Louis (Lou) Joseph Nachbauer, 93, formerly of Rock Island, passed away November 13th, 2020, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Lou was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Janice (Brotman) Nachbauer. He was the son of Ludwig Franz Nachbauer and Anna Klara Essig Nachbauer. He is survived by daughters Rebecca (Robin) Drechsel of Charlotte, NC. and Roberta (Len) Kelinson of Le Claire, Ia., granddaughters, Rachael (Colleen) Drechsel, Rena (Peder) Skoog, Hannah Stutts and Hannah’s former husband but always Lou’s son-in-law, Jack Stutts, as well as two great-grandchildren, Cora and Erik Skoog.
Lou loved his family and was so proud of all that his grandchildren and great-grandchildren accomplished in their lives. Lou and Janice were there through many softball games, dance recitals and swim meets.
Lou was born in Weil der Stadt, Germany, and immigrated to the United States in November 1928 as a one-year-old with his parents, entering the United States thru Ellis Island. He became a citizen when as a minor child his parents were naturalized as United States citizens in Chicago, 1935.
Lou was a proud veteran of WWII, enlisting in 1945, where he served his country as a Merchant Marine aboard the U.S. Army Hospital Ship, “Seminole”, which traveled in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. He was then drafted and served with the U.S. Army Air Corps. until 1948, including one year in occupation duty in Japan. All of his adult life Lou carried a memento of his military service, a Japanese yen covered with signatures of those men he served with.
After completing his military service and finishing high school, Lou enrolled at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. It was while attending college that he took an evening walk to a local movie theatre, The Ritz, where he met Janice. Only months after their first meeting, they eloped and subsequently enjoyed 55 years of marriage.
Mr. Nachbauer dedicated his life to Junior High School education in Moline, Il. influencing many young lives over his 35 years of employment there. Lou was hired by the Moline Board of Education in 1953, first serving as a teacher, coach, and assistant Principal at Coolidge Junior High for 17 years followed by 18 years as Principal at John Deere Junior High - Middle School, retiring in 1988. Upon his retirement, John Deere Middle School created a yearly award given to a student who excels in academics and sports, named The Lou Nachbauer Achievement Award.
Over the years as an educator, he received many awards and honors, including Illinois Congress of Parents and Teachers Honorary Life Membership award 1970, Book of Recognition award 1977, National Congress of Parents and Teachers Honorary Life Membership award 1988, Secondary School Teacher of the Year award presented by the Moline American Legion 1969, with his biography published in “Who’s Who in the Midwest, 20th and 21st Editions, 1986 and 1987.
Lou became an avid golfer following his introduction to the game as a caddy during his elementary school years in Morton Grove, Il. He was a founding, charter member of Mill Creek Country Club in Milan, IL, one of many men that physically built the course, which is now Pinnacle Country Club. He had two holes-in-one as a golfer. The first at Saukie Golf Course in Rock Island on hole #5 in 1952, and the second at Port Byron’s Byron Hills Golf Course, on hole #7 in 1999 at the age of 72.
An avid Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears fan all of his life, Lou was over the top when his Cubbies finally won the World Series when he was 89.
Private family services for Mr. Nachbauer may be viewed via livestream broadcast at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, November 18, from Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home, Rock Island, (wheelanpressly.com/live-stream-rock island). Burial following services will be at Rock Island National Cemetery on Arsenal Island, with full military honors presented by Moline American Legion, Post 246. Condolence messages can be sent to the family by visiting www.wheelanpressly.com. In lieu of flowers the family asks that any donations be made to the Gary Sinise Foundation, an organization that honors and supports our veterans, or the Alzheimer’s Association. The family would like to thank the staff at Brookdale South Clare Bridge Memory Care unit and Levine and Dickson Hospice & Palliative Care (both in Charlotte) for their loving care. Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home of Rock Island, Il. is serving the family of Mr. Nachbauer.
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