Bisch Funeral Home


Dr. Robert C. Eskridge, PhD

February 11, 1936October 14, 2020

Springfield, IL-Dr. Robert C. Eskridge, PhD, 84, of Springfield, formerly of Mascoutah, IL, passed away Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at 6:05 pm with his family by his side.

He was born in Walnut Ridge, AR, February 11, 1936 the son of Monte and Katie (Purdy) Eskridge. He began his military career with the United States Navy, serving three years and then transferring to the United States Air Force. Robert achieved the rank of Chief Master Sergeant retiring in 1974. He earned Air Force Longevity Service Award with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal with 1 Bronze Star, and a Bronze Star.

Following his distinguished military service, CMSgt Eskridge served as the program administrator for McKendree College in Lebanon for three years. He then joined Belleville Area College (now South Western Illinois College) in 1977. He served as the assistant registrar and was named registrar and director of admissions in 1980. Later that year, he became dean of career education. In 1983, he was named academic dean followed by promotion to vice president for instruction in 1984. He was named the college’s first vice chancellor for development and planning in 1985. In 1987, he was named president of Belleville Area College's, Red Bud campus. He received his bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, he holds a master’s degree in Education from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, and a master’s degree in Management from Webster University in St. Louis, MO. He earned a PhD in Education from St. Louis University. All four degrees were earned going to school at night while working full-time. Above all, his family was most important to him. He was a committed husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. An avid reader, he never quit learning. His personal library included in excess of 3,000 books. He enjoyed sharing those books with his family and friends. Robert was an accomplished violinist and enjoyed playing the harmonica. He was not a “religious” man, but it was important to him, that his family attend church. He would warm the car for them on Sunday cold mornings.

Robert met the love of his life, Barbara Burkle, at a Halloween party at the USO in Salina, KS. They were married in Salina, KS August 6, 1960. They celebrated 60 years this past August.

Surviving are his wife Barbara, his children: Robert “Bob” (wife Amy) Eskridge of Round Rock, TX, Kathleen (husband Doug) Kassing of Springfield, and Thomas (wife Jennifer) Eskridge of Melbourne, FL. There at 8 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Thomas E. Eskridge.

The family will greet friends and family from 9:30 am until 10:15 am Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at Bisch Funeral Home West 2931 S. Koke Mill Rd. Springfield, IL 62711. A private family service will be held with Rev. Mark E. Gifford officiating. Burial will be in Camp Butler National Cemetery where full military honors will be conducted by the United States Air Force and the Inter-Veterans Burial Detail of Sangamon County.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish may direct memorial contributions to the Mascoutah Public Library, 3 West Church St. Mascoutah, IL 62258

Online condolences may be left for the family at Arrangements are in the care of Bisch Funeral Home West. 217-544-5424


  • Monte Eskridge, Father (deceased)
  • Katie Eskridge, Mother (deceased)
  • Barbara (Burkle) Eskridge, Wife
  • Robert "Bob" Eskridge (Amy), Son
  • Kathleen Kassing (Doug), Daughter
  • Thomas Eskridge (Jennifer), Son
  • Thomas E. Eskridge, Brother (deceased)
  • There are 8 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.

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  • Mascoutah Public Library



  • Visitation

    Tuesday, October 20, 2020


  • Private Family Service


Dr. Robert C. Eskridge, PhD

have a memory or condolence to add?

Vito and Terry Benivegna

October 19, 2020

Dear Barb and family,

We were very sorry to hear of your loss. Bob was a great guy with a fabulous memory. It was fun to have him remember things that the rest of our Monday breakfast group couldn't come up with. He will be greatly missed when we return to our breakfast at Eckert's.

Carol Knoebel

October 19, 2020

Barb, My deepest condolences to you and your family for your loss. I met Bob while working at BAC/SWIC. Bob was a great person to know--always a kind word and a smile.

Carol Knoebel

Marian Albers

October 19, 2020

I was so very saddened to learn of Bob's passing. He was such a kind, avid supporter of the Mascoutah Public Library. He loved to read!! Bob helped with the Library's book sale twice a year and he would buy a bunch of books and then donate them back for the next book sale! He was always saying how he had so many books already he shouldn't get anymore but then he always found more he wanted to read! He would come by and visit me in my office and we would talk about books we had read that the other might enjoy and sometimes just conversations on events. I know he will be missed. My sincerest condolences on your family's loss.

Marian the Librarian
(Marian Albers, Director, Mascoutah Public Library)


Learn more about the Eskridge, name