Robert Conrad Borg, age 76 of Naperville, Illinois, passed away on April 16, 2023, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Bob was born on February 9, 1947, in Rochester, Minnesota; the second oldest of F.F. and A.K. Borg’s six children.
Bob was a gifted athlete in his youth. He played football and swam at John Marshall High School and also swam at Bemidji State University. Like most sons of Minnesota, Bob had a natural-born affection for fishing and boasted a Minnesota state-record walleye catch from 1976 that, like most fishing records, remains hotly disputed—most vocally by his brothers.
Bob met and married the love of his life, Cathy, in 1970 in Denver, where he was serving with the Air Force. Their first daughter, Carrie, was born in 1971 in Laramie, Wyoming, after which the family moved to West Lafayette, Indiana, the home of Purdue University. Bob earned his Master’s in Physics and Doctor of Philosophy in Nuclear Engineering at Purdue. For the rest of the 1970s, he served as a visiting professor at Purdue’s School of Nuclear Engineering. Bob was as brilliant as he was humble. During their Purdue years, he and Cathy worked hard and lived simply, welcoming their second daughter, Christie, in 1974. Bob experienced a brain aneurism in his early 30s that nearly ended his life, but our Good Lord had other plans. He was blessed to receive groundbreaking, first-of-its-kind medical care at the Mayo Clinic, eventually making a full recovery. Bob and Cathy welcomed their son, Brent, in 1979.
Bob and Cathy continued their adventures to Naperville, Illinois, where they lived at 1236 Clyde Drive for over 42 years. Bob renovated nearly every part of their house, while Cathy’s keen design eye transformed the interior to scenes from a Crate & Barrel catalog. Bob worked at Argonne National Labs and later as a project manager for AT&T Bell Laboratories and its spin-off, Lucent Technologies. Bob and a colleague also launched a successful side business, renovating and selling dozens of properties, while employing several “working sons” along the way—and proving that Bob could fix anything.
Bob’s athletic and competitive prowess, cultivated in his youth, suited him when supporting his children in their athletic careers. He served as a starter and referee for swim meets, a “two hands on the rebound” shouter during basketball games, and the loudest whistler when crunch-time required an extra push. Bob’s rowdiness as a fan contrasted with his delight for quiet, personal moments with his children. He took time to dispense calm, detailed advice to his daughters on all aspects of swimming—everything from mentally preparing for an event to fine-tuning a flip-turn and beyond—and his answer was always “Yes” when his son asked him to rebound or play one-on-one, many of which contests were at gyms they had snuck into.
Cribbage matches were—and will always remain—a central feature of Borg family gatherings. Bob’s children, as well as his son-in-law (Viraj) and daughter-in-law (Mandy), begrudgingly recognize him as the undisputed cribbage champion of the Borg-Bluder-Thakkar Grand Master Cribbage Circuit, known over the decades for an odd mix of shouting, laughter, hyper-competitiveness, and family quarreling—sometimes all at once.
When Bob’s grandkids were born, he became their biggest fans. He found joy in their presence and supported their academic, athletic, and extracurricular endeavors—just as he had decades before with his grandkids’ parents. He always kept his grandkids close to his heart, shirking modern fashion in favor of t-shirts printed with their cherished faces.
Above all, Bob was a child of God and with certainty made the world a better place. He loved his wife through life’s challenges and triumphs and everything in between, and their marriage of over 52 years serves as a shining example of goodness, truth, and beauty. He was a blessing to all who knew him and loved him, especially his parents F.F. and A.K. Borg; his wife, Catherine (Bluder); their children: Carrie (Brott) Ritzel, Christie (Viraj) Thakkar, and Brent (Amanda) Borg; his grandchildren: Alyssa (Nicholas) Collins, Beck Ritzel, Cate Ritzel, Henry Borg, Abraham Borg, Weston Borg, Emmett Borg, Aksel Thakkar, Brock Thakkar, and Charlie Thakkar; his great-grandson, Thomas Collins; his siblings: Frank (Sue) Borg, John (Kate) Borg, Scott (Julie) Borg, Ann (Steve) Kallsen, and Susan (Antonio) Luciano; his mother-in-law, Hazel Bluder, brother-in-law, Bruce Bluder; and many nieces, nephews, and godchildren. Bob’s was truly a wonderful, wonderful life.
Indiana visitation will be held on Tuesday, April 25, 2023 from 10am to 11am at St. Simon the Apostle Catholic Church, 8155 Oaklandon Rd. Memorial Mass will be held there at 11am.
Illinois visitation will take place on Friday, April 28, 2023 from 3pm to 4pm at St. Timothy Lutheran Church, 1313 N. Mill St., Naperville, IL. A Memorial Service will follow at 4pm at the church.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Bob’s name to the Michael J. Fox Foundation: 498 Fashion Ave., New York, NY 10018 or by visiting www.michaeljfox.org