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NORMAL — Robert Douglas “Rob” Aper, 44, of Normal, passed away suddenly at 1:02 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 24, 2015) at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center, Normal.

His funeral will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at Eastview Christian Church, Normal, with the Rev. Tyler Hari officiating. Burial will follow in East Lawn Memorial Gardens, Bloomington. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Carmody-Flynn Funeral Home, Bloomington.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Robert Aper Sr. Children’s Trust for his children’s future, in care of Trustee Floyd Aper, 606 Whispering Pines CC Lane, Normal, IL 61761.

Rob was born Sept. 7, 1970, in Lincoln, a son of Floyd and Gail Aper.

He is survived by his two sons, Wil, 13, and RJ, 10, both of Normal; his parents, Floyd and Gail Aper, Normal; a brother, Lt. Col. Rick (Lori) Aper, Key Largo, Fla.; his loving partner, Julie Hopper, Normal; nieces and nephews, Ryan Aper, Florida; David Hanck, Hopedale; and Kristin Aper, Kaylee Aper and Michael Aper, all of North Carolina. Also surviving are Julie’s children, Jordan (Patrick Drumm) Burns, Georgia, and Kailey Burns and Jake Correa, both of Normal, all of whom Rob was proud to call his family.

Rob attended Illinois State University before enlisting in the U.S. Army. He served in Korea and Desert Storm. Upon discharge, he was a corrections officer for the McLean County Sheriff’s office. For the past 17 years, he has fulfilled his career passion as a Normal firefighter.

Rob served on the board of Bloomington Cardinals Youth Football League as well as being on their medical staff. Rob helped create mandatory concussion testing for all football players. In addition, he helped in the library at Parkside Elementary. He was pin man for wrestling, handing out pins to the wrestlers for their achievements. He coached the Bloomington-Normal Baseball Association for years. He did all of this for the love of his two boys and all of those children whose lives he touched.

Rob was a loving, caring, sharing man with an infectious laugh and will be truly missed by his family and all whom he touched. He lived life to the fullest and was an “awesome” father. When it came to loving life, Rob “nailed it.”

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