DECATUR -- Robert “Bob” Aldridge, 77, of Hutsonville, IL, went home to be with the Lord Tuesday, January 29, 2019 in the comfort of his home. He was born July 23, 1941 in Effingham, IL, the son of Cecil Eugene & Rosa Zetta (Wheat) Aldridge, both of whom preceded him in death. He was also preceded in death by his brother, Bennie Aldridge; by his brothers-in-law, Moe DeClercq and Jim Ashby; by his mother-in-law, Bobbie (Grubaugh) Jerden; as well as his cherished grandparents.
He married Kathleen ”Kathy” Jerden on September 22, 1978, and they were married for 40 years prior to his passing. He is also survived by his daughter, Sherri Lynne Slocumb (Houston, TX); by his son, Robert Joseph Aldridge (Decatur, IL); by his grandchildren and their spouses, Ashley Nicole Wood, Joshua Ryan & Megan Slocumb, Taylor Rae (Slocumb) & Brandon Woodward, all from Texas, and Austin Eades (IL); by his great-grandchildren, Lyla Rae Woodward, James Ryan Slocumb, Colton James Stephenson, Jasper “J.J.” Woodward, and Logan Ryan Slocumb (TX); by his brother & sisters-in-law, Cecil “Sonny” & Marcia Aldridge, and Carol Aldridge; by his sisters, Joyce (Aldridge) DeClercq, Mary (Aldridge) Ashby, and Debbie Aldridge all from Illinois, his father-in-law Don Jerden, and wife Shirley; and sisters & brothers-in-law Nancy & Bill Kemper (Albuquerque, NM), and Mike and Candy Jerden (Fort Worth, TX); as well as several nieces and nephews.
Bob grew up in the Altamont and Decatur areas and was a graduate of Eisenhower High School. Much of his life was spent in the grocery industry, and he was considered by many to be the “World’s Best Groceryman”! He got his first grocery store job at the age of 15, when he started working for Eisner’s. He worked for and managed a number of other stores before becoming a sales representative at Grocer’s Supply in Houston, TX. Eventually, a dream was realized when he bought a struggling grocery in Woodville, TX, turned it around, starting Bob’s Fairway Foods in the process. Since then, he, along with his wife, Kathy, co-owned and operated a number of groceries in Lovington, Oakland, Marshall, and Hutsonville, IL and St. Mary-of-the-Woods, IN. Through the years, hundreds of young people’s lives were formed working in the aisles of his grocery stores, and Bob was proud to have had such an impact on each of them. He loved his work, and only retired after 55 years in the grocery business because he could no longer stand on his feet all day.
Away from work, baseball season often found him following his beloved St. Louis Cardinals. It didn’t take long in talking to Bob to recognize that he was truly a “die-hard” fan in every sense of the word. He was also a good, honest man whose influence will be felt for years to come.
A time of visitation will be held from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on Monday, February 4th at the Goodwine Funeral Home in Robinson. Another time of visitation will be held from 10:00-11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 5th at the Heartland Baptist Church in Hutsonville, where Bob was a member for many years. Funeral services will immediately follow and will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday with Pastor Mike Delaney officiating. Memorials may be made to the “Heartland Baptist Church”, with envelopes available at the funeral home and church. For more information, or to share a memory or condolence online, please visit www.goodwinefuneralhomes.com.