“Thank you for the thoughtful poem and forget-me-not seeds. I will plant them in my garden if it ever gets warm enough. What a great idea.
— A. W.
Robert W. "Rob" Pullen
May 29, 1962 - July 02, 2012
Robert W. “Rob” Pullen, age 50, a resident of Naperville, IL since 1988, formerly of Niles, IL, died Monday morning, July 2, 2012 at Edward Hospital in Naperville after a three month battle with colon cancer. He was born May 29, 1962 in Oak Lawn, IL.
Beloved husband of Dawn (nee Amendola) Pullen, whom he married September 16, 1988, loving father of Brittany and Brendan Pullen, devoted son of Robert and Mary Kay (nee Nolan) Pullen, dear brother of Jim (Kim) Pullen, Sharon Varco, Jack Pullen and Mike (Lisa) Pullen, fond brother-in-law of Keith (Mary) Amendola, Craig (Diane) Amendola and Krista (Dan Fagan) Amendola and adored uncle of eighteen wonderful nieces and nephews.
Rob grew up in Niles, IL where he was a parishioner and student at Our Lady of Ransom. He was a 1980 graduate of Maine East High School in Park Ridge, IL. He excelled at baseball and played four years as the starting shortstop for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As a student-athlete at the University of Illinois he earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis in Physics. In 1993, Rob earned a MBA in Management from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Business.
Rob Pullen served as CEO and President of Tellabs, Inc. and was a member of the Board of Directors. He joined the company right out of college in 1985 as an electrical engineer. He worked his way up the corporate ladder to become Chief Executive Officer in 2008 after holding jobs in Development, Sales, Marketing, and Services. Rob’s rare gift of intellect combined with charisma, competitiveness, organized and futuristic thinking, and integrity gave him the ability to move in and out of positions fluidly. He understood both the customers and the technology, and was able to communicate well with peers at any level. Rob put in place Tellabs’ global sales organization. Rob’s love and devotion to his company and the people in it mirrored that of his own family.
Rob served as the chairman emeritus of the executive board for the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and was a former co-chair for SuperComm. He was a member of SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Naperville.
Rob made it clear to all of his peers that his greatest accomplishment was his family and children, Brittany and Brendan. He was an organized thinker, a leading innovator, a teacher, a role model, and much more to everyone that met him. Living by his quote, “everything is good in moderation”, he maintained the perfect balance of family, friends, work, and fun. Throughout his children’s lives, he coached soccer, basketball, and baseball, helping his kids and friends to excel in everything they did. His love for family is evident in what he said was one of the proudest moments of his career, coaching his son Brendan’s Naperville Little League Cardinals to win the city championship in 2007. Until his last day, Rob was still sharing his talents, knowledge, and life lessons as a coach of the Naperville White Sox Travel Baseball Team. Rob enjoyed traveling the world along with boating, water and snow skiing, snowmobiling, and spending time with his family at their lake house in Green Lake, WI.
Long days at work never took away from the time that was needed to be spent with his family and friends. He took pride in living everyday to the fullest, and having every single action make the world a better place. With integrity, unselfishness, and kindness, Rob Pullen used his actions, rather than words, to set lasting examples that will be carried out by his family and peers for the rest of their lives.
Visitation Sunday, July 8, 2:00-9:00 P.M. at Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 44 S. Mill St, Naperville.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday, July 9, 11:00 A.M. at SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, 36 N. Ellsworth St., Naperville.
Interment: SS. Peter & Paul Cemetery, Naperville.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to: Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA), 1025 Vermont Ave., NW, Suite 1066, Washington, DC 20005, (202)628-0123, www.ccalliance.org or Edward Foundation Robert Pullen Memorial Fund, c/o Edward Foundation, 801 S. Washington St., Naperville, IL 60540.