TUSCOLA – Robert D. Reese, 50, of Tuscola passed away Tuesday (Oct. 9, 2012) at the University of Chicago Hospital, Chicago.
Visitation will be held from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, at Edwards Funeral Home, 221 E. Main St., Arcola. A funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 15, at Forty Martyrs Catholic Church in Tuscola. Father Barry Harmon will officiate. Burial will be in the Tuscola Cemetery.
Robert was born April 28, 1962, at Scott Air Force Base. He is the son of Robert L. and Mary E. (Smith) Reese. He married Pamela M. Berner on May 24, 1997, in Jamaica.
Robert is survived by his wife, Pamela Reese, of Tuscola; four children, Rachel Kerr of Charleston and Matthew, Michelle and Michael Reese, all of Tuscola; two grandchildren, Alexandra and Dallas Kerr of Charleston; his mother, Mary Reese of Arcola; and two sisters, Madeline Reese of Tuscola and Vanessa Reese of Chicago; aunts, uncles and cousins in Central Illinois and England; and numerous nieces, nephews and in-laws near Chicago.
He was preceded in death by his father, Robert L. Reese, in 2011.
Robert began his broadcasting career as an on-air personality at various radio stations in Central Illinois. He stepped in front of a television camera as a meteorologist and news anchor for WAND-TV in Decatur. Robert joined the WCIA 3 team in 1998, and he served as the station's chief meteorologist for nearly four years. He also reported weather for WBGL and other radio stations in Central Illinois.
Prior to his television career, Robert worked as a police officer in Kansas, Ill.
Robert attended Eastern Illinois University and graduated from the broadcast meteorology program at Mississippi State University.
Robert had a passion for all things related to music, airplanes and cars. Like his father, he enjoyed meeting new people and watching Animal Planet, a tradition passed on to Robert's children. Robert was known for his offbeat sense of humor, and his zeal for zombies and horror movies.
Robert was a generous man and spent many weekends volunteering with numerous charities throughout Central Illinois, including hosting the MDA Labor Day telethon and the MDA summer camp. He especially loved working with children and had served on the Mid-Illinois Big Brothers/Big Sisters Board of Directors, for which he received the 1998 Volunteer of the Year Award. He was also a Douglas County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency Volunteer. In recent years, Robert could be found emceeing charitable events for cancer survivors, giving his time while he bravely and quietly fought his own battle with cancer.
Robert loved his family and was dedicated to always helping others. He will be missed greatly.
In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, memorials may be made to a fund to support Robert's children's education. Please contact First State Bank in Tuscola, 801 S. Main St., Tuscola, IL 61953, 217-253-2265.