Cover photo for Robert “Bob” Clemens's Obituary

Robert “Bob” Clemens

d. April 30, 2022

Robert “Bob” Clemens, age 91, of Springfield, passed away on Saturday April 30, 2022 at Lewis Memorial Christian Village.

He was born near Athens, Illinois on September 28, 1930 to Earl and Gladys (Ishmael) Clemens.  He married Phyllis Pittman on November 21, 1951 while stationed in Corpus Christi, TX, she survives.

Survivors include two daughters, Jan Clemens of Springfield and Julie (Kevin) Thorp of Anthem, AZ; a son, Phil (Kim) of Austin, TX; five grandchildren, Bucky Clemens of Springfield, Erick (Ashley) Shockley of Garland, TX, Jessica Shockley of Austin, TX,

Corey Jones of Springfield, and Craig Thorp of Dallas, TX; great-grandchildren, Paige (Ian) Mundstock of Taylorville and Kayli Clemens of Springfield, Corey Compton of Springfield, Lundyn Beyah of Springfield, Chayce Renicks of Springfield; three great-great grandchildren; a sister, Betty (Jack) Ethell of Athens; and several nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by a daughter, Beth; by his parents; and one sister, Dorothy (Harry) Critcheloe.

Bob attended schools in the Athens area, graduating from Athens Community High School in 1948.  He served in the US Navy during the Korean Conflict being stationed at NAS Cabiness Field, Corpus Christi, TX and aboard the USS Randolph CVA-15 which involved a six months service cruise in the Mediterranean.  Upon discharge he attended Lincoln Bible Institute and Valparaiso Technical Institute.  He was employed by Sangamo Electric and WICS-TV and retired in December 1995.  Note from Bob: “Those who knew me know what I did; those who didn’t know me probably don’t care anyway.”

Memorials may be made to Christian Student Fellowship (UIS); Springfield, IL; Inner City Mission, Springfield, IL; South Fork Church of Christ, Rochester, IL; or Lewis Memorial Christian Village, Springfield, IL.

Visitation for Bob will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2022 from 1:00 PM until time of funeral services at 3:00 PM at the Athens Christian Church in Athens.  Rev. Fred Johnson will be officiating.  Burial will be held at Joel Hall Cemetery in Athens immediately after the service.


  1. Bob will forever be in my heart. Bob was the rock I really needed as I began my Christian walk. Without Bob and his wisdom, great advice and love for me I really doubt that I would have made the journey this far. Bob was a “Man’s Man”

    Phyllis, thank you for all of your encouraging words while at South Fork, and I pray for your comfort during this time you are such a great influence and inspiration to me and Tracey!!

    I look forward to meeting again my friend!!


  2. Bob and Phyllis were such welcoming people when we first came to South Fork. Bob C took my Bob under his wing with meetings in helping him understand the Bible. He was such a special person.
    Phyllis you are in our thoughts and prayers and Bob will always be in our hearts.

    Bob and Jo Warner

  3. Phyllis, Jan, Julie, Phil. I’m so blessed by knowing Bob and Phyllis. I tried to take every Sunday School class I could that Bob taught. He was a wealth of knowledge. Bob was always able to connect with anyone. His love for God was visible and he was an excellent singer and saxophone player. I will remember him and Phyllis I pray you will be comforted during this time knowing of Bob’s love for you and our Heavenly Father.

  4. I spoke to Bob almost every day during the 17 years i worked at Channel 20, Bob was a great engineer, a great friend, and helped everyone. RIP Bob. Peace to your family

    Les Vann
    Asheville, NC

  5. Bob was a great coworker and mentor of mine during his later years at Channel 20. A very peaceful and gentle man who quietly shared his faith with me and helped me further a craft. I looked forward to seeing him whenever the “old timers” returned to visit, and we laughed that that was NOT dependent upon his sharing Phyllis’ homemade cinnamon rolls. With much love to Phyllis and the entire family, praying that the sweet memories you shared will bring you all Peace. R.I.P. Bob 🙏💜🙏

  6. Bob was an encourager. When I first returned from Liberia Sunday night Bible studies at Bob and Phyllis’s re-energized me. Later, he (and Phyllis) was always “there” for Shirley and me as a young couple and then for our family. He partnered with us throughout our ministry in Liberia and mentored me as a church leader. Over the years, times at their table and in front of their fire were precious. Bob’s love for God and His Kingdom was deep and contagious.

    Till we meet again,

    Ron Ayers

  7. Phyllis and Family,
    So sorry to hear this news! Bob was the kindest, most gentle soul. He welcomed me to the station in such a fatherly way every early morning shift at Channel 20. We shared coffee as we laughed (and cried) with stories of his children, grandchildren and you, Phyllis. I don’t remember a day Bob wasn’t smiling, laughing, rolling his eyes or sharing a simple hug.

    Thinking of you All and praying your memories will warm your hearts and carry you through.

    RIP Bob! ❤️

  8. Bob was such a great encourager for Todd and I during the early days of planting the campus ministry at UIS. Whether he was handing off a good book to read or simply affirming the importance of a ministry to college students, we knew he was always cheering us on!

    Peace to your family. May you sense God’s nearness to you as you grieve.

  9. So many wonderful memories with Bob, Phyllis, Jan, Julie, & Phil in Church activities. Also, what a great time we had at Julie & Kevin’s wedding. We will always treasure Bob & Phyllis for their love and hospitality graciously given to us when we were starting in ministry. Bob’s wisdom, integrity, and spiritual maturity is an example for us all. Hugs and prayers to all of Bob’s precious family and friends.

  10. My deepest condolences to the family
    Bob and I worked together at Ch 20 for many years I am so sorry I didn’t get to see him since we came back from Italy a week ago
    I was planning every day to call him
    He was a great guy and I loved to talk to him
    A Big Hug to the family. May he Rest In Peace Condolences from my wife Camilla and I

  11. Dear Phyllis and Family:

    Dick and I were saddened to learn of Bob’s passing. I worked with Bob for many years at WICS. He was a kind and gentle man who would always take time to help me out. After retiring we looked forward to our Friday the 13th gatherings with a promise from Bob that Phyllis would be making her famous cinnamon rolls.

    Bob was one of the good guys and will be missed by us all.

    RIP Bob

  12. Dear Phyllis,Jan,Julie,Phil & Bukky,
    We were so sorry to learn of Bob’s passing.He was a gentle giant of faith and will be missed by those who knew him.
    Your family came to mean so much to us after Roujee,Muahn and I arrived in the Springfield from Liberia in 1982 and you took us into your home and hearts and showered us with love and hospitality.You have been a great support to us up to the present day.Roujee always enjoyed hanging out with Bob whether it was chopping wood or just chatting by the fireplace about the Cubs.Muahn still remembers how she enjoyed the white bread which he bought for her rather than the” healthy”brown which I bought.🥰 I enjoyed his wit and humor.
    We thank God for the great love and nurturing which we experienced in this family.It changed our lives forever.
    You are in our thoughts and prayers.May his soul rest in peace until we meet again.

    Love in Christ,
    Roujee ,Juliet,Muahn & Easton

  13. Dear Phyllis and Family,
    So sorry to hear about Bob. A few years ago, I worked with a someone who had worked with Bob. He had nothing but kind words to say when talking about Bob. I explained how I knew him from you and your mom and occasionally he would tell me work stories about Bob.
    My heart felt sympathies to you and your family.

  14. My sympathies to the whole family. Julie was in my class in school. Our parents sometimes sat together at volleyball games. Sounds like he lived a wonderful Christian life.

  15. Lane, Judy, Lloyd, Bob and I were members of the South Fork River Band, a rag tag group that just enjoyed practicing, playing at Church and Lewis Memorial. He was always encouraging to me when I messed up. We all had some great laughs. I’m sure that saxophone is playing in heaven.

  16. Julie, I was so sad to hear about your father’s passing. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and the rest of the family. Dad always had such good things to say about Bob and Phyllis.

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