Robert Gawlas

BOURBONNAIS — Robert “Bob” Gawlas, 88, of Bourbonnais and formerly a longtime resident of Northville, Mich., passed away Wednesday (Oct. 7, 2020) at his home.

He was born Sept. 30, 1932, in Detroit, Mich., the son of Charles P. and Gertrude (Ribolin) Gawlas. Bob married Rita Passanise on June 27, 1964. She preceded him in death March 28, 2018.

Bob was a master electrician. He retired from Kroger Dairy Company. Bob was the founder and Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps League 1253. He was also a member of the St. George American Legion.

He was a talented musician and played many instruments. Those instruments included tuba playing for the Marine Corps League and string bass and bass guitar for Polka bands.

Bob was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served in Korea. He was a rifleman first and a musician second for the 1st Marine Airwing.

He was a parishioner of St. George Catholic Church.

Surviving are one son, Bryan Gawlas, of North Branch, Mich.; one daughter and son-in-law, Angela and Jim Anders, of Bourbonnais; many grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

In addition to his wife, Rita Gawlas, he was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Garron Gawlas; and three brothers, Charles Gawlas, Fred Gawlas and Ralph Gawlas.

Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, at Clancy-Gernon Funeral Home in Bourbonnais. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, at St. George Catholic Church.

Due to COVID restrictions, a face mask and social distancing will be required. There will be limited seating in the church due to social distancing requirements, therefore, the service will be broadcast on FM 87.9. The Rev. Dan Belanger will celebrate the Mass. Military rites will be held following the Mass, by the Marine Corps League and all are invited to attend.

An additional visitation will be from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, at Casterline Funeral Home Inc., 122 W. Dunlap St., Northville, MI 48167. Burial will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield, Mich., at 25800 W. 10 Mile Road, Southfield, Mich.

Memorials may be made to the American Legion 1164 Boys State Scholarship at P.O. BOX 1424, Bourbonnais IL 60914.

Please sign his guestbook at

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