Patricia Robb Bennett

  • Born: August 3, 1942
  • Died: September 7, 2011
  • Location: Springfield, Illinois

Lincoln Land Cremation Society

917 S. 7th Street
Springfield, IL 62703
Tel. (217) 523-4646

Tribute & Message From The Family

Patricia Ellen Robb Bennett, 69, of Springfield, passed away at 10:29 p.m. on Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at Memorial Medical Center.

Patricia was born August 3, 1942 in Peoria, the daughter of Paul and Eleanore Murphy Robb.

Patricia received a bachelor's degree from Ball State University and a master's degree from Northwestern University. Although she began her professional career as a public school teacher in inner city Chicago, it was her unyielding commitment to child care and child welfare issues for which she will be remembered. Following her tenure as Chief of the Office of Licensing for the IL Department of Children and Family Services, she served as the Director of Community Child Care at Jane Addams Hull House. She retired in 2007 from her position as DCFS Springfield Regional Licensing Administrator. She was a current board member of the Salvation Army and a docent at the Lincoln Library and Museum.

Patricia, with her incomparable sense of humor, enjoyed listening to classical music, crocheting, reading, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

She is survived by one brother, David Robb of New York City, NY; three nephews, Matthew and Nathan Robb both of New York City, NY and Timothy Robb of Portland, OR; one niece, Sarah Robb of Portland, OR; great-nephew, Caleb Robb of New York City, NY; step-mother, Katie Robb of Muncie, IN and several cousins.

Cremation was accorded by Lincoln Land Cremation Society.

Memorial Ceremony: 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at First Presbyterian Church, 321 S. 7th St., Springfield.

Memorial contributions may be made to: Salvation Army Capital Campaign, 221 N. 11th St., Springfield, IL 62703 or the Patricia E. Bennett Scholarship Fund For Child Development, c/o Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln, 205 S. 5th St., Ste. 930, Springfield, IL 62701.


Condolence & Memory Journal

I was saddened to hear of Patty's death though she died over three years ago. I have such vivid memories of her and of you as well, David.
Patty and I walked home together from Benson High, down 52nd Street till we got to your house.
From what I read in her obit, it sounds like she had a rich full life doing much Kingdom work.
Grace and peace to you and the whole family,
Scottie Brown May

Posted by Scottie Brown May - Wheaton, IL - High school friend   November 10, 2014

To David Robb and family,

I am so sorry to read of Pat's passing and so sorry that we were not able to have a last visit with some laughs.

Pat and I were roommates at Asbury College for two years. We were young and impressionable and came from very different backgrounds, but we became soulmates. I became an adopted "Sally" for those years and then she left to finish at Balls State, but we stayed in touch.

I married a Chicagoan so we were able to spend some time now and then but we were both busy with our own lives and then she moved to Springfield. Icould always count on Pat's Christmas card and we always promised that we would get together, but it has been 25 years since that has happened. We did email briefly this past Spring and summer and again I was hoping for a good long phone call at least.

I remember how she adored big brother David who was going to Union Seminary when Pat and I first met. I also had a Union Sem. connection, and then knew that she had nephews and a niece that she loved. I remember how she adored her Dad and his intellectual gifts. I remember how we would laugh with her lovely and funny Mother in Indianapolis. And I learned about the SA from the inside and I met some of the best of the Army through her.I remember singing with Pat in a women's trio...she had a lovely voice. I also know how she worked to improve children's lives. So many fond memories.

May she rest in peace and peace to her dear family.
Charolette Lill
Friend from early college days

Posted by Charolette Lill - Chicago, IL - old friend....   October 30, 2011

To Pat's family, her brother, David, and especially those beautiful nephews Matt, Nathan, Tim and nice Sarah, whom Pat adored. Pat loved children most of all. She dedicated her entire career to playing, teaching, laughing and keeping them safe. She always kept family at the center of her heart and loved to tell stories of their special life "happenings" with great pride and joy. Pat's work with the Child Care Resource & Referral System is where we met and became friends, a friendship that carried through to her in her work with DCFS where she retired. Pat will be greatly missed and I will carry her friendship, her love for children and the difference she has made in the lives of families in my heart. With Sympathy, Jan

Posted by Jan Maruna - Bloomington, IL - Friend and Co-Worker   September 22, 2011


Wow - Pat will really be missed and has been missed in DCFS and in other areas of her life! Pat's indelibly ironic sense of humor and outlook on fairness and standing up for the children, who couldn't stand up for themselves, was a rare breath of life in state administrators. She did her job with integrity and practicality that you don't often find - and are blessed to work with when you do. The children of IL lost a champion when she left DCFS both times and we have now lost a dear friend. You made your mark, Pat - rest in peace knowing that many children are better off in their lives for your work!

Posted by Gina Ruther - Belleville, IL - Friend; Former Co-Worker   September 18, 2011

When I first learned of Pat's passing I was very sad. Sad because I did not get to see her again and share some humor that often resulted in laugter so hard we cried. Sad, too, because I lost a comrade in arms. I did not serve in the armed forces but have had the honor to know some who did. They shared with me the deep sense of loss that is felt when one of their comrades passes away even though much time may have intervened since thier time together. I tried to remember events Pat and I shared at work. The recollections failed me as only the memory of many DCFS licensing staff came. Their faces came to my memory like a rapid slide show. I could not understand why this should be as I wanted to remember Pat.

It was a fine day and, though sad for the loss of a friend, I was glad to enjoy it in my garden and noted that a few tomatoes were available for late harvest and the flowers were full and bright despite the wilting summer. It hit me like a bullet between the eyes. How could I remember Pat Bennett in the work place and not recall all of those with whom she shared herself and us whom she shared with each other?

Pat knew the purpose of Llicensing.: To protect children from known risks of harm when they are not in the care of their parents or guardians, a time when they are most vulnerable, by ensuring minimum standards of care. Pat understood that these protections were not only to be available from the Department to wards of the state in foster care, institutions and under the supervision of private agencies but also to children in day care. She knew this was the finest form of child protection and that it was worth fighting for. Pat passionately articulated this belief and it was impossible not to believe her. More importantly she caused those in the field to believe it.. She was a warrior for licensing.

Pat was a Chief of Licensing. As a middle manager she was often dealt a difficult hand by those up the chain of command. If there were upper level managers who knew the purpose of licensing there were fewer who articulated it and fewer still who could convince staff in the field by their actions that they believed in it. This is where Pat shone as Mars at the Perhilion. She saw to it that the purpose of licensing was met and delivered by empowering, unifying and cheering those down the chain of command. Her personal relationships with administrators, supervisors, workers and clerical staff in licensing and Child Protection Units made her the bulwark who stood by and with those in the field and allowed them to get the job done to the best of their abilities.

I will remember Pat as a friend and Licensing comrade in arms. I will miss her.

I hope that DCFS will remember Pat and take steps to preserve her contributions to the agency. She was the finest servant of the greatest service that DCFS has to offer. Those who worked with her need no reminder of Pat's deeds, but the Department would honor itself if her legacy could be made known and inspire staff yet to come.

Posted by Robert L. Harris - Springfield, IL - friend   September 15, 2011