Robert Lee Coven
Kewanee - Robert Lee Coven, 90, of Kewanee, died peacefully in his home in rural Kewanee at 2:30 p.m., Friday, August 20, 2021.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, August 26th at Rux Funeral Home in Kewanee with Rev. Andrew Christman officiating. Visitation will be held from 5:00-7:00 p.m., Wednesday, August 25th at the funeral home. Burial will be in Pleasant View Cemetery in Kewanee. Memorials may be directed to State Road Community Church.
Bob was born August 5, 1931, in Kewanee, IL, the son of John and Gertrude (Gerhold) Coven. He attended Irving Grade School and Kewanee High School, graduating in 1949. Bob's father passed away when he was only 6 months old, so he became the handy man for his mother at an early age. He worked as a pinsetter at the bowling alley as a boy. He was always interested in cars, had many old ones and always worked on them in his backyard, trying to make them run. After high school, he was employed at Rowlett Motor Sales in their service department. It was there he met Elva, the love of his life. He was drafted into the Army in January 1952 in the Ordnance Division. He spent one year in Korea, working on large vehicles that were brought back for repair from the front line, which was only about a mile away. He came home in January 1954 and returned to the garage to work until he took up farming later that year. On April 18, 1954, he married Elva Werkheiser at State Road Community Church. This year, they celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary. They have three children, Steven (Darlene Leonardis) Coven of Princeton, Sandra Fleming of Kewanee and Barbara (Scott) Bishop of East Peoria, four grandaughters, Alison Fleming of Davenport, IA, Amber VanDeSampel of Kewanee, Emily (Johnny) Tran of Highlands, TX, Rachel Pleasant of Morton, two great-grandchildren, Abigail and Scott VanDeSampel (children of Amber and Eric VanDeSampel) of Kewanee. He was preceded in death by his parents, one sister, Marjorie Williams York, and four brothers, Bruce, Charles, Warren and Donald.
He and his wife worked side by side while farming, and she could have been considered one of the original "farm-hers" that are on television today. She and the kids helped in the fields and also with the hog operation.
In addition to farming, he worked nights as a welder at Strands Welding Service, Kewanee Machinery and Conveyer, and Hyster's and was a driver for Livek's Redi Mix and Trucking. He was an amateur pilot and held his license for many years. He and his wife enjoyed dancing, listening to Lawrence Welk every Saturday night and belonged to a card club for over 60 years.
Bob had a reputation for being able to fix and repair almost anything. He wouldn't throw it away until he found out it was unrepairable. He enjoyed working out of his farm shop and going to auctions, sometimes buying a tractor that wouldn't run, bringing it home, overhauling and painting it to look like new.
He was a member of State Road Community Church and a former Farm Bureau member.
This obituary may be viewed and private condolences left at www.ruxfuneralhome.com.
Posted online on August 22, 2021
Published in Geneseo Republic