Robert Emmett “Bob” Maroney, 99, a resident of Forest Park, died on Sept. 2, 2019 in the hospice unit at Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital. Born on Oct. 27, 1919 in Chicago, he grew up on the city’s West Side and attended St. Mel Grammar School and Crane Technical High School, Class of 1938. From 1942-46, he served in the U.S. Merchant Marine, which had a higher casualty rate than the Marine Corps during World War II. According to John Rice, who wrote about Bob a couple of times in the Forest Park Review, his ship was torpedoed off the coast of North Africa and it took three months to repair it. After the war, he became an entrepreneur who owned coin-operated vending machines. Late in life, he invented a walking cane, equipped with a light, for use at night. He had an engineer create a prototype but the cane was never mass-produced. One of the greatest moments of his life was traveling to Washington DC for an Honor Flight for veterans.

More of his story can be seen and heard at

He would eventually also become the life partner of Dorothy LaFrenere, who preceded him in death, as did his parents, Elizabeth C. (née Hamill) and William L. Maroney, and his siblings William, Edward (Margaret), and Elizabeth “Betty” (Joseph) O’Reilly.

Bob Maroney is survived by his brother, Jerome (late Ritamae); a son from an earlier marriage, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He leaves a large family — both extended and adopted — his caregiver, Debra Ward; business associates and friends. 

A private service was held with cremation arrangements by the Neptune Society and interment at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. 

Donations in his memory may be made to Hines VA Hospice, the organization of your choice, or Smile Train Inc.