Robert “Bob” Eugene Athon, age 90, of Topeka, Kansas, passed away on April 15, 2017. Bob, son of Howard Lincoln and Eunice Roberta Tournade Athon, was born February 14, 1927, in Topeka, Kansas.
He attended both Lyndon High School and Topeka High School, but joined the U.S. Coast Guard in 1945. After World War II he returned to graduate from Topeka High School with the class of 1946. He attended College of Emporia; Washburn University, Topeka; and Clark Business School, Topeka.
He worked in brokerage and insurance until 1960 when he opened his own insurance agency. He operated Athon Insurance from 1958 to 1975 and was owner-president of Commercial Insurance Agency from 1975 to 1989, both in Topeka. He ran for state representative in 1970, and was Kansas Naval Director from 1972 to 1976.
He was active in numerous professional organizations. He served on the board of the Independent Insurance Agents of Topeka as president and chairman of the board, and as president of the Kansas Association of Mutual Insurance Agents and the Topeka Insurance Service. He served on the board of the Kansas Assigned Claims Plan and on the board of governors for the Kansas Auto Insurance Plan.
He was a member of Seabrook United Church of Christ and involved as a trustee and deacon. He operated the Firehouse Five Carwash. He sang tenor as a member of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America, now the Capital City Chorus. He had a lifelong love of horses and enjoyed participating in the Gyp Hills Trail Rides. He was a member of the Shawnee County Mounted Posse. He was a member of the American Legion, Orient Lodge # 51, A.F. & A. M., Topeka Scottish Rite Bodies and Arab Shriners. He joined the Arab Shrine in Topeka in 1965, and was active in the mounted patrol, Rawhiders three-wheeler unit, as chief aide, was a driver in the Hospital Dads, and Legion of Honor. He celebrated 50 years of Shrine membership in 2015. He was a lifetime member of the Topeka High School Historical Society and had served on its board.
He was married to Rosa Lee Akers on May 21, 1949, in Topeka. They were divorced in 1977, and she passed away in 1984. He is survived by his daughter, Bobbie L. Athon, married to Dale Hammer, Topeka; his granddaughter Sjobor A. Hammer, Cleveland, Ohio; his brother Dr. Merrill D. Athon, Prairie Village; his sister Hazel Zink, Hutchinson; and his longtime companion, Kathy Lambert. His parents and a brother Donald Lynn Athon, Greenville, Tennessee, preceded him in death.
Memorial services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, April 21, 2017 at Penwell-Gabel Southwest Chapel, 3700 SW Wanamaker Road. Inurnment will follow in Penwell-Gabel Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 20, 2017.
Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to the Eastern Kansas Health Care System Sunflower Memory Community Living Center and the Arab Shrine Children’s Transportation Fund.
To leave a special message for the family online, click the Share Memories button above.