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American Freedom Press Alliance Remembers Robert T. Fanning

Bob Fanning

This page is dedicated to the memory of Robert T. Fanning. Robert loved both his country and his president. He touched the lives of many including those of us here at the Alliance. He was a man of vast knowledge and is sorely missed.

Though we never met in person our love for our country and desire to support President Trump united us. Robert and I first started chatting when President Trump was campaigning in 2015 and I was a volunteer with Team Trump 2016 (TT2016) on Face Book. I enjoyed Roberts writings and one day messaged him how I liked reading what he posted. How surprised I was when he answered me! Robert started sending articles daily through messenger for me to share. I came to rely on him as a major source for factual and informative information.

When TT2016 disbanded after the 2016 elections I was approached to start a new page. Many of us who had worked together on TT2016 wanted to keep working together to support our now President Trump. I discussed this with Robert and he thought it be a good idea.

Robert became an important part of America's Freedom Press Alliance (the Alliance) advertising the page among his friends and became one of our first editors. The Alliance started to grow and evolve. The Alliance name changed to American Freedom Press Alliance and we started a discussion group called the 45th. Robert was with us throughout our initial growing pains. Without him I know the Alliance would not be what it is today. That said, I would like to dedicate Freedom Press Alliance to a great man and my friend, Robert T Fanning.

Graceann Osgood
American Freedom Press Alliance
Freedom Alliance

Chicago Sun Times

01/01/2019, 03:25pm

Oak Park native Robert T.

Fanning Jr., friend of elk, foe

of wolves, dead at 69

Bob Fanning grew up in Oak Park, lived in Elmwood Park and later ran for governor of Montana. | Provided

Bob Fanning not only ran with the wolves, he liked to kill them.

“He was a man’s man, a bear hunter, a horseback rider, there was no one like Bob,” said his lifelong friend, Frank Murnane, owner of the Murnane Cos. “They broke the mold with Bob Fanning; one of a kind, in all respects.”

Fanning’s lifelong animosity toward wolves came from a desire to protect elk, as founder of Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd. In one of those epic battles that roil the great expanse of the West, between federal power and state authority, between environmentalists and ranchers, you knew exactly where Bob Fanning stood.

“Lock and load and saddle up while there is still snow on the ground,” Fanning declared, after the governor of Montana encouraged local ranchers to shoot troublesome wolves on their property in 2011, the year Fanning ran for Montana governor, part of a pack of Republican hopefuls, though he did not win.

As to how an Oak Park native, graduate of Holy Cross High School in River Grove, ended up in Big Sky Country, well therein lies the tale of Robert T. Fanning Jr., 69, who died on Christmas Eve, in Billings, Montana.

He was born in 1949, one of six brothers – Danny, Kevin, Brian, Quinn and Tim, and a sister, Mary. Their father, Robert T. Fanning Sr, was a stockbroker who owned Fanning Shoes in Oak Park, and mother Ann was a homemaker.

While at Holy Cross he met the love of his life, Lynn, before heading off to Notre Dame, where he was nicknamed “Bruiser” for his play on the rugby team.

He graduated Notre Dame in 1973, married Lynn and the couple moved to Elmwood Park, where they raised three children. In 1974, he went to work for PaineWebber. His first big client was George Halas. He also attended the Keller Graduate School of Management from 1975 to 1977.

Fanning worked as a bond trader at the Chicago Board of Trade for two decades and sometimes appeared on CNN to talk about the financial markets. Fanning left the Board of Trade in 1994, purchasing a troubled company burdened by asbestos claims, M.H. Detrick of Mokena.

But his main avocation was hunting big game in Montana, and organizing and defending small ranchers and hunters from wolf overpopulation. He was also passionately committed to right wing causes, sometimes combining the two.

Speaking against wolves in Grangeville, Idaho in 2003, Fanning said the introduction of Canadian wolves into the Northwest was a criminal conspiracy by a bunch of “pot-smoking, wine-sucking, vegetarian lawyers,” designed to end ranching on public lands. Claiming that “the Yellowstone ecosystem has become a biological desert” and that its elk herd would be extinct in three years.

“He was true to himself, true to his friends and true to his faith,” Murnane said. “He was like a brother to me. I love the man.”

Survivors include his three children, Rory, Heather and Ryan, and seven grandchildren. His brothers survive him except for Danny, who died about 15 years ago. He also leaves behind Champ, a beloved service sheep dog.

“You definitely have to mention Champ,” Murnane said. “Definitely his best buddy. He didn’t go anywhere without Champ; he’s going to miss Bob.“

Funeral services will take place Jan. 7 at 10 a.m. at St. Giles Parish in Oak Park. Burial follows at All Saints in Des Plaines. A memorial service will be held in Livingston, Montana, on March 29.