Bob Dauber didn’t want a funeral when he died.
Instead, the fourth-generation owner of Mascoutah’s Dauber Pharmacy asked his family to put on a casual get together with brats, beer and lots of purple — in honor of the Mascoutah Indians.
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On Nov. 11, that’s exactly what the 88-year-old man’s family will do — gather to celebrate his life, which ended Monday.
The gathering will run from 3 to 7 p.m. at the American Legion Post 292, 1414 West Main St. in Mascoutah.
“Please stop by and, if you can, wear Mascoutah purple and a big smile. Bring some good stories — and don’t forget your cowbell,” his obituary reads, remembering the times Dauber was reprimanded for his loud cowbell at Mascoutah High School football games as an adult.
Bob’s son Rob Dauber added that his father instilled in them a sense of how important being a good neighbor was. Bob would open up the pharmacy — and in some cases delivery a prescription — on holidays when someone became ill. He also let people pay for their prescriptions any way they could — whether that was with money or a stack of lumber.
“He knew he had been blessed with a good life and he wanted to make sure others less fortunate could get by,” Rob said.
Rob said his dad was known as the “Drug Store Cowboy” after he tried on his first pair of boots.
“Once he got his first pair, he lived in cowboy boots,” Rob said. “He lived in them — everywhere he went. Once CB radios came around, his handle was the ‘Drug Store Cowboy.’ That is a nickname people definitely know him by.”
Dauber served in the army during the Korean Conflict before earning degrees from the University of Missouri and St. Louis College of Pharmacy and taking over as owner of Dauber Pharmacy, which was founded in Mascoutah in 1853.
His daughter, Ellen Dauber, said her father was a man who taught his kids integrity and was always his grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s biggest cheerleader at sporting events.
For years, she said, he painted the sidewalks in front of his pharmacy purple in support of the Mascoutah Indians.
"We all went up there the night of his death and painted the sidewalks purple," she said, noting the pharmacy was sold after Bob retired.
Ellen said her father struggled with his health for several years — recovering from whatever ailment presented itself and keeping a “great attitude” through it all.
“The pharmacy was always like home to Bob,” his obituary reads. “His family lived above the store during his childhood, and as an adult his employees also became like family — even spending Christmases together for many years. Bob treated his customers like family, too, opening his drugstore at all hours of the night and on holidays to get medicine for people in need. He would tell his children ‘helping people is my job and that’s what good neighbors do.’”
Dauber was married to Dolores Dauber for almost 60 years and together they had five children, Amy (Steve) Novario of Ottawa, Ill.; Ellen Dauber of Belleville; Rob (Jase Woodruff) Dauber of New York, N.Y.; C.J. Dauber of Mascoutah; and David (Shannon) Dauber of Mascoutah.
“He was a good man,” Dolores said on Wednesday.
Dauber retired in 2011, and he began the Foundation for Mascoutah Schools. The foundation annually awards the Bob Dauber Scholarship to a graduating senior.
For those who wish to make a donation in Dauber’s honor, his family suggests giving to the Foundation for Mascoutah Schools at 414 Jackson St. in Mascoutah or the Mascoutah Food Pantry, at 17 W. Main St., in Mascoutah.