Death – Belleville IL West High School teacher, coach Bob Flake dies

Death – Obituary

A Belleville West High School teacher and former football coach who died this week is being remembered for his “fun-loving” attitude with his family and students.

Bob Flake’s death was reported to Belleville School District 201 on Thursday, according to Superintendent Brian Mentzer.

“Our thoughts are with Bob’s family,” Mentzer said.

A cause of death and Flake’s age have not been released.

“He was a fun-loving guy,” Belleville West Principal Rich Mertens said of Flake. “He always put others first, his family and his students and staff members.

“He just had a great attitude, a positive attitude,” Mertens said.

“I’d greet him during the day, ‘How are you doing Bob?’ and he’d always reply, ‘Living the dream.’”

Flake was the department head for the Belleville West science department in recent years and he previously had served as an assistant football coach.

Belleville West Principal Rich Mertens said Flake was hired at Belleville West in 2006 and he taught biology and veterinary science classes.

Flake did not coach this past football season but he had been on the team’s coaching staff for the prior years of his Belleville West tenure, Mertens said. One of his recent assignments included serving as offensive coordinator.

Bob Flake_fitted.jpeg
Bob Flake Chris Johns

Mentzer said that Flake had a “wide scope of influence” as leader of the science department and as a football coach.

“He was able to make different connections with different groups of kids and kids with varying interests,” Mentzer said.

Funeral arrangements for Flake have not been announced.

This story was originally published December 31, 2021 12:00 PM.

Profile Image of Mike Koziatek

Mike Koziatek joined the Belleville News-Democrat in 1998 as an assistant editor and is now a reporter covering the Belleville area. He graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee and is from St. Louis.

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What Is An Obituary

In national newspapers an obituary (obit for short) is a news article that reports the recent death of a prominent person. Although it tends to focus on positive aspects of the subject’s life this is not always the case. According to Nigel Farndale, the Obituaries Editor of The Times: “Obits should be life affirming rather than gloomy, but they should also be opinionated, leaving the reader with a strong sense of whether the subject lived a good life or bad; whether they were right or wrong in the handling of their public affairs.”

In local newspapers, an obituary may be published for any local resident upon death. A necrology is a register or list of records of the deaths of people related to a particular organization, group or field, which may only contain the sparsest details, or small obituaries. Historical necrologies can be important sources of information.