Robert J. “Bob” Thillman

Robert J. “Bob” Thillman

Robert J. “Bob” Thillman, age 89 of Dubuque, Iowa, completed his earthly journey on May 18, 2020, at MercyOne Medical Center in Dubuque.  To honor Bob’s life, a Celebration of Life and reception for his family and friends will be held on Saturday, July 25, 2020, from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at Bob’s granddaughter Melanie’s home, 2341 Maplewood Drive in Asbury.  Bob’s committal service will be held at the Mount Calvary Cemetery in Dubuque on Friday, July 25, 2020, at 2:00 p.m.  The Tri-State Cremation Center is humbly serving Bob’s family.


Bob was born on March 20, 1931 in Dubuque, Iowa, the only son of Jack and Lou (Frommelt) Thillman.  He honorably joined the U.S. Air Force after high school and while stationed in Louisiana, met his beautiful bride to be, Marjorie McMillin.  They were united in marriage on January 29, 1956, and were blessed with 64 wonderful years together.  Eventually, Bob and Marjorie returned to Dubuque and began their family.  His 50 years of loyal service as a salesman with Montgomery Wards, followed by another 8 years at Loras College before finally retiring in 1993, was how he proudly provided for his family throughout the years.  Bob was a kind, wise, loving and unbelievably giving husband, father and grandfather and the example he set so diligently can be seen within the generations which follow.


Bob was never one to sit still very long and his active social life could easily wear out the youngest lads following his lead.  Among his favorite ways to enjoy a day off was with a fishing pole in hand, tending to his gardens, or meeting close friends for dinner.  If you did happen to witness Bob sitting down, it usually involved an evening at the Stock Car Races, his Cubbies working on another win, or fixing the world’s problems over a morning coffee with his friends at McDonald’s.  We will miss him more than he could ever possibly comprehend, but we trust that the Lord has Bob safely in His loving arms and will provide him with eternal peace, while we seek a little of our own as we wait patiently for our reunion.  Thank you, Bob, for every memory, act of love and lesson you’ve left behind; we will treasure each and every one in our hearts and minds moving forward. 


Those left behind to cherish the memory of Bob include,


his loving bride of 64 years,

Marjorie Thillman, Dubuque, Iowa;


his 4 children,

John (Marlene) Thillman, Long Beach, California,

Chris Bressler, Dubuque, Iowa,

David Thillman, Chino Hills, California,

and Jim Thillman, Los Angeles, California;


his 5 grandchildren,

Aaron (Laura) Bressler, Kimberly, Wisconsin,

Marie (David) Mattatall, Clayton, North Carolina,

Brandon Thillman, Brea, California,

Melanie (Chris Mill) Bressler, Dubuque, Iowa,

and Ryan Thillman, Brea, California;


his great-grandchildren,

Nicoli Mattatall, Coleson Mattatall, Elliot Bressler, and one on the way;


along with numerous extended family, friends, and neighbors.


Bob was preceded in death by his parents.


Bob’s family would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff at Mercy Hospital for all of their professional and compassionate care and support.


In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be sent directly to Bob’s family at 3405 Meggan Street, Dubuque, Iowa, 52001, along with the opportunity to share online condolences and memories at

Celebration of Life

Bob's Granddaughter Melanie's Home
2341 Maplewood Drive, Asbury, Iowa, 52002
July 25th, 2020 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Cemetery Committal

Mount Calvary Cemetery
1111 Davis Street, Dubuque, Iowa, 52001
July 24th, 2020 at 2:00 PM

4 comments on “Robert J. “Bob” Thillman
  1. Jim thillman says:

    I will miss my dad a lot, being that I live in LA made me miss him even more. He was a very kind and loving father. ❤️❤️❤️

  2. Steve Pregler says:

    Was surprised to open today’s paper and see Bobs obituary. He was my Godfather and a wonderful man. He will be missed by all who knew him. My prayers go out to Margie and family! There is no doubt in my mind that Bob and Mom are in heaven catching up on old times.

  3. John Pregler says:

    I am so sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. Bob was like an older brother to my mom Nancy, who sadly passed away three months ago. RIP cousin Bob. You will always be fondly remembered!

  4. Mike Gibson says:

    I first met Bob when he worked with me at Loras College and we soon discovered we loved stock car racing. We invested in a bomber car with Mike Lenstra and found it so fun that we moved up to the pro-stock class with Rich Hall as driver. A few more years and a different car with Ron Schilling as driver. Lots of work, but lots of fun. Bob was always easy going and soft-spoken and I will forever be grateful to have had him as a friend and racing buddy.

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