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Robert Isham Auler (“Bob”) passed away Monday, February 5, at his home in Champaign. He was 77.
Bob was born September 24, 1940, in Peru, IL. Bob was the first in his family to attend college, working summers in a cement mill to help pay tuition. After a year at Illinois Valley Community College, Bob arrived at the University of Illinois in the Fall of 1959.
A self-described “activities jock” on campus, Bob was active on the Illini Union Programming Board, the Daily Illini, and WPGU. During college, Bob developed a consuming passion for University of Illinois Athletics, as well as a lifelong love of learning, earning a Philosophy degree, and attaining the Phi Beta Kappa academic distinction.
Auler remained in Champaign, earning his J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1966. Upon completion of his degree, he opened Auler Law Offices; his 52-year legal career as a trial attorney included arguments before the Illinois Supreme Court; an appearance before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, and the famous “Dave Wilson case,” when he represented the Illinois quarterback against the Big 10 and NCAA.
Auler has appeared nationally on news programs such as Larry King Live, 48 Hours, and CBS Sunday Morning.
Auler’s most profound love was for his three children, Rob, Jenn, and James, and later, his five grandchildren. He was a truly devoted father; he insisted on leaving the office at 5 PM, and refused to allow his legal practice to interfere with family time. Auler volunteered his time willingly for his children, coaching Little League and Farm League baseball, and volunteering frequently with school activities.
In 1989 he took over the Champaign County Colts summer league baseball franchise. He was a lifelong Cubs fan; attending Cubs “Fantasy Camps” as a player and witnessing the Cubs’ World Series triumph in 2016 were lifetime highlights.
Bob was a celebrated photographer; he was also the author of three well-received novels, Keep and Bear Arms, Fair and Impartial, and Cheatin’.
He is survived by three children, Rob Auler (Tara Auler), Jenn Auler Van Steenhuyse (Todd Van Steenhuyse), and James Auler (Megan Stumph Auler), and five grandchildren, Katharine Auler, Caroline Auler, Liam Van Steenhuyse, Jack Van Steenhuyse, and Henry Auler.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Ray Auler, and Grace Auler.
A visitation will be held from 5-7 pm on Friday, Feb. 9 at Owens Funeral Home, 101 N.Elm St, Champaign. Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, Feb 10 at 10am at the funeral home.
In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, donations can be made to the C-U Kiwanis Little League program.