Robert "Bob" Dean Reade

July 22, 1932 ~ July 5, 2020 (age 87)


Bob Reade of Geneseo, Illinois, a child of God, loving husband, Dad, Grandpa and Uncle; good friend, and “Coach” to many young men, was born into eternal life on Sunday, July 5, 2020, at Hammond Henry Hospital in Geneseo, Illinois.


There will be a private visitation for family only on Thursday, July 9, 2020, and a public visitation on Friday afternoon, July 10, 2020, from 2 to 7 p.m. at Vandemore Funeral Home, Geneseo. Due to COVID restrictions, only 50 people may be in the funeral home at one time. Masks must be worn, and distancing maintained. The family is very understanding and considerate of these restrictions. The Funeral Mass will be held at noon Saturday, July 11, 2020, at St. Malachy Church. Due to COVID restrictions, only 200 people may be in the church at one time. St. Malachy Church will live stream the funeral via its Facebook page (  For questions about the live stream, please contact the church directly.  Memorials for Bob Reade may be directed to Abilities Plus, Geneseo-Atkinson Food Pantry, Augustana Tribe of Vikings, Geneseo Youth Football, and the St. Malachy Church School Endowment.


Survivors include his wife, Mary Jo; and children, Kelly Reade, Sarasota, FL, Tracy (Michael) Suter, Palm Desert, CA, Kristin Reade, Chicago, IL, Barry (Nikki) Reade, Channahon, IL, Mark (Cynthia) Reade, Geneseo, Erin (Terence) Murphy, Geneseo, Whitney (Matt) Woods, Moline, IL, Ryan (Hannah) Reade, Davenport, IA, Molly (Kyle) Perry, Germantown Hills, IL, and Kyle Reade, Bettendorf, IA His grandchildren are Manning Reade, Hunter, Collin, and Ashlyn Reade, Jackson, Allison, and Madison Reade, Brenden, Hayes, and Reade Murphy, Graham, Roland, and Marshall Woods, Raelynn Reade, and Grayson and Hazel Perry. Additional survivors are sister-in-law, Nancy Bakker, Melrose, IA, brother-in-law, Jon Manning, Dubuque, IA, and several nieces and nephews.


He was preceded in death by his daughter, Robin Leslie Reade, his parents, Leslie and Hazel Reade, his brother, Harry Reade, sister-in-law, Joan, his father and mother-in-law, Vincent “Joe” and Mary Manning, and a brother-in-law, Randy Bakker. May they rest in peace.


Robert Dean Reade was born July 22, 1932, in Monticello, IA, the son of Leslie Samuel and Hazel Florence (Widmer) Reade. He married Mary Jo Manning on August 19, 1961, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Maquoketa, IA.


He graduated from Monticello High School, Cornell College in Mount Vernon, IA, and received his master’s degree from the University of Iowa and additional hours beyond at U of I and other colleges. He entered the Army (1954-1956) and was stationed in Germany during the Korean Conflict.


Maquoketa High School was his first teaching job as a math teacher and assistant football coach. Beardstown, IL was his next job as a teacher, assistant coach, and then on to Plano Illinois High School where he was Athletic Director, Assistant Principal, track coach, head football coach, and head boys’ basketball coach. At Plano HS,  he inherited the state’s longest losing streak at the time. He especially enjoyed helping build those programs with very dedicated and hard-working young men with whom he still maintained friendships.


In 1962 he was hired at Geneseo High School. During the next seventeen years, he taught math and driver education, was the head football coach, and at intervals, was a track coach, assistant athletic director, head girls’ basketball coach, and Dean of Boys.


In 1979 he accepted the head football coaching position at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL. He eagerly looked forward to seeing if his football coaching philosophy would work at the collegiate level. By this time, he also had ten children and the college tuition waiver for them was an added benefit. We are grateful that Augustana offered that opportunity for our children because of his employment there.


He retired in 1995 and enjoyed life until the end, still living in Geneseo in the first and only home that we purchased. He also worked for JF Edwards Construction Company, driving trucks part-time. It reminded him of the summer days he drove cement trucks during his college years. During retirement, he enjoyed his morning coffee on the back porch, fishing at our cabin on the Rock River, trips to Maquoketa to take care of a small farmland acreage, mowing our lawns (and repairing his lawnmower!) reading, working Sudoku puzzles, and sharing conversations with friends. He was excited to have his little red truck, a '79 Dodge, painted and brought to “new life”. Thanks, Derrick! Thanks, Hank!


He was a member of St. Malachy Catholic Church, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and a 64-year member of the American Legion Timber City Post in Maquoketa. He had served on the boards of Abilities Plus, the Geneseo Park District, and St. Malachy Parents’ Club. Because of his “Coach of the Year” awards, he was an honorary member of the AFCA (American Football Coaches Association) and received many recognitions from them, including the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award in 1998. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and was also inducted into the Hall of Fame at Geneseo High School, the Illinois Football Coaches Association, the Augustana Tribe of Vikings, Cornell Athletics, and the Quad-City Times. In 1993, he wrote a book, Coaching Football Successfully.


He was most influenced in his life by his parents, his high school coach, Leo Cabalka, Maquoketa High School head coach, Merle Harris, with whom he was an assistant coach, and his father-in-law, V.M. “Joe” Manning. He learned so much about coaching and living a good life from them. He was surrounded by the kindness and love of so many.


Through his years of coaching, he was truly humbled by the many awards he received both locally and nationally. He knew that those honors were not for him alone, and the recognition was to be shared with ALL of the coaches, players, equipment managers, trainers, turf caretakers, bus drivers, people who did the laundry, the medical professionals who donated their services, and the financial contributors, boosters and fans - just everyone who played any role in the program. He appreciated each and every person. He always said, “Surround yourself with good people, and good things will happen”.


All his assistant coaches at Geneseo and Augustana were the “cream of the crop”. He valued the bond they had among one another and was thankful for their long-lasting friendship. He chose them well. To his players, he was firm, fair, and believed in the goodness of people. He expected them to prepare well, work hard, and execute at their utmost ability. They played well!


His joys and delights in life were centered in his family. Breakfasts and supper were always shared, even after a late football practice. Sundays were church, picnic, and play days, and there were many camping excursions and back yard fun. He often prepared breakfasts and reminded the “kids” if they did not eat everything at supper time, they’d find it in their scrambled eggs or pancakes in the morning! Many of the sack lunches he prepared for school days were sliced beef tongue sandwiches and sandwich bags of leftover chips of all varieties crushed and mixed together. Frozen orange juice was mixed with an extra can of water to “stretch it out”. When shopping at K-Mart, the “blue light specials” were a special treat for all. He was thrifty and wasted not!


He was proud of his 11 children - The Home Team - and that they were all college graduates. Those who married chose wonderful spouses. Doting over and watching his grandchildren at play brought many smiles to his face and lots of chuckles. Their hand-made cards, notes, and artwork were the best! They’ll all remember the fun “bingo” games he called at our family holiday celebrations. Bunny Bingo, Turkey Bingo, and Elf Bingo! They’ll also remember him saying “Prove It, Prove It!” and “Clear the Corn!”  when someone won. It thrilled him that ALL of the family came home for Christmas every year. Special memories!


Recently in filling out a book of personal questions it asked him to write a limerick about himself, which read:           

There was a boy named Bob 

Who usually dressed like a slob

But dressed up or dressed down

He was still……. BOB


His favorite superstition was “find a penny, get a win”....he had a jar full! Now we look for pennies from heaven. Bob still “played” with X’s and O’s on a sheet of paper on his clipboard. He loved the game of football, especially Game Day.


Finally, this “game of football” has been a wonderful “way of life” for our entire Reade family. It was never a “job” for Bob. When they were younger, some of our boys found it hard to believe…" you get paid for doing that?!” We’ve had many exciting experiences, met so many nice people, and Bob cherished his “coaching” friends that he made throughout the country - and always, he loved all of his players!


“We are the Green Machine” and “Go Augie”


“I have fought the good fight; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7.


Geneseo High School will be honoring Bob with a tribute video on the JumboTron at Bob Reade Field. The video will run continuously through 10 p.m. Sunday, July 12, 2020. The lights at Bob Reade Field will be on for 87 minutes from 8 p.m. to 9:27 p.m. every night through Sunday.  Please visit for more details and to share a tribute.


Memorials for Bob Reade may be directed to Abilities Plus, Geneseo-Atkinson Food Pantry, Augustana Tribe of Vikings, Geneseo Youth Football, and the St. Malachy Church School Endowment.

To send flowers to Robert "Bob" Dean Reade's family, please visit our floral store.


July 10, 2020

2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Vandemore Funeral Home, Geneseo
580 E Ogden Avenue
Geneseo, Illinois 61254

Funeral Service
July 11, 2020

12:00 PM
St. Malachy Catholic Church (Geneseo)
595 E Ogden Ave
Geneseo, IL 61254


Oakwood Cemetery
1060 South Oakwood Ave
Geneseo, IL 61254


Abilities Plus
1100 North East Street, Kewanee IL 61443
Tel: 1-309-852-4626

Geneseo Atkinson Food Pantry
620 West Main Street, Geneseo IL 61254
Tel: 1-309-944-3165

Augustana Tribe of Vikings

St. Malachy Church School Endowment

Geneseo Youth Football

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