Robert James “Bob” Koteles, 89, of Elmhurst passed away on July 11th, 2020.
A Memorial Gathering will be held Thursday, June 24th, 2021 from 9 AM until time of Memorial Service with military honors at 10 AM at Brust Villa Park Funeral Home, 305 S. Princeton Ave, Villa Park. Bob and his wife Marlene will be interred at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood during a private ceremony following a luncheon.
Bob was born on September 29th, 1930 to parents James and Jean (nee Czapla) in Chicago, IL. As a toddler, Bob demonstrated an early talent for gymnastics and performing. He performed in numerous shows throughout Chicagoland and as a pre-teen he was competing and winning in gymnastics meets against high school and college students in the Central Association of the Amateur Athletic Union of the United States. His Olympic dreams ended when they canceled the 1944 Olympics due to the war.
In 1949 he was hired by the Stevens Hotel to perform a tumbling act during their Skating Circus show. Prior to the show’s opening he and his partner (known as Gerry and Bobby DuRay) taught themselves to ice skate and advanced their tumbling act onto the ice. In 1950, Bobby DuRay toured the US and Canada as a member of the Ice Vogues (a division of the Ice Capades). In 1951-53, Bob served as a member of the 10th Special Service Company of the US Army performing for his fellow soldiers near the front lines during the Korean War.
After his honorable discharge from the Army, Bob met his beautiful wife, Marlene at the Danceland legendary ballroom. Needing a steady income to start a family, he became an electrician and moved his family to Hillside where they became the focus of his life. In 1989 he retired early and in 1990 moved to Hot Springs Village Arkansas with Marlene. When Marlene started having cognitive issues, Bob became Marlene’s caregiver. After she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2002, they moved to Elmhurst IL to be closer to their daughter and son-in-law. When Marlene was transferred to a nursing home, Bob visited her every day for 7 years feeding her breakfast, lunch and dinner, bringing her snacks and notions, playing music for her and washing her clothes. At both Lexington Square and Lexington Healthcare, Bob and Marlene were well-known as the couple who were beautiful dancers and for their love of music. Bob lovingly cared for Marlene for 20 years until she passed in Dec 2016.
Bob remained independent until his final days when he was lovingly cared for by Rainbow Hospice and Palliative Care at Presence Resurrection Hospital due to chronic kidney failure. Thankfully, despite COVID, his daughter was able to be at his side.
Bob is survived by his children Kenneth (Deborah) Koteles and Sheri (Paul) Supena; his many cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Marlene, his brother Jimmy, his father Jim and his mother Jean.
Donations to the IL Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, 8430 W. Bryn Mawr Ave, Chicago, IL 60631 or to Rainbow Hospice and Palliative Care c/o Foundation Attn: Emily Douville 2601 Navistar Dr. Building 4/Floor 1 Lisle, IL 60532 are appreciated.
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