Pingsterhaus; a sister-in-law, Marguerite Bechtoldt; two brothers-in-law, Gerald Zimmerman and Edwin Pingsterhaus; and a niece, Helen L. Bechtoldt.
Surviving are his beloved wife of 41 years, Lenore “Len”, nee Roberts, Bechtoldt, whom he married on November 28, 1974, in Belleville, IL;
his daughter, Cheryl (Chris) O’Malley of Louisville, KY;
a grandson, Wesley O’Malley;
two sisters, Rosemary Bechtoldt of Belleville, IL,
and Rita (Gene) Wilhelm of O’Fallon, IL;
three sisters-in-law, Mary Jo Bechtoldt of Mascoutah, IL,
Lucille Bechtoldt of Fairview, OR,
and Jennifer Roberts of Belleville, IL;
two brothers-in-law, Gene (Trish) Roberts of Louisville, KY,
and John (Kathy) Roberts of St. Louis, MO;
41 nieces and nephews and their spouses;
69 great-nieces and great-nephews and their spouses;
and 40 great-great-nieces and great-great-nephews.
Robert is also survived by many cousins; and special friends,
Msgr. David Darin, Msgr. Ken Schaefer, Father James Thomas,
Father Robert Zwilling, and Father Nick Junker.
The Bechtoldt family would like to thank the South Orange team of Hospice of Southern Illinois; Dr. David O’Neill, his long-time family physician; Dr. Thomas Waltemate, his very caring dentist; Dr. Simon Yu, his alternative/integrative physician; and our special angel, Cindy Bechtoldt, who helped Len nurse Robert through his final illness.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Teresa Catholic Church, Belleville, IL, the Clergyman’s Aid Society of the Diocese of Belleville, IL, or to the charity of the donor’s choice.
Visitation: Friends may visit with the family from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, September 6, 2016, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL. A rosary will be said at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.
Funeral: Funeral procession will leave at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, September 7, 2016, from George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL, for an 11 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at St. Teresa Catholic Church, Belleville, IL, with Msgr. David Darin officiating.
Burial with military honors will be at Green Mount Catholic Cemetery, Belleville, IL.
Sorry for your loss, Len. MANY family and friends will help his loving memories live on.
Jilanne Klaus Barnes, St Louis, MO, 63105
From your friends and family at St. Ann Catholic Parish and School we are sorry for your loss and will pray for you.
St. Ann Catholic School, Nashville, Il., 62263
I regret not being able to make Robert’s funeral, but I am happy that I got a chance to see him a few weeks ago when he was in hospice at his home and there wish him my best. I also have fond memories of our last meal together on the main drag in Lebanon a little more than a year ago when he and Len had come to see my dad at Cedar Ridge Nursing Home. Robert was full of life and always took an interest in his nephews and neices. He would have annual gatherings at his home on Mockingbird which were always fun for our family. I recall see Robert & Len by pure chance on the Admiral paddleboat on the Mississippi River. I was there for a school band trip and they were there for enjoyment, but it was nice to see them.
I pray for comfort for Len, Cheryl and family. Please accept my condolences on your loss.
Pete Wilhelm, Coppell, TX, 75019