Robert George Collier, 73, of Macomb, passed away on Monday, Dec. 18, 2017 at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Ill. He was born to Laurence and Dorothy Collier on Aug. 23, 1944 in Stockton, Calif.
Bob showed a love of sports and fishing during his early years in Stockton. He graduated from Amos Alonzo Stagg High School in 1963, participating in football and track. In 1966 he received his A.A. degree from San Joaquin Delta College, lettering two years in football as a defensive back. He graduated from the University of California at Riverside in 1967 where he received his B.A. in Psychology and again lettered two years in football. He then attended California State University at Los Angeles where he obtained his Elementary Education Teaching Certificate in 1968. He taught second, third and sixth grades for the Riverside Unified School District from 1968 to 1979. For two years during this time, Bob also served as a graduate assistant football coach at U.C. Riverside.
While teaching in Riverside, Bob met “the love of his life”, Sandy Haller. They were married July 22, 1972 in Pasadena, Calif. She survives. Bob is also survived by his son Steve (Wendy) of Holiday, Fla., his son Brian (Carrie) of Columbia, Missouri, three grandchildren Eliza, Emmet and Luke, his sister Mary Roach and his brother Donald Collier. Bob was a loving and devoted husband, father and “Grampy.”
Bob continued his education, receiving his M.A. in Elementary Education at Cal State University in Los Angeles in 1973 and his PhD in Education from Claremont Graduate School in 1978 where he was honored with the P.L. Spencer Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation.
Bob moved with his family to Macomb in1979 to begin his career at Western Illinois University. He was a professor of Early Childhood in the Elementary Education Department. He later served as Interim and Assistant Chair of the Department and was honored as the Outstanding Teacher in the College of Education in 1990-1991. He retired in 2000.
Bob thoroughly enjoyed retirement. He found his greatest joy in spending time with family and had a wonderful ability to laugh at himself. He will lovingly be remembered for the numerous “Bob stories” that brought much enjoyment to those around him.
Bob was an avid fly fisherman and spent many hours casting on the stream, tying flies and sharing fishing adventures and storytelling with his fellow anglers. He and Sandy loved traveling, spending much time in Florida and Hawaii and also exploring many beautiful sites in Europe and throughout the United States.
Bob was a devoted football fan and faithfully followed the WIU Leathernecks. He genuinely cared for others and showed this in his devotion to his weekly coffee and breakfast get-togethers with friends. He was also a long-time member of the Macomb Lions Club and also served on the board of directors for Wee Care Daycare.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017 at Wesley United Methodist Church in Macomb. There will be no visitation. Following cremation there will be a burial service in Oakwood Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to the WIU Foundation for the Robert and Sandra Collier Scholarship to be awarded to a student majoring in Early Childhood Education. Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Please sign the guestbook and leave condolences at