Bobby Gene Kearney

November 1, 1937 ~ May 18, 2021 (age 83)


Bobby Gene Kearney, age 83 of Benton, Illinois, went to be with our Lord on Tuesday evening May 18, 2021.
Bob was born in Macedonia, Illinois on November 1, 1937, the son of the late Walter H. and Nadine (Campbell) Kearney.
He graduated from Benton High School with the Class of 1955 and began his farming career that span throughout his life. While continuing to be an active farmer, Bob began serving his community. After a short career with Country Companies he started his own business in 1969 with partner Don Smith, known as Kearney & Smith Western Auto, located on the Benton Public Square for over 30 years. Bob spent a lot of Christmas Seasons delivering toys and bicycles. Then, on December 1, 1986, Bob had the privilege of being Appointed Chapter 12 Standing Trustee for the U. S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Illinois, followed with a Chapter 13 appointment, where he served for over three decades. Bob was a member of the Macedonia Masonic Lodge.
Bob married Mary Belle Smith Kearney on July 6, 1957 at the home of Mary’s parents Willie O. and Sara (Page) Smith with their close friends William and Jane Richardson attending. 
Bob was well known for his good nature, sense of humor, and being resourceful and successful at playing pranks on friends and family. Bob charmed people all over with his humor. He enjoyed his work and play with many Saturday mornings dedicated to rabbit hunting with some of his closest friends, followed with a big breakfast. But most of all, Bob treasured his many hours of coffee shop time with his friends and co-workers and especially with his son and best friend Mike.
On April 11, 2001, there was a new focus in his life. River Michael Kearney was born making Bob a Grandpa. Few have known the depth of love Bob would give this grandson. His pride from that experience was immeasurable. 
In addition to his parents, Bob was preceded in death by two sisters, Norma Carlton and Carlene Klein and husband Joe, mother-in-law Sara Page Smith and father-in-law Willie O. Smith and a dear friend Judge Ken Myers.
Bob is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Mary Belle (Smith) Kearney. He also leaves behind a son Michael G. Kearney & wife Roberta, Grandson River M. Kearney, brother Kenneth Kearney & wife Phyllis, good friends Ron Giacone, Mike Sevenski and good friend and neighbor Sandy Forsythe and Midnight his dog. He is further survived by nieces, nephews, cousins, and good friends whose lives he touched in so many ways.
The family would like to extend its sincere appreciation to Green Tree Assisted Living of Mount Vernon, IL for their amazing care of Bob. Those who wish to remember Bob in a special way may make gifts in his memory to Green Tree, 208 Zachery Dr, Mount Vernon, IL 62864.
Friends are invited to call at Morton and Johnston Funeral Home, 410 S Main Street, Benton, IL 62812, on Sunday May 23, 2021 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm with service beginning at 2:00 pm with Rev. Mark Minor officiating. Burial will follow at Liberty Baptist Church Cemetery.
In remembrance of Bob, please tell a dad joke, help someone who needs it, or just be an all-around good human.
Bob died a loved and important man.
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To send flowers to Bobby's family, please visit our floral store.


May 23, 2021

11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Morton and Johnston Funeral Home
410 S. Main Street
Benton, IL 62812

Funeral Service
May 23, 2021

2:00 PM
Morton and Johnston Funeral Home
410 S. Main Street
Benton, IL 62812


Green Tree Assisted Living
208 Zachery Drive, Mt. Vernon IL 62864
Tel: 1-618-731-4007

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