Robert  Figurowski

Obituary of Robert Wayne Figurowski

Robert Wayne Figurowski, passed away peacefully at home, on January 7, 2024, at the age of 86, after a life well lived. He was born of Polish descent to Chester Figurowski and Francis Gladkowski on July 29, 1937, in Chicago.  He was raised in Rockdale, Illinois surrounded by aunts, uncles, and cousins who lived on the same block. As a young boy, he attended St. Joseph’s Rockdale School and Church and shined shoes to help support his mother and siblings.


He later moved to Joliet and attended Joliet Central High School, but left to join the Illinois National Guard and then the United States Marine Corps, where he was honorably discharged as a PFC.


Bob leaves behind Patricia Figurowski, his loving wife of 62 years. He met her as Patricia Kambic at a wedding in which Bob was a groomsman and Patricia was a bridesmaid. The two married on October 7th, 1961 at St. Joseph’s Church in Joliet, which soon became their parish and home. Together, they lovingly raised two daughters, Vicki Gonzalez, and Barbara DeLaney.


Bob was a loyal and active member of St. Joseph’s Church and School for most of his life, participating in the school’s PTA, social events, fundraising for KSKJ, volunteering at Bingo Night, the Annual Homecoming Fair at St. Joseph’s Park, serving as Vice President of the Seniors’ Association, and ushering at church.


Bob began his professional career as a skilled machinist at Joliet Wrought Washer Works, where he also served as the treasurer, assistant treasurer, and union grievance representative. He went on to work at Caterpillar, Folger Adam, and R.R. Brinks, from where he retired in 2003. 


Upon retiring, Bob took up scroll sawing as a hobby at the suggestion of his brother Edward. Crafting wood into ornate floral trivets, intricate tableaus, classic cars, famous cartoon characters and unique crosses quickly became his life’s passion. The most notable aspect of Bob’s work, however, was how—far more than creating his precious woodcrafts—he loved sharing them with others. 


When he visited his daughter in New York City after the attacks on September 11th, he donated his wood work to many of the firehouses in the city hoping that they might provide some comfort amidst the tragedy. He also shared his work with Pope John Paul II, Alex Trebek, the parents of the children victims of Sandy Hook, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Shiners’ Children’s Hospital and Museums in New Mexico, hospitable owners of bed and breakfasts in Spain, Portugal, and Cuba (by way of his daughters’ travels), as well as all of his family, friends, and local business owners. Bob’s art is much more than well-crafted wood, it has become a symbol of solace and joy in the lives of many. 


An avid fisherman his whole life, in retirement he had more time to enjoy fishing whenever he could. He loved letting peaceful hours roll by while sitting lakeside and felt as proud of his many catches as he did of having taught his daughters and granddaughter, Elizabeth, to fish. Many family vacations to Wisconsin and Michigan allowed Bob to fish to his heart’s content.


His family always appreciated and admired his value of hard work, meticulous yard and car maintenance, and incredible UNO skills. Bob was curious about life; there wasn’t a food he wouldn’t try, a stranger with whom he wouldn’t strike up a conversation, or a destination he wouldn’t visit. He traveled with family and friends to over 30 states, Puerto Rico, and a few countries. He was a proud fan and shareholder of the Green Bay Packers (but was always too stressed out about the possibility of losing to watch a game). 


Bob’s dedication to his family and friends and generosity towards others (especially animals) will live on in the hearts of his wife, daughters, sons-in-law, and granddaughter.


He is survived by his wife, Patricia Figurowski; daughters, Vicki Gonzalez (Hiram), and Barbara DeLaney (Peter); granddaughter, Elizabeth Gonzalez; sister, Patricia Figurowski; sister-in-law, Carlene Kambic; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.


He is preceded in death by his parents; brother, Chester Jr., Figurowski; sister, Lorraine (Robert) Bardwell; brother, Edward (Linda) Figurowski; and his in-laws, Louis and Elizabeth (Selby) Kambic, Raymond Kambic, and Louis Kambic.


In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to Forget Me Not Animal Rescue or Lightways Hospice.


Due to the weather, Memorial Services and inurnment will be rescheduled for a later date. As it was his request, cremation rites have been accorded. 


For more information, please call the Fred C. Dames Funeral Home at 815-741-5500 or visit his Memorial Tribute at where you can share a favorite memory or leave an online condolence.

Memorial Services

Due to the weather, Memorial Services and inurment will be rescheduled for a later date. As it was his request, cremation rites have been accorded. 

Memorial Contributions

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to Forget Me Not Animal Rescue or Lightways Hospice.
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