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Robert C. Wolford

July 4, 1929 June 6, 2021
Robert C. Wolford
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Obituary for Robert C. Wolford

Robert (Bob) Carl Wolford, passed away on Sunday, June 6, 2021, in Oak Park, Illinois at the age of 91. After several months of declining health and a short illness, Bob died with his children by his side.

Bob was born July 4, 1929 in Shenandoah, Iowa, the son of Carl and Mina May Wolford and younger brother of Dorothy Wolford Walter. His parents were active in civic and school affairs, and academic achievement was strongly encouraged. Bob was editor of his high school newspaper and graduated near the top of his class from Shenandoah High School. Bob had a happy childhood and treasured the freedom of his teenage years in Shenandoah. Summers found him working at the trial grounds for the May Seed Company and detassling corn.

Bob attended the University of Iowa, where he was an active member and officer of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He was proud to graduate with highest distinction in 1951 with a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce. Bob met his future wife, Carol Shoquist, at a New Year’s Eve party their senior year in college and they were married in January, 1952. Shortly after graduation, Bob was commissioned into the Air Force, and he served two years at Scott Air Force Base in Belleville, Illinois. Bob and Carol returned to Shenandoah after his service, where he worked at the May Seed Company in the Accounting Department. In 1956, Bob and his family moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan where Bob earned a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Michigan. Following graduation, he began a long and distinguished career in commercial banking in St. Louis, Missouri, first at the Mercantile Trust Company, later serving as Executive Vice President at County Bank in Clayton, and retiring in 1994 from Boatman’s Bank. In 1980, he was named Businessman of the Year by the Clayton Chamber of Commerce. Following his retirement, Bob and Carol returned to Shenandoah in 1998, and spent 15 happy years living on Maple Avenue, before moving to Oak Park, Illinois in 2013 to be closer to their son, Tom.

Bob was devoted to his wife of 62 years, Carol, his daughter Cathy, son Tom, his grandchildren, extended family and friends. He will be remembered for his generous, kind, accepting and humble soul, his keen wit, his smile, his cheerful whistling, his interest in the world, his devotion to the University of Iowa and the Hawkeyes, his civic commitment, and his abiding faith. When an issue concerned him, he wrote letters - to the newspapers and to his elected officials. He had a keen interest in politics, and took his responsibility to be an informed citizen and voter very seriously. Sunday mornings found Bob in worship and he was an active and devoted member of First Congregational Church in Webster Groves, Missouri and the First Presbyterian Church in Shenandoah, Iowa. As he wrote to his grandchildren, Bob believed that he was blessed with good fortune and owed it to God and humankind to share his talents and treasures generously, especially with those less fortunate than he.

Bob is survived by his daughter Catherine and son-in-law Michael; his son Tom and daughter-in-law Michele; his grandchildren Sara, Peter, Andrew, Michelle, Amanda and Scott; and numerous other nieces, nephews, family members and friends.

Memorial services to celebrate Bob’s life will be held at a later date at the First Presbyterian Church in Shenandoah, Iowa and at First Congregational Church in Webster Groves. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, Shenandoah, Iowa and The National Alzheimer’s Association.

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