The Obit For Robert Reckelhoff

Robert R. Reckelhoff
Jan. 4, 1935 — April 30, 2010

Bedford Online Thursday, 06 May 2010

Robert Ray Reckelhoff died April 30 from complications related to cancer.

Robert was born Jan. 4, 1935, to Otto and Lillian Reckelhoff in Jasper. As a child, foreshadowing a future minor league career, he traveled with his family to see Lou Gehrig’s farewell speech at Yankee Stadium and later, as a young and humble fan, touched Joe DiMaggio’s hand as the baseball legend signed autographs in St. Louis. He attended Jasper High School, where he lettered in track, basketball and baseball. A year after graduating, at the age of 19, he became the youngest player to join the Jasper Reds, a minor league baseball team in southern Indiana. He moved on to play for several Triple A teams, including Sandersville Wacos, the Harlan Smokies and the Waycross Bears.

On Aug. 18, 1954, he married Shirley Riester at St. Susanna Church in Indianapolis. That same year, he began playing shortstop for the Milwaukee Braves, after which he joined the United States Army. Prior to being stationed in Germany, the Army learned of Robert’s baseball career and chose to have him play under their banner, allowing him to travel the country doing what he loved.

He next attended Evansville College, where he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1962, then signing on to work for General Motors as a supervisor in maintenance for the operations and die cast machines of Central Foundry. In 1963, he and his wife, Shirley, relocated to Bedford.

Robert enjoyed outdoor sports, was an avid golfer, boater, skier, fisherman and an accomplished pilot. He and Shirley spent much time with their dear friends, Bruce and Julie Hewetson.

Robert and Shirley shared a passionate devotion to one another, as well as their family and friends. Together they raised five willful children. The family would often vacation at Dale Hollow Lake, the coasts and islands of the Carolinas, and at their lakeside property in Tennessee. Robert took his children on several camping trips to Ontario, Canada, often having to be flown in and out by seaplane.

Robert’s wife, Shirley, preceded him in death on May 23, 2005.

Surviving him in death are: his son and daughter-in-law, Steve and Kathy; his daughter, Pam; his daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Bill; his son, Jamie; his grandchildren, Melanie, Sally, Aaron, Bailey, McKenzie and Madison; his great-grandchildren, Riley, RJ and Kaiya.

Also preceding him in death were: His sisters: Lucille, Corella, and Cordella, his brothers; Rome and Kenny; his nephew, Randy; his grandson, Zachery; his friend, Logan; his friends, Bruce and June Hewetson; and his son, Kurt.

A showing will be held Friday, May 7, from 4 to 9 p.m. at Cresthaven Funeral Home and Memory Gardens, 3522 Dixie Highway, Bedford, IN, 47421. Tel: (812) 275-6886. Services will be held Saturday, May 8, at 10 a.m. At 11 a.m., there will be a Mass at St. Vincent DePaul Church in Bedford. Roberts’ best friend, Father Donald Ackerman, will preside over the Mass. Burial will follow at Cresthaven with pallbearers Barron Hewetson, Clint Hewetson, Michael Martin, Capt. Justin Riester, Don Reckelhoff and Carl Scheffel.

Robert and Shirley’s children would like to thank all of our family, friends, and loved ones for support as well as our parents, who are our hearts and hands and the blood in them.