American Veteran 09

Robert Ira Gregg

November 29, 1921 ~ May 30, 2020 (age 98)


Robert Ira Gregg, “Bob,” 98, of Harrisburg passed away at 10:46 PM, Saturday May 30, 2020, at Shawnee Rose Care Center in Harrisburg.  He had been a resident of Brookstone Estates for the last few years and entered Shawnee Care for physical therapy.

Bob was born on November 29, 1921, in East St. Louis, IL to the late Robert and Edna (Wykle) Gregg.  He was a graduate of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL and received a Master of Education Degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia.  He was a proud member of the United States Army Air Corps (predecessor to the United States Air Force) fulfilling his role as a navigation instructor during World War II followed by years of service in the Air Force Reserves and achieving the rank of Major.

He and his wife Corrine Mitchell Smith, “Rennie,” met while he was a cadet in Knoxville, TN at the University of Tennessee. They married on June 6, 1947, and moved to Crossville, IL where he founded the “shop” program for the junior high and high school along with teaching mathematics.  He later became Principal of Crossville High School and Superintendent of Crossville School District before moving to Harrisburg, IL in 1968. He was the first Dean of Technology for Southeastern Illinois College overseeing the creation of the vocational education curriculum.  He spoke about the history of the program at the dedication of the Robert I Gregg Technology Center in 2009.

 Bob served on the Mitchell-Carnegie Library board for a number of years.  After the establishment by referendum of the Harrisburg District Library in 1999, Bob was elected to the new board and served as its first president.  He oversaw the design and construction of the new facility on West Walnut St. which opened in 2000.   He was a lifelong member of Rotary, Phi Delta Kappa, and the Retired Officers Association.  He was a founding member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Harrisburg.

Surviving family members include his children, Bridget Ann Evers, St Louis MO; James Patrick Gregg, Palatine, IL; and Timothy Michael Gregg, Chicago, IL.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Corrine Mitchell Smith Gregg (2013), and his sister Florence K. Cox of Omaha, IL (2015).

Bob will be cremated and interred next to Rennie at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in New Harmony, IN.   Due to the extraordinary circumstances we are in living in, a memorial service has not yet been planned.  In lieu of flowers, the family would ask that memorial contributions be made to the Harrisburg Rotary Foundation Scholarship Fund or Harrisburg District Library.  Condolences may be sent to the family through the obituary page at


A service summary is not available
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