STEWARD — Robert “Bob” L. Barkei, 61, died Monday, Nov. 19, 2018 at his home in Steward. Bob was born on May 4, 1957 to Gilbert L. and Barbara L. (Brierton) Barkei in Aurora. He married Shelly Larson on Jan. 10, 1987 in Rochelle.
Farmers never fully retire. That being said, Bob took over the family farm from his father, Gilbert, just a few years before his passing in 2010. Since then, son Brandon has been a big part of the farming operation.
Amongst farming, Bob’s love for his wife Shelly and their children was endless. Bob enjoyed spending time with his family, friends and their beloved dog, Maverick. Other hobbies included going on trips with family and friends, flying his ultralight to survey the crops and he was an avid Bears fan—attending many Chicago Bears games throughout the years.
Anyone that knew Bob knew that he was always willing to lend a helping hand. Farming wasn’t his only trait, Bob served on the board of directors for CHS Elburn from 2005 until present and was also a seed salesman for Bayer—formally known as Monsanto.
Bob is survived by his wife, Shelly; two children, Brandon (Kimberly Delhotal) Barkei of Steward and Kelsey (Garrett) Koch of Rochelle; his brother, Bill (Paula) Barkei of Steward; two sisters, Pat Mustari of Schaumburg and Peg (Steve) Germann of Staples, Minnesota; and many nieces and nephews.
The visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 26 at the Unger-Horner Funeral Home, 400 N. 6th St., Rochelle. The funeral will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 236 Kelley Drive, Rochelle, with Father Ruben Herrera officiating. Burial will follow at St. Patrick Cemetery in Rochelle.
Memorials may be made in Bob’s memory to the Steward Fire Department or to the family for establishing an agriculture scholarship.
Visit www.ungerhorner.com to sign the online guest book.