SPRINGFIELD — Robert G. Gomien, 93, of Springfield passed away Friday (June 8, 2012) at his daughter’s home, Springfield, surrounded by his family.

Private services will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Salvation Army, P.O. Box 116, Springfield, IL 62705-0116.

Preceding him in death were his brother, John; a granddaughter; and most notably, his wife of 68 years, Bette. Left to mourn and remember him are his daughters, Carol, Janis and Lisa (Gary Wakefield); and his grandchildren, Robert, Kelen (Nicholas Cox), Caran and David.

He was born July 27, 1918, on a homestead in Montana nearly 94 years ago. Reared by an intelligent and disciplined mother and a gracious and good-natured father, he inherited the best of their merged qualities.

He would spend his youth and adolescence in rural McLean County, in the small coal-mining town of Colfax. He could not then have imagined he would grow to travel the world many times and shake the hands of two kings. He worked for Caterpillar for 44 years, retiring in 1981. When asked what he did at CAT, he humbly would reply: “I was a machinist.” The reality was that he started as an apprentice on the third shift, and retired as a top executive for the worldwide corporation. His favorite assignment for CAT was as the vice president of Caterpillar/Belgium. Throughout his career he lived his motto – “Work ten hours each eight hour day.”

Bob was a member of the Greatest Generation, endured the Great Depression and served in the U.S. Army in the Asian/Pacific Theater in World War II. Both experiences shaped his values and his patriotism. It was a generation that produced many good men, Bob Gomien being one of them.

Bob Gomien loved life and his family. No one enjoyed a good laugh more than he; no one valued the pleasures and rewards of friendship more than he; no one enjoyed watching sports of all kinds more than he. But his favorite times would always be the times spent with family, with his daughters whom he guided well and with his grandchildren, whom he adored and whose lives he enriched.

He was a humble, sharp-witted and sentimental man, quick to smile, unashamed to show tears. Bob Gomien was a friend to everyone he met. His kind and generous spirit is now his legacy.

The family of Robert G. Gomien is being served by Kirlin-Egan & Butler Funeral Home, 900 S. 6th Street, Springfield.

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