F. Robert “Bob” Kopke, 89, died July 13 at Great Bend Health and Rehabilitation Center. Born Nov. 3, 1923 in Great Bend, he was the son of Webster “Web” and Marie (McMurtry) Kopke. On Aug. 10, 1945 he married Norma Jean Gaunt in Great Bend. She survives. A graduate of the Wisconsin School of Banking, Mr. Kopke was a retired Installment Loan Officer of the Hutchinson National Bank. After retirement, he served as the president of Maize State Bank in Maize until 1998. He had also worked intermittently for Cook and Weber Funeral Home and Bryant Funeral Home in Great Bend.
Mr. Kopke served in the Army Air Corp 4132nd AAF Base Unit, as a Tech Sergeant B 17 navigator and radio operator during World War II. He was a member of the Elks Club, served on the Board of Boy Scouts of America, Masonic Lodge Exalted Ruler, and was a member of the Chamber of Commerce serving as president in 1963, all of Hutchinson. He loved piloting his airplane, Glenn Miller 40’s music, trout fishing, gourmet cooking, Mayan culture, and his family. He also helped develop the World War II Memorial Museum in Stradbroke, England, and the B-29 Memorial Plaza in Great Bend.
Survivors include his wife, Norma Jean Kopke, of the home; a son, F. Robert “Rob” Kopke II, Great Bend; and a daughter, Pam Tucker of Great Bend. He was preceded in death by his father, Web Kopke; his mother, Marie Strong; and by his sister, Josephine Bushnell.
Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday at the Great Bend Cemetery with the Rev. John Grummon officiating. There will be no visitation as cremation has taken place. Memorials are suggested to the American Legion Argonne Post 180, Central Baptist Church, Golden Belt Home Health and Hospice or the Barton County Food Bank, in care of the funeral home. Condolences may be sent and notice viewed at www.bryantfh.net
Funeral arrangements provided by
Bryant Funeral Home*
1425 Patton Road
Great Bend, Ks. 67530
Great Bend (Kan) Tribune, July 16, 2013