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Robert “Bob” E. Koe, 73 (Chi Delts class of '67), passed away peacefully on November 15, 2018 surrounded by his loving family after a four year battle with Lewy Body Dementia. He was born in Berwyn, Illinois on March 19, 1945 to parents Robert and Shirley Koe. Bob was many things -- a world traveler, successful businessman, proud Harley rider, sports fan, and an avid card player, but most of all he was a father that was deeply loved by his family.  Bob will be missed by his son Robert (Michelle) Koe and their two children Robi and Johnny Koe; his daughters Kirsten (Peter) Coutant and Katherine (Christopher) Jackson and their two children Brooks and Riley; his long-time partner Lynn Freedy; his sister Sharon “Bunny” Berryman; as well as many other family and friends.

Bob grew up in Riverside, IL and was graduated from Riverside Brookfield High School (‘63), where he swim and played football, and Kenyon College (’67), were he proudly played football all four years. 

During a successful business career, Bob was involved with numerous corporate restructurings, turnarounds, and start-ups.  He began his career at GE Capital Corporation, where, over the course of 17 years, he held positions including Vice President and General Manager of Commercial Financial Services, Vice President and General Manager of Commercial Equipment Financing, and President of Acquisitions Funding Corporation. While with GE, Bob was proud to have served on the prestigious GE Audit Committee. Later, Bob was recruited to Heller Financial, Inc. In his six years with the company, he rose to the position of Vice Chairman. One of his proudest business accomplishments was structuring the financing deal that turned around a struggling Harley-Davidson Corp., saving it from bankruptcy and liquidation in 1985. As an avid Harley rider and believer in the Harley brand, Bob took a chance on the company when other investors wouldn’t. Additionally, Bob held positions as President and CEO of Comdisco Global Holding Company Inc., Chairman, President, and CEO of U.S. Leather, Inc.

Bob was a member of Bob O’Link Golf Club, member of the Board of Trustees with Kenyon College, and served on numerous corporate and philanthropic boards.

A memorial service was held at 3 p.m. on Monday, November 26, 2018 at First Presbyterian Church Lake Forest, 700 Sheridan Rd, Lake Forest, IL 60045. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in loving memory of Robert E. Koe to Lewy Body Dementia Association, Inc. 912 Killian Hill Road S.W., Lilburn, GA 30047 or 404.418.7396. Info: Wenban Funeral Home (847) 234-0022 or

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