Bobbie I. “Bob” Brill passed away July 18, 2021, at the age of 97 in Kendallville. Bob was born in Wolcottville, May 7, 1924, to Russell Reed Brill and Amy Alice Gordon.
Bob was a resident of Wolcottville, Kendallville and LaGrange, although he spent most of his adulthood in LaGrange. Bob graduated in 1943 from Wolcottville High School. Shortly after graduation, Bob enlisted in the Army.
Bob received his WWII basic training in Fort McClellan, Alabama in 1943. His military career started in the winter of 1943 when he shipped out of New York aboard “the Queen Elizabeth,” which was a special journey given most veterans departed via naval ships. This allowed him to arrive in only six days to Glasgow, Scotland.
Bob was selected to serve with the 65th Division. He served most of this as a Corporal who was the Radio operator for the 259th infantry battalion. He heroically carried a 48-pound radio on his back for the 250-man battalion.
When the 65th Division was broken up, Bob was selected as Special Services to be stationed at Berchtesgaden (known as Hitler’s Eagles Nest,) in Bavaria, on the German-Austrian border. After his Special Service tour ended, Bob returned to the US in 1947 and was awarded with Good Conduct and Marksmanship Medals. As a veteran, he had bravely served his tours of duty in France, Germany and Austria.
After the service, in December of 1948, he married the love of his life, Naomi D. Bauman. The two of them were married for 69 years and four months. Bob also began his non-military career with United Telephone of Indiana in LaGrange and left in 1986, retiring with 39 years of service. Once retired, he went to work for Schlemmer’s Hardware in LaGrange where he worked for an additional 15 years.
Bob was a member of the former Wolcottville American Legion and currently the LaGrange American Legion Post #215 which he had been a member since 1947 (75 years). He was also a long-time member of the LaGrange First Presbyterian Church.
Bob was highly regarded as a son, brother, uncle, husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Hugh, his wife Naomi and his son-in-law Gail Woods. Surviving his death are his two children, Debra S. Woods, of Winona Lake and Michael D. Brill of Leesburg. Also surviving are Sandi Brill, his daughter-in-law, and his two grandchildren, Christopher Brill of Elkhart and Cameron Brill of Leesburg.
Bob will be remembered by his family and friends for his faith, gentleness, sense of humor, thoughtfulness, generosity and his caring for others. He will be missed by those who cherish him the most for his unconditional love and just being the loving sole that made him ours.
A celebration of Bob’s life will take place at the First Presbyterian Church, 200 W. Michigan St., LaGrange, at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 25. Rev. Kenneth Weaver will officiate the services. Following will be the graveside service with military honors at his final resting place, Greenwood Cemetery, LaGrange. A visitation will be held from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, July 24, at the Frurip-May Funeral Home, 309 W. Michigan St., LaGrange.
Memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 200 W. Michigan St., LaGrange, IN 46761.