A celebration of life for former Woodstock Community School District 200 board member Robert William “Bob” Birchfield will be held on Friday, Jan. 3, 2020, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Schneider, Leucht, Merwin, & Cooney funeral home, 1211 N. Seminary Ave., Woodstock, IL 60098. The visitation will continue Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, from 9:30 a.m. until the funeral Mass at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church, 312 Lincoln Ave., Woodstock, IL 60098. Burial will be in Calvary Catholic Cemetery. He passed away at his Woodstock home on Sunday, Dec. 29.
Bob was born Oct. 25, 1925, to Paul Birchfield and Clois Speer Birchfield Sutton in Detroit, Mich. After graduating from Maine Township High School in 1943, he enrolled in the Navy’s V12 Officer Training Program. Bob was commissioned an ensign in the United States Navy Reserve on March 6, 1945. The next day he married Irene DeSchepper.
The USNR released Bob from active duty in 1946 but recalled him in 1950 after the start of the Korean Conflict. In 1955, Bob retired from the USNR as a lieutenant commander and earned a bachelor of science degree from Millikin University in Decatur, Ill.
Bob accepted a position with A.T. Kearney in 1960 and returned to the Chicago area, settling in Des Plaines. While living here, Bob successfully managed Irene’s two election campaigns for Fifth Ward alderman. He also served two terms on the Des Plaines Elementary District 62 school board.
In 1990, two years after moving to Woodstock, Bob retired from A.T. Kearney. He was first elected to the Woodstock School Board in 1995 and served for 20 years. Bob was an active member of St. Mary’s Parish and the Rotary Club.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and a sister, Virginia Acton.
He is survived by his four children: Christina Farnsworth, James (Kathryn), Jared (Lila) and Ann (Don) Vogel; 13 grandchildren: Alicia Farnsworth, Paul, Karyn (Brad) Caldwell, Dominic (Judy), Jamie, Tim, Laura (Chris) Knuth, Jonathan (Emily), Lindsay (Mara), Jordan, Jeffrey, Deborah (Megan) Kushner and Andrew Vogel; and four great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Senior Services, 4704 Three Oaks Road, Crystal Lake, IL 60014.
For more information, call Schneider, Leucht, Merwin & Cooney funeral home at 815-338-1710, or visit the website at slmcfh.com.