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Robert A. Kottenbrock

Robert “Bob” Anton Kottenbrock passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, on Saturday, May 11, 2024, in Lee’s Summit, at the age of 86.


Bob was born on December 9, 1937, in Rogers, Ark., to his parents, Anton Kottenbrock and Mary Ellen (Roach) Kottenbrock, growing up with his older sister, Edna, and his younger brother, Paul.

Robert A. Kottenbrock

Bob graduated from St. John’s Seminary High School and Junior College in Kansas City, Mo., in 1957. He attended St. John’s Prep Seminary in St. Louis prior to enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. He served four years in the Air Force, stationed for one year at Ernest Harmon Air Force Base, Newfoundland, five months at Goose Bay Labrador, and two years at Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, Miss., as a Light Ground Radio Instructor.


After Bob’s honorable discharge from the Air Force, he began working for AT&T in Dodge City, Kan., maintaining radio control towers. Also shortly after his discharge, Bob met his life-long love, his Mary. Bob and Mary (Birkenbach) were married on August 31, 1963, at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Monett. While in Dodge City, they became parents to their first 3 children, Kathy, Kris, and Rob. Also in Dodge City, Bob went to school at nights to earn his degree at St. Mary of the Plains College. The family moved to North Kansas City and it was while living there that their youngest child, Mary Pauline, was born.


In 1974, the family moved to Belton, where Bob and his brother, Paul, planted a large garden, “employing” all their kids to work in the garden. In December of 1976, Bob’s work at AT&T moved him to New Jersey. Upon arriving, Bob worked in the World Trade Center for six months while waiting for AT&T’s new headquarters in Bedminster, N.J., to be built. While living there, Bob took his family to all the historical sites in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Washington D.C. so they could learn about and see where history happened. Bob also took the family on a few adventures in New York City. In December of 1981, after five years in New Jersey, the family returned to live in Raymore, to be closer to family. Bob completed his career at AT&T as a Data Processing Center Manager with his retirement in December of 1989. After his retirement, Bob worked a few years at Sprint. In the summer of 1993, Bob and Mary moved to Belton.


In retirement, Bob and Mary went on several trips around the United States, and even a Caribbean cruise. Bob took great pride in being “Papa” to his grandchildren, as well as being active at St. Sabina Catholic Church and being a 4th Degree member of Knights of Columbus Council 5586. Bob, blessed with a beautiful, deep voice, was best known for his role as the announcer at the fish fries. His faith, which was so very important to him, motivated Bob to life-long service in volunteering at church. He and Mary taught religion classes when their children were growing up, and later helped engaged couples prepare for marriage. Bob was also a lector and sang with his beautiful voice in the choir. When his low-vision prevented Bob from serving in these ministries, he attended weekly Masses at the area nursing homes where he led the singing.


Bob enjoyed playing cards, watching the Chiefs, playing his harmonicas, singing and listening to music, and his favorite snack, chocolate-covered peanuts, individual, not clusters, double-dipped. Bob would always tackle a project himself rather than hiring it done. Every year he remodeled one room in the house, and his children learned how to do a lot by helping him, even if they did have trouble shining the flashlight in the right spot. Due to his low vision, for the past 30 years Bob enjoyed listening to books on tape, and his favorite books were Westerns.


Bob was his family’s provider and protector, seeming to them to be 10 feet tall with loving hands as big as a baseball mitt. Above all, faith and family were what motivated Bob. He instilled in his children the value of strong sibling bonds, always encouraging his children to have a loving relationship with each other. He will forever be remembered for cradling his little ones in his arms and singing Danny Boy and Over in Killarney to them. Bob would do anything for anyone, for a quarter. We all owe him at least a million dollars in quarters.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Anton and Mary Ellen (Roach) Kottenbrock, his sister, Edna DuVall (Fred), and his brother, Paul Kottenbrock. He is survived by his wife, Mary, his children, Kathy Beard (Michael), Kris Larkey (Mike), Rob Kottenbrock, and Mary Pauline Johnson (Gary), his grandchildren, Stephanie Erker (Ryan), Josh Johnson (Sam), Megan Lee (Jordan), Sara Zoubek (David), David Larkey (Emily), Jacob Larkey (Reyann), Polly Johnson (Chris Grisafe-Pont), Kiahna Beard (Bishop Henderson), Sahara Beard, and great-grandchildren, Addilyn, Teagan, Dylan, Bentley, Lilly, Zelda, Emma, Madeline, Tommy, Amelia, Ozias, and little Henry who is due in July, sisters-in-law Ann Kottenbrock and Rita Birkenbach, and nieces and nephew, Joyce DuVall (Jennie Grimm), Kelly Haug (Roger), Tony Kottenbrock (Malay), Tracy Hampshire (Darin), and Cathy Jo Velten (John).


Services for Bob will be on Friday, May 24, 2024 at St. Sabina Catholic Church, 700 Trevis Ave, Belton, MO 64012. The rosary will be prayed at 5 p.m., followed by a visitation until 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, May 25, 2024 at 11 a.m. at St. Sabina Catholic Church, followed by a graveside service at Belton Cemetery.


In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to be made to Wolfner Talking Book and Braille Library, Attn: Lori Brown, 600 W. Main Street, Jefferson City, MO 65101, 573-751-4936, in thanksgiving for the hundreds of books Bob enjoyed listening to for so many years.


Arrangements: Cullen Funeral Home

Raymore, Missouri 816-322-5278

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