The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

October 27, 2006

Robert Earl “Bob” Bickelhaupt

Robert Earl “Bob” Bickelhaupt, Clinton, died October 27, 2006 in his home. A celebration of life service will be held in at the Arboretum with its spring beauty.

He was born on August 15, 1914 in Freeport, Illinois, to Grover Earl and Alma May Zinnel Bickelhaupt. On September 5, 1938, he married Frances Helena Kershner at the First Presbyterian Church in Clinton.

He is a 1932 graduate of Clinton High School and graduated from Northwestern University in 1936 with a BS in Commerce. A resident of Clinton for more than 92 years, he owned and operated Bickelhaupt Motor Company and after retirement, he co-founded and co-directed the Bickelhaupt Arboretum.

His activities and awards with the automobile industry included: Charter member of Packard Dealer Advisory Council, Member of the Industry Relations Committee of National Automobile Dealers Association and Chairman of Imported Car Sub-Committee, President of Iowa Automobile Dealers Association, Charter Member of International Harvester Truck Dealers Advisory Council, Chairman of Mercedes-Benz Advisory Council, 1969 “Truck Dealer of the Year” by TIME magazine, first President of the National Truck Dealers Association and Director of National Automobile Dealers Association.

In 1970, he and Frances retired from business and civic endeavors and co-founded and co-directed the Bickelhaupt Arboretum which operates as a private foundation. He was a member of American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta, International Society of Arboriculture, Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries, Municipal Arborists Urban Foresters Society, American Association of Museums and Ornamental Crabapple Society. He was elected to Board of Governors of International Society of Arboriculture and was a charter member of American Conifer Society.

His community activities and awards included: Chamber of Commerce New Industry Committee, original member and President of Clinton Development Corporation, Clinton “Boss of the Year” and “Man of the Year,” YMCA Board of Trustees, Clinton National Bank Board of Directors, Dock Commission and United Fund Director.

Honors given to Mr. Bickelhaupt include: “Friends of Education Award” by the Clinton Education Association; “President’s Award” and “Award of Merit” by the International Lilac Society; “Award for Distinguished Service” by Mt. St. Clare College; “Professional Service Award” by Institute of Museum Services; “Education Award” by National Arbor Day Foundation, “Outstanding Volunteer Award” by Iowa Urban and Community Forestry Council, the Lawrence Enersen Award for commitment to tree planting and conservation in community involvement by the National Arbor Day Foundation. He was awarded the Friend of Clinton Community College Alumni award. October 16, 2006, he was honored as Director Emeritus by the Board of Directors of the Arboretum. The Bickelhaupt Arboretum has been endowed in perpetuity as a gift to the community of Clinton where Robert lived.

His memberships included: Beta Theta Pi social fraternity, First Presbyterian Church, Clinton Elks Club, Clinton Country Club, Western Star Masonic Lodge #100 and Clinton Scottish Rite Bodies and KAABA Shrine where he was a 53 year member and Clinton Rotary where he was a Paul Harris Fellow and 67 year member.

Survivors include his wife of more than 68 years, Frances, of Clinton and two daughters: Frances Elizabeth (Mrs. Joseph) Hill of Clinton and Linda Ann (Peter) Galanis of Southbury, Connecticut; three grandchildren: Shawn Elizabeth Hill (James) Lamb of Bettendorf, Iowa, J. Robert (Mia) Hill of Rio Rancho, New Mexico and Meggan Anne Hill (Vincent) McQueeney of Barrington, Illinois; four great-grandchildren: Morgan Elizabeth and Marshal James Lamb, Cooper Joseph Hill and Nicholas Joseph McQueeney. Robert’s parents preceded him in death.

Following his wishes, his body was deeded to the Iowa Eye Bank and the University of IA Deeded Body Program for medical research. A Celebration of the Life of Robert Bickelhaupt to be held at the Bickelhaupt Arboretum will be announced in the Clinton Herald, Quad City Times and Des Moines Register.

The Robert Bickelhaupt Memorial has been established to further the Master Plan of the Arboretum which the Bickelhaupts had developed for the future of the collections.

Snell-Zornig Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Robert Earl “Bob” Bickelhaupt

Clinton, Iowa

August 15, 1914 - October 27, 2006