Robert (Bobby) Stein was born on September 13, 1927, and was the youngest, and last Stein born. He was the only Stein born in a hospitalt-the now defunct Garfield Park Hospital. There was big age difference between him and the other brothers and sisters. Most had moved out before he was even a teenager. But he was always Grandma’s “Baby”. He was named after Becky's mother, Rachel.
He lived a quite, simple life. Like all the Steins, he went to Marshall High School, but was the only Stein to attend Bidler Grammer School. His great passion in life was weight lifting.
When Bobby was 16, he was struck by an unknown illness and had difficulty breathing. He worked at a drug store 1 block away from the house on Warren Blvd. He went to work on the 3rd day of the illness, because he thought he could tough it out. Grandma was worried, and went to his work, and made him go home. They then called a doctor...who never showed up. They called an ambulance with similar results. They then called The Salnitskys, who only lived a few blocks away. They came to the house. By that time, Bobby was turning blue...and dying. Grandpa drove him to Mt. Sinai Hospital, and the Salnitskys followed. He died shortly after arriving at the hospital on July 26, 1943. They found out he had bulbar (lung) polio, for which there was no cure in those days.
There are many stories centered around his death. Uncle Ben was on his lunch break from work eating at his favorite chinese restaurant "the Midwest Inn" when he was tracked down & called about Bobby’s death. He was so superstitious that he never ate at that restaurant again.
Marilyn was at a cottage in Michigan City, Indiana with her mother when it happened. She was 6 years old. While there, she discovered her Aunt Shirley (Tillie’s sister) standing on the side of the road crying. The family in Chicago had put Shirley (a teenager) on a bus to come & tell them of the tragedy, because there were no phones in cottages or nearby.
The family was devastated by this loss. At that time, all their children had moved out, and there was only Bobby left. The Salnitskys moved back in with them so they wouldn’t be alone. The tragedy was always spoken of in hushed tones, and very little was ever said about him. The Grandparents tried not to show sorrow in front of the kids. The only time they broke down, was when they were driving to the dedication of his monument, and the brothers and sisters, who were all grown, started singing like the used to as children. The monument has the words "Mine Ingella" (my son), the loving name his parents had given him.
What little is known, is that he was a very handsome young man, a body builder, and had a good sense of humor. Every photo of him shows him smiling and happy. We will try to remember him that way.