"A family tree can wither if nobody tends its roots."

Nov17th2018

I Will Love You Forever

by  Phyllis Zeck

Today is a very difficult day for my family and friends.  My brother passed away this summer and today would have been his 69th birthday.  Robert Gilbert Winike was the oldest of eight children born to Corinne and Robert.  Our father passed away when Rob was 20 years old.  Rob helped guide his siblings through life giving them strength and confidence as they forged their paths.

Rob was the first to move to Portland and one by one brothers and sisters followed him.  Many of us settled in the St Johns neighborhood where we raised our children who affectionately nicknamed Rob “Poppy”.  The Winike clan continued to grow. As my nephews and nieces arrived I realized that my siblings were the best gift my mother and father ever gave me. We leaned on each other as our children grew and we offered love, support, and guidance as our babies maneuvered through the bumpy road toward becoming adults. We made sure that family gatherings happened frequently.  With a clan like ours those parties were filled with stories of our childhood, teasing, laughter and love. Then, in the blink of an eye, there was a whole new generation of children and Rob became a grandfather.  The 1985 photo below is of  Rob, Lori, Janie, Paul, myself, Holly, Grandma Corinne (her grandchildren) and Steve.

Family was one of Rob’s greatest joys in life.  Rob loved to tell stories of his youth.  Until the age of 10 he lived in Chicago and was surrounded by Del Principe & Ciolli families, most of them living within a few homes of Rob, our parents and our grandfather. In 1958 our parents along with grandpa Gilbert and the 4 oldest children moved to the suburbs of Villa Park.  Janice was the first sibling born in Villa Park. 

Rob thrived on helping others. His service to the church started when he was a youth and lasted his whole life. When his children were young Rob would coordinate overnight shelters at his church so the homeless had a place to sleep.  Rob had a deep religious conviction, which helped comfort him through many of life’s good and bad times. Rob and my sister Holly are my daughter Ashley’s godparents.  Rob and his wife Judy are my granddaughter Abby’s godparents. 

Rob was an example of a Christian who used his faith and relationship with God to grow as a person.  He went through ups and downs and particularly during the lows in his life he leaned into his faith to improve his life and change for the better.

Rob and I shared the excitement of establishing this family history blog. He contributed so many of his memories to countless blog posts for which I will be forever grateful.  Rob was a gifted and talented writer.  Some of my favorite memories of researching and blogging with Rob is the time we audio recorded several interviews with Auntie Phyllis.  When you get lonely for Rob’s voice and laughter, click on one of the interviews. Click here to listen to one of my favorite posts.  This always brings a smile to my face. To hear more audio interviews click on the Category column in the right for “Vincent Family”.

Lindsay, Robin, Tyler, Rob & Judy

I feel the heartache daily of saying goodbye to this wonderful man and will for a very long time to come.  He has touched us all in different ways and for myself and Ashley there are endless memories of fun adventures that fill us with contentment and happiness.  We try to find peace rejoicing in the knowledge that Rob is in Heaven and watching out for us all, just as he did in life.  Rob will forever be deeply and dearly missed.

 

 

4 Responses to I Will Love You Forever

  1. 4 weeks ago by Holly Winike Hicks

    Dear Bobby, I love and miss you so much. Losing you this year is still unthinkable for me… I’ll keep pretending it isn’t so.


  2. 4 weeks ago by Lori Anderson

    We all love and miss you Bobby!


  3. 4 weeks ago by Val. Ciolli Stockmar

    God bless Rob and all of his siblings and family.
    He must have been a wonderful man.


  4. 4 weeks ago by Victoria DiNella

    RIP Praying for you and your family.


 

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