Bob also invested in real estate and belonged to an investment club, Marilyn said. To help raise money for St. Mary Magdalene, Bob started an annual picnic and gym rentals.
Early in their marriage, Bob went to computer school in Chicago and then worked as a manager at Joyce Beverages for 22 years. When that job went away, Bob reinvented himself.
With a partner, Bob started the Quality Home Hardware on Ruby Street, Marilyn said. The partner oversaw building operations and Bob ran the store, she added.
At the time, Marilyn had worked for Sears Roebuck and Co. for 20 years. Marilyn said she left that job to help Bob at the hardware store. Marilyn said she learned how to fix toilets and sinks, and she learned about the many varieties of nails and crews.
Marilyn didn’t mind the work at all.
“I like people and I like to talk to people,” Marilyn said. “I’d welcome people into the store…my husband was not a talker. He was very, very serious.”
Marilyn called Bob “Mr. Fix-it;” he did all their home repairs. Bob was skilled in carpentry, plumbing and electrical work, Marilyn said.
Doug said Bob built an extra bedroom and bathroom on his own house.
One specialty of Quality Home Hardware was Bob’s ability to fix windows and window screens. This led to a number of large accounts in the Joliet area, such as schools, Marilyn said.
“With a lot of those old houses, he could make the windows from scratch,” Marilyn said.