Last Updated: 02/10/2015
Last Review: 02/10/2015
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I met Bob shortly after I moved to Topeka in 1980 as a Sophomore attending Washburn University in the nursing program. Bob was an invaluable spiritual mentor and friend, sounding board, and teacher of everyday living to me for the next 5 years as I struggled to adjust living in a city, (the nearest large town was 20 miles away from the farm I grew up on) making friends and juggling classes and work as a nurses aide at the (now closed) Santa-Fe Hospital. Bob seemed to have some nugget of wisdom that often seemed to be what I needed at the time to help me through, in my young mind, difficult decisions.
I developed a solid Christian foundation on which to build my life choices through the Bible study he lead for several years at the Christian Bookstore he managed adjacent to his literacy mailing business. I even lived above his store for over 2 years while working and attending the Washburn School of Nursing.
Bob was full of stories of the Korean War, being a radio announcer, working in downtown Topeka, Laubach Literacy, the Literacy Council, Conventions he attended, and experiences he had. He would reflect on how all of his life experiences prepared him for his work at his literacy mail delivery business.
Bob especially liked to talk about his daughter, Susan and his granddaughters (his granddaughter wasn't born during that time). He looked forward to their visits and occasionally made the trip (by train when at all possible) to visit them. He talked of his sisters and their families too.
When I first met Bob, his mother was at the home and was active almost until the last... as active as any woman over 100 years old that is. She was a dear, sweet lady; always courteous. Bob was glad he lived at the house so she could remain in her home as long as she did.
After receiving my Bachelors degree in 1984 at Washburn Bob and I stayed in touch through Christmas letters and occasionally when I visited Kansas from my home in Arizona. On more rare occasions we talked on the telephone.
My son was born the day after Bob's 60th birthday.
I was especially distressed the Christmas I heard that Bob had a near brush with death several years ago. I contacted him almost as soon as I found out to be sure he was all right. By then it had been a few months so any danger was long past. It was with great relief I was able to see Bob that following summer. By then Sam, was his noisy, welcomed avian companion. He enjoyed working with his co-volunteers at the Union Pacific museum. My young children, and eventually teenagers seemed to like it there too. Bob was an example to me of looking on the bright side of any situation. He also found ways to share his love of God at some time during every conversation that was neither contrived nor pushy.
It should have been a hint that Bob was slowing down then his Christmas card said he was no longer volunteering at the Rail Road Museum. When his phone number no longer worked I stopped by his house to find the lock box on the door. A neighbor there shared what news she knew of Bob's passing and how they had become friends over the past few years.
I've never had the privilege of meeting Bob's daughter, granddaughter of other family beside his mother. I wish to extend my heart-felt sympathies to you for the loss of a kind, firm, caring man. May God's blessing and comfort sustain you when you feel the loss of Bob. I hope the memories you have of Bob sustain you during your continued journey on this earth.
Love, Barbara (Wendland) Keith
~ Barbara Keith - June 7, 2018
Bob was a great volunteer with the Great Overland Station. I enjoyed getting to know him and of his stories from Korea Radio Services with the Army. Meeting his father at the Union (Rock Island) Station after school. Getting over to the nearby County Free Fair many years and helping to the Statehood Centennial year '1961' program at the bandstand of those Fairgrounds. It was a pleasure to get to know him and work along side as a volunteer with the Great Overland Station and the Literacy Council over the years. He shared of his California years with radio especially Christian Radio Programming and Broadcasting. He lived an interesting life and was a graduate of THS '1951'. There is nothing like that deep radio voice sound! He will be missed by many.
V Kay Foster
~ V Kay Foster - April 11, 2018
I have fond memories of Bob while serving with him as a volunteer at the Great Overland Station. My sincerest condolences to the family.
~ Harry Allen - April 2, 2018
The Topeka Literacy Council extends sympathy and condolences to the family and friends of Robert L. Sheppard. We appreciate Bob's service to the Council and are sorry for your loss.
Topeka Literacy Council
~ Lisa Hammer - April 1, 2018
Went to church with Robert when we attended United Presbyterian Church during high school and later. Barbara, his sister was married to my
Cousin, Sheldon. It has been a long time since I have spoken with Robert. My condolence to his family.
~ Shirley Burniston - March 31, 2018
I was a Volunteer at Great Overland Station with Bob. Condolences to his family which he mentioned frequently..
~ John Beurman - March 31, 2018
Here’s what you need to know.
Your flower arrangement will be custom-made upon your order, and our florist needs a few hours to craft your arrangement.
If you need an arrangement delivered in less than two (2) hours, please call (800) 707-7361.