Robert Eugene “Bob” Hembrough, age 88 of Beardstown, died surrounded by his family, Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at his home.
He was born September 24, 1933 in Longview, the son of Richard Harvey “Richie” and Lola Dell Childers Hembrough. He married Carolyn Sue Pressey on July 2, 1967 in Jacksonville.
He is survived by the love of his life Carolyn Sue Hembrough of Beardstown; three children Shalyn (husband Shane) Shull of Decatur, Rina Kramer of Topeka, KS, and Launa (husband Bob) Roberts of Baltimore; 10 grandchildren Justin (wife Teagan) Shull, Jeremy (wife Hannah) Shull, Megan (husband Jeffrey) Mancil, Samantha (fiancé Travis Hupf) Hembrough, Lexi (J.D. Buss) Kramer, Jon (Kayla Palmer) Kramer, Madison (Brooks Boyer) Roberts, Jaxson Roberts, Kynzi Willey, and Amayton Willey; 11 great grandchildren with two more arriving soon; numerous nieces and nephews; and many students and athletes he treated like his family. He was preceded in death by his parents, and two brothers Richard Wayne and Richard Allen Hembrough.
Bob graduated from Franklin High School in the class of 1951 and then joined the United States Navy, honorably serving during the Korean War. Upon his return from the war, he enrolled in Illinois College and graduated in 1959. During his time at Illinois College, he played football and baseball for four years, and basketball for two years. He made All Conference in baseball in 1958 and 1959, in football 1956, 1957, and 1958, and was Honorable Mention in Little All American Football in 1958 and 1959. In 1988, Bob was inducted into the Illinois College Hall of Fame. He began his teaching career at Virginia High School in 1959. He later taught at Lexington, IL, and Audobon Junior High School in Los Angeles, CA. He came back to Illinois, and taught at Hamilton High School. In 1971, he began his teaching career at Beardstown High School, retiring in 1992. Bob coached football, basketball, baseball, softball, and track at the various schools he taught at. He was inducted into the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1995. His career football record was 102-47-7. He was also inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2006 with a career record of 363-191. His time as Beardstown Boys Basketball Coach earned them 10 regional titles, six Winchester Tournament Titles, and two Class A State Tournament finals in 1987 and 1988.
During his summers off from teaching, Bob coached girls softball for many years. He and his wife ran a detasseling business which employed hundreds of young adults. Even after his retirement, he still was highly involved with the school. He served as a substitute teacher, drove a school bus, officiated football, basketball and baseball, and umpired softball games.
Some of Bob’s many hobbies included refinishing furniture, gardening, mushroom hunting, and fishing. For years, he played fastpitch softball in Loami, Jacksonville, and Springfield. His Jacksonville team won the state tournament, and Bob was an All-State player. In recent years, Bob enjoyed traveling with his wife, spending a month in Arizona, going to the casino, and watching his grandkids and great grandkids participate in their various activities. He was honored to participate in the Land of Lincoln Honor flight which he flew with his daughter Shalyn, to Washington D.C. to visit all the war memorials. He was a lifetime member of the Guthrie-Pierce VFW Post #1239 and a member of the Beardstown Elks Lodge #1007. He was also an avid Baltimore Orioles and Beardstown Tiger fan. He had many titles in his lifetime but what mattered the most was the love he had for his wife and family.
A celebration of life will be held at 4 PM Saturday, May 21, 2022 at Beardstown High School Gym. Per request of the family, please wear black and orange. Private family burial will be held in the Beardstown City Cemetery. Colwell Memorial Home in Beardstown is in charge of arrangements.
Memorials have been suggested to Beardstown Elks Scholarship or Tiger Athletic Club (TAC). Condolences may be left online at www.colwellmemorialhome.com or on Facebook at Colwell Memorial Home.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert E. "Bob" Hembrough, please visit our floral store.
Tiger Athletic Club (TAC)
515 S. State Street, Beardstown IL 62618
Beardstown Elks Scholarship
515 S. State Street, Beardstown IL 62618