Belvidere - Robert J. "Bob" Byczek, age 69, passed away on Tuesday, July 23, 2013, after battling heart disease. He was born on February 6, 1944, in Chicago, IL, the son of John and Virginia (Lee) Byczek.
He graduated from Little Flower High School in Chicago. After high school he served in the U.S. Army; first in Okinawa, then in Vietnam. He was well respected in the rubber molding industry.
He loved most things having to do with water and being outdoors, including boating, fishing at Pierce Lake, and caring for his pond full of goldfish, which is surrounded by his significant collection of knickknacks. Fourth of July was his favorite holiday because it allowed him the opportunity to incorporate two of his loves, water and family, in a water-gun war that would usually culminate in his being drenched by a hidden sniper.
He was talented at woodworking, and made many intricate and beautiful furnishings for family members and friends. He mentored his grandchildren in the joy of making birdhouses, automatic dog feeders, and other interesting projects that will provide them fond memories of grandpa throughout their lives.
His daughters attribute their strong work ethic to his lifelong example of taking care of the things he had and doing things right the first time.
Bob is survived by his love of 25 years, Kathy Taylor; his daughters Julie (James) Plantz of Rockford and Cindy (Kristin Fiore) Byczek of Madison, WI; bonus son and daughter Robert Taylor and Robin (Todd) LaBuy, both of Hot Springs, AR; grandchildren Justin Plantz, Caitlyn Hipp and Taylor LaBuy; sisters Janet (Jerry) Camp and Donna Ridderhoff; nephew Jeff Byczek; nieces Megan Camp and Cheryl (Rob) Allabastro; special aunties Rite and Rose O'Brien; and bonus mother-in-law Winnie Oliver.
He was preceded in death by his parents and by his nephew James Dondlinger.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, July 27, 2013, at CREEKWOOD CHURCH, 7281 Olde Creek Road, Rockford, at 12:00 noon, with Pastor Darren Loeppky officiating. A visitation will take place at the church on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until the time of the service.
Bob's family would like to thank his doctor and friend Dr. Steven Diamond, Dr. Diamond's staff, pharmacist Pat Donohoo and Jennifer McDonald at Rush University for their attention and care.