Dr. Robert Bilderback Profile Photo
1937 Dr. 2023

Dr. Robert Bilderback

December 29, 1937 — March 10, 2023

Dr. Robert Douglas “Bob” Bilderback, M.D., age 85, died on March 10, 2023, at his home in Beardstown, IL.

A funeral service will be held Saturday, May 6, at 1 p.m. at the Living Faith United Methodist Church, Bowen, IL, with Pastor Sheri Renner officiating. An inurnment service will follow at Bowen Cemetery in Bowen, IL, with full military honors. Friends and family are invited to attend the funeral service and inurnment.

Robert was a Vietnam Veteran. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal for his service as Battalion Surgeon / Staff Physician at the 12th U.S. Air Force Hospital, Cam Ranh Bay Air Base, under the United States Army Pacific (USARPAC) - Vietnam Command, where he served one tour of duty from Sept. 19, 1965 to Sept. 26, 1966.

Robert was born in Quincy, IL on December 29, 1937 to Sterling G. Bilderback and Margaret L. (Harrison) Bilderback Kilpatrick. He was the middle child of three sons.

Robert played on the Bowen High School varsity basketball team in Bowen, IL for three years and was a good player. During his junior year in 1954, Robert and his Bowen High School teammates won the Illinois High School Sectional Basketball Tournament. Their team then went on to play in the “Sweet Sixteen” Illinois State Tournament. At that time, Bowen High School was one of the smallest high schools to ever participate in the state tournament.

He graduated from Bowen High School in 1955 and entered Monmouth College in Monmouth, IL in the fall of 1955, where he joined the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity (1955). Robert earned his B.A. in Biology in 1959 from Monmouth College. He was admitted into the Gamma Alpha Graduate Scientific Society in 1959.

Robert entered the University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, MO on Sept. 15, 1959 and was conferred with his Doctor of Medicine Degree (M.D.) on June 4, 1963. He was admitted to the Pi Beta Phi Medical Fraternity in 1962. Robert passed his Missouri Medical Boards in 1963 and served his medical internship at the Mobile General Hospital, Mobile, AL from July 1, 1963 to June 30, 1964.

He married Carol Prettyman Aug. 6, 1961. They had one daughter, Teresa Ann. They divorced in 1965. Robert later married Graciela Dominguez Sept. 30, 1967. They had three children, Lisa Michelle, Robert Douglas and John Nicholas. They divorced in 1982.

Upon entering military service, Robert was first appointed on May 27, 1964 as a Reserve Commissioned Officer serving as a General Medical Officer, with the rank of First Lieutenant USAR HQ 3rd U.S. Army on May 30, 1964. Robert’s place of entry into service was Harrisonville, MO where he was living with his wife Carol and daughter Teresa and practicing as a general practice physician from July 1964 to Feb. 1965 at O.B. Barger, M.D. and Cass County Hospital, both in Harrisonville, MO.

Robert earned the rank of Captain (O-3) in the U.S. Army, with Two O/S Bars (silver bars), when he was called up to Active Duty as a General Medical Officer on Feb. 4, 1965, and in one month, he was promoted to the position of Chief, Preventative Medicine Division, USA Dispensary, Fort Bliss, TX. He served as Battalion Surgeon for the HQ 6th Battalion 71st Artillery starting Aug. 13, 1965 at Fort Bliss, TX and continued his service as Battalion Surgeon in Vietnam on Sept. 19, 1965 at the 12th U.S. Air Force Hospital at Cam Ranh Bay Air Base with the HQ 6th Battalion 71st Artillery USARPAC-Vietnam for his overseas tour of duty, which ended Sept. 26, 1966. He wrote home diligently to his mother and brothers and also his father during the entirety of his service during the war.

Robert’s active military service ended on Feb. 3, 1967 and he was officially honorably discharged May 9, 1967. At the time of his honorable discharge, his reserve service as General Medical Officer was transferred to HQ U.S. Army Dispensary, Fort Bliss, TX, 4th USA, and he was released to USAR Gp USAAC, St. Louis, MO until his reserve obligation ended on May 29, 1970.

After his honorable discharge from active military service, Robert first practiced in the Orthopedic Dept. of Robert Greene Memorial Hospital, San Antonio, TX as an orthopedic surgeon. He then opened his own orthopedic surgery medical practice in San Antonio, where he lived with his wife Graciela and their three children. He had a much-loved ranch where he cared for exotic animals.

After closing his medical practice in San Antonio in 1987, Robert continued his medical research and moved to St. Louis, MO near his father and then Galesburg, IL near his mother, before returning to his childhood roots to reside in Bowen, IL. He then moved to Beardstown, IL with his beloved dogs.

Robert is survived by his brother Roger Kent (wife Joyce) Bilderback of Ballwin, MO; daughter Teresa  Ann Bilderback of Harrisonville, MO; daughter Lisa Michelle Bilderback of El Paso, TX and granddaughter Lisa Nicole; his two sons Robert Douglas Bilderback II, Chandler, AZ and John Nicholas Bilderback of Los Angeles, CA; and his niece Sheri Bilderback of Brentwood, MO. Robert was predeceased by his brother Marvin Lowell Bilderback July 14, 2018, along with his mother Margaret Lucille (Harrison) Kilpatrick Dec. 10, 2011 and his father Sterling Glen Bilderback Sept. 28, 1999.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Robert Bilderback, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

Living Faith United Methodist Church

E 1st St, Bowen, IL 62316

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