Three people walk along a beach as the sun sets

In Memoriam: Robert Peckenpaugh

A Finer Man Never Walked The Earth

You may have heard that our beloved colleague and long-term Whitnell team member, Robert Peckenpaugh, has passed away. For 12 years he faithfully served his clients and colleagues at Whitnell.  Bob lived an amazing life both professionally and personally.  His passing has left all of us with a deep sigh, but also many fond memories.  The statements below reflect on how Bob impacted us.  

Bob was not only a Senior Vice President and member of the Whitnell investment committee.  He was also David Peckenpaugh’s father.  Whitnell was founded by a family to serve families.  The Peckenpaugh family has offered exemplary service to our community for more than a decade and has helped us fulfill our mission.  We are grateful to the Peckenpaugh family for sharing Bob with us these many years.  We grieve their loss with them.  

Pat Hickey
I only knew and worked with Bob for a short period of time, but it was long enough to see the influence he had on the entire team.  He had a passion for his work and his clients that rubbed off on everyone.  Bob was a kind, compassionate man that always had time for me or anyone else that sought his guidance.  I enjoyed getting his view of the world and his calm demeanor no matter how volatile the markets became.  Bob was truly a unique individual who will be greatly missed.  However, his legacy with Whitnell will truly be the ongoing impact he made on its people.

Bill Thonn
When Bob approached me to join his son Dave at Whitnell, he was 80 years old with no intention of retiring. Bob started the next week and we were blessed to have him as a colleague for the next 13 years. There are truly no words that could possibly describe what Bob has meant to me personally and to Whitnell. His guidance, humor, knowledge and humility epitomized what Whitnell hopes to be and represent. I’ve told friends and colleagues that if they looked up “consummate gentleman” in the dictionary, they would find a picture of Bob looking back at them. We can all be honored to have worked with Bob and carry his legacy forward. He will be missed but we all are better people after having had the privilege of working with him.

Wayne Janus
When I started at Whitnell, we had just a handful of people. Among them were the two Peckenpaugh’s. At that point of my career I had over 30 years of experience and thought of myself as a pretty experienced guy. Then, I got to know Bob. He had been through all the turbulence that I had seen over the years and much more. I was impressed by his knowledge, but even more so by his character. He showed respect to others and a willingness to help. I recall one experience where a client asked me about some small company of which I had never heard. I asked Bob about it and he hadn’t heard of it either. A couple of hours later he showed up in my office with an armful of research reports and opinions of analysts on the stock. He gave me 5 times more information than I needed to respond to my client. On top of that he gave me his own opinion on the company; “I wouldn’t buy that one.” Bob was an icon and one of the most knowledgeable men I ever met. But, he did not have one ounce of arrogance in him. I will remember him as a valuable comrade, a wonderful family man and a true Christian. I will miss him.

Mia Erickson
I had the honor of working with Bob for almost 12 years and can honestly say Bob was one of the most kind-hearted individuals I have ever met.  Bob was a legend in the world of investments and he routinely shared his knowledge and mentored many in our firm over the years.  Bob was dedicated to his profession, but it was quite evident his love and passion for his faith and family were his priorities.  We will miss Bob tremendously, but he has left his legacy with all of us at Whitnell.

Brian Henderson
My first interview with Whitnell was with Bob Peckenpaugh in March of 2007.  We started by sharing a few stories about our families (I only had one child at the time, now three).  Bob had two sets of three and much wisdom to pass along!  Then he asked me what I hoped to gain from working at Whitnell over the long term - my response was “I want this to be my last job.”  He said, “Brian, we are aligned, I want exactly the same thing.”  He was an inspirational leader and market whisperer.  I went to Bob when I wanted reassurance and market intelligence.  He never failed me.  I will miss him dearly.  He invested in people and passed along wisdom on a regular basis to all of us at Whitnell.

Christy Pedersen
The opportunity to work with Bob for almost 5 years was a great honor and privilege.  Bob truly brought forth the best of one’s character.  He led by example and generously – yet concisely – shared his wisdom.  Sometimes that was in response to direct questions and others via life stories he shared.  Just being in his presence inspired me to want to be a better version of myself in every aspect.  The opportunity to work alongside him was a broad and far-reaching life education in itself.  How fortunate I feel to have crossed paths with him.

Michelle Pecyna 
It was a true pleasure and honor to have worked with Bob Peckenpaugh over the last 10 years. He offered inspiration professionally and personally in everything he did. His wise and gentle spirit will be remembered always and dearly missed.

Lisa Goerres
I feel so lucky to have known Bob Peckenpaugh.  He was such a wonderful, smart and caring man who made a lasting impression on everyone who knew him.  Bob genuinely cared about the people around him and took the time to really listen when you talked to him.  We had so many great conversations and I will always carry with me the wise advice he gave me.  He will be greatly missed.

Mark Hilgendorf
Two conclusions were clear following Bob’s memorial service.  One, I wish I spent more time with him.  Two, I cherish the privilege to witness his lasting legacy – his remarkable family.  The impact Bob will continue to have on generations to come is enormous.  The importance of investing in faith, family and friends was so encouraging.  Not to mention investing in the stock market of course!  His five core life statements will find a place in my wallet and will include a Bible verse calling me to unselfishness.  No doubt Bob was greeted by his Lord with “well done, good and faithful servant.”    

Tracy Garon-Hojka
It was such an honor to work with Bob because he never made me feel like I worked for him, but rather with him.  He always greeted me with a smile, even when I knew he was in pain or having a bad day, and that smile always brightened my day.  I hope that somehow his “paying it forward” like that also made his day just that little bit brighter as well.  I will forever miss that smile in our offices and will never forget it.  Thank you Bob for the wonderful conversations, I will miss them too.  Rest in peace.

Susan Lally
It is difficult to put into words the affect Bob had on the people around him.   He lived a life filled with passion, love and faith.  I did not know Bob extremely well but I knew the world was a better place with a man like him in it.   He was always kind to everyone, worked hard and consistently inspired the young and old.  His life in this world will always be remembered.

Obituary Statement
Robert Earl Peckenpaugh passed from this world and into the arms of our gracious and loving Lord on Saturday, May 4, 2019. He was born in Potomac, IL to Earl and Zella Peckenpaugh in 1926. His family moved to Hammond, IN where he met his future bride Margaret. After graduating from Hammond High School in 1944, he served as a Quartermaster in the U.S. Navy during the conclusion of World War II.

Bob and Marge were wed in California during the war and afterward returned to the Midwest to raise their family. They spent 67 cherished years of marriage together, raising six children in Munster, IN and Hinsdale, IL: Nancy (Ira), Carol (Dean), David (Marie), Daniel (Kimberly), Jeanne (Matt) and Douglas (Jennifer), who subsequently brought 19 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren into this world. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Margaret, his sister Carolyn Joanne “Jo,” and his brother Royce.

After the war, Bob studied Business and Finance at Northwestern University, earning his MBA and then becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst. He excelled as an investment advisor, going on to serve as president of Security Supervisors, vice president at Chicago Title and Trust, owner of Hotchkiss & Peckenpaugh, vice president at Morgan Stanley, owner of Peckenpaugh Asset Management and executive vice president of Whitnell & Company.