Robert Edward Opperman

Robert Edward Opperman, 86, of Belleville, IL, born Tuesday, August 3, 1926, in East St. Louis, IL, died Thursday, November 22, 2012 in his home surrounded by his family.

Robert was a graduate of East St. Louis Senior High School.  He received his Baccalaureate Degree from Washington University in St. Louis and Master's Degree from University of Illinois in Champaign, IL.  He was a World War II Army Veteran who served in the Pacific Theater with the 25th Division, 65th Combat Engineers.  He was a long time member of First Presbyterian Church.

Robert worked for Wilkins Gas Station in East St. Louis, Monsanto Chemical in Sauget, IL and was an accountant at Southern Illinois Teachers Credit Union in East St. Louis,  Robert spent most of his career working for 37 years for East St. Louis School District 189.  He taught mathematics and science at Rock Junior High School, was Assistant Principal at East St., Louis Senior High School, and eventually retired from the school district as Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction.

Surviving are his:

  • Wife of 62 years: Helen June nee Hursey Opperman
  • Sons
    • Craig Opperman of Eugene, OR
    • Kenneth (Beverly) Opperman of Bartlett, TN
  • Daughter: Ruth E. Opperman Crawford of Belleville, IL
  • Grandchildren
    • Eric Opperman of Bartlett, TN
    • Melissa (Jonathan) Fancher of  Barlett, TN
    • Sarah Crawford of Belleville, IL
    • Paul Crawford of Belleville, IL
    • Michael Braun (Craig's stepson) of Portland, OR
  • Brothers
    • Thornton (Delores) Opperman of Fairview Heights, IL
    • Larry Opperman of Las Vegas, NV
  • Sister: Pauline Opperman of Belleville, IL

Robert was a major sports fan, especially for the East St. Louis Flyers and the St. Louis Cardinals.  He was dedicated to his daily walking routine.  He was known for his strength, extreme generosity, work ethic, integrity, creative problem solving, and wry wit.  He was the definition of devotion and self-sacrifice, especially toward his beloved wife, Helen.

He cared well for all those around him his entire life.  During his last days, his family took care of him.  They did this with great love and compassion, just as he had shown them.

Memorials: Memorials may be made to the Donors Choice.

Visitation:  Friends may call from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm Sunday, November 25, 2012 at Kurrus Funeral Home in Belleville, Illinois and from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm Monday, November 26, 2012 at Kurrus Funeral Home in Belleville, IL.

Funeral:  Funeral services will be held at 1:00 pm Monday, November 26, 2012 at Kurrus Funeral Home, with Rev. James Slone officiating.  Interment will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery, Belleville, IL.

Condolences left for Robert Edward Opperman:

    I attended E. St. Louis Senior High from 1959 - 1962 - Mr. Opperman was one of my favorite teachers. I am sure he had a positive influence on many students.

    Glen Starnes washington illinois 61571

    Dear Family of Bob Opperman,

    Zabelle Norsigian Vartanian Bellevillew IL 62223

    Dear Family of Bob Opperman,
    As a former teacher in District 189, I was honored to work with Mr. Opperman, who was an outstanding educational leader. In addition, I owe a personal debt of gratitude to Mr. Opperman, who literally saved me from an extremely unpleasant school assignment and relocated me to Lansdowne Jr. High where I then had the pleasure of teaching a "younger Opperman." I have always remembered this kindness.
    In addition, my husband Dick Vartanian remembers Mr. Opperman as a wonderful teacher. Dick asked that I extend his sympathy also.
    I am sorry we were unable to attend either wake. I did stop by earlier on Sunday; our schedule for both days simply did not allow a personal visit as such. Please know that my husband and I are thinking of all of you at this difficult time.
    Take care,
    Zabelle N. Vartanian

    Zabelle Norsigian Vartanian Belleville IL 62223

    To the Opperman family,

    Our family grew up on 38th st in E St. Louis we were neighbors. On behalf of my family Robin, Debbie, David (deceased) Linda and Jay Butler our prayers are with you .

    Debbie butler sebol Freeburg Illinois

    The Opperman Family is perhaps the kindest bunch of kin I have ever known. They taught me the art and importance of being kind & patient to one another and I thank you all for that. Thank you, Craig, and your entire family, for your friendship toward myself and my son, Michael. We will always cherish that. Our hearts go out to you all during this sad time. Fun memories for Michael & I: The Opperman's like baseball like nobody's business!! Thanks also for the great trips to Busch Stadium and the SL Arch! Fun times with nice people.

    Our Best,
    Helen Pollock
    & Michael Braun

    Helen Pollock Happy Valley Oregon 97086