Remembering Bob Humphrey

Gazette Article by: Bruce Magers
Appeared in the Gazette: Spring 2001

Robert “Bob” Kay Humphrey, a former president and director of the Winnetka Historical Society passed away November 2, 2000, at age 77. Bob loved the Village of Winnetka and in the words of his son David, “… [he] didn’t even like to go on vacations because he really liked being around Winnetka.” In addition to his service to the Historical Society, he served as a village trustee, village treasurer, president of the Winnetka Rotary Club, board member of the Skokie School Foundation, a member of the Winnetka Caucus Council and a trustee of the Winnetka Congregational Church. He and his wife Mary were instrumental in securing village support for our first museum in the 1980s.

It was Bob’s idea to commission a film that would depict the history of the Village of Winnetka. Fellow Historical Society members, Bob and Pat Woolson, produced Winnetka Our Beautiful Land. It is a very professional production that accurately reflects Winnetka’s long and interesting past.

Bob was an Eagle Scout and Sea Scout. He was also scoutmaster for Winnetka’s Troop 20. He graduated from New Trier High School in 1941 and went to Harvard. But Bob left Harvard after his sophomore year to enlist in the Army Air Corps as a radioman in the China-Burma-India Theater. After completing his military career, he returned to Harvard in 1946 and subsequently received a degree in Physics. Bob had many varied interests that included model trains, woodworking, sailing, gardening and photography.

Bob spent his professional career working in Winnetka. He retired as Chairman of First Chicago Bank of Winnetka (now Bank One) in 1991, after 43 years of service. The bank had its beginnings as a general store organized in the 1870s by Robert Moth, Bob’s great grandfather. In 1894, the name was changed to the Bank of M.K. Meyer. Later it became the Winnetka Trust & Savings Bank, then The Winnetka Bank before being sold to First Chicago Bank in 1990.

Nancy Judge, current president of the Historical Society said of Bob, “He was a dedicated member and a true friend of Winnetka. He cared deeply about the community and preserving its memories.”

Bob’s wife Mary, sons David and Robert J., daughter Susan Carlson and his sister Elizabeth H. Murphey survive him.

Robert “Bob” Humphrey not only ably served his community, he also served his country.

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