Robert Arbuckle, 67, of Sanibel passed away on Monday, April 19, 2010 at his home with his loving family at his side. He was born on April 25, 1942 in Champaign, Ill. where he spent his early years.
While in high school, Bob was employed as a photographer at the local newspaper, eventually becoming chief photographer and manager of the photo lab. At that time, he was also a freelance wedding photographer, as well as a part-time deputy sheriff.
Bob developed an interest in trapshooting and quickly became a rising star in the sport. He was named Rookie of the Year for America in 1969 and was invited to the Olympic trapshooting competition. He was on the Illini squad that tied the world’s record, breaking 996 out of 1,000 targets.
Beginning in his teens and continuing for most of his life, Bob was a ham radio operator (K9DRJ) and attained a code speed of 40 words per minute. He built much of his radio equipment himself.
He was proud to be a lifelong Moose member and, later, a member of the Paris, Tenn. AmVets. He became a member of the McLean County Civil Defense when the family moved to Bloomington, Ill. in order to take over management of a branch of the electronics business at which he was then employed. His success there prompted his employer to offer him a partnership in an electronics company in Davenport, Iowa which he accepted. He soon bought out his partner’s share. His company was one of the sponsors of a stock car and also sponsored two girls’ Little League teams.
Bob also co-owned two racehorses which raced in various Illinois circuits. About that time, Bob purchased a tavern in the historical Village of East Davenport, and named it The Old Fashioned Inn. He introduced NTN (National Trivia Network) to bars and restaurants in the Iowa/Illinois area. He also purchased a failing tower company, which he revived, and then landed a contract to erect cellular towers all over the country for America’s future cell phone use.
In later years, Bob became a Civil War buff, reading extensively on the subject. He was also an avid fisherman and especially enjoyed fishing for striped bass on Kentucky Lake. A long-time administrator on mIRC, Bob arbitrated disputes with fairness and integrity, and was a father figure/mentor to many. A dialysis patient himself, Bob joined a dialysis message board in order to help others adjust to beginning dialysis.
Left to cherish Bob’s memory are his wife, Judy; two daughters — Tracy Arbuckle and Christine Snyder; three grandchildren — Brooke, Robert and Michael Snyder; a brother, Gary Arbuckle; and a sister, Sandra Williams.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Shriners Hospital for Children — Chicago (www.shq.org), 2211 North Oak Park Ave., Chicago, IL 60707. Please visit www.horizonfunerals.com if you’d like to sign his guestbook.