Robert “Bob” Lavon Rieke


Robert “Bob” Lavon Rieke, 92, passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 26th at Aberdeen Village in Olathe, KS in the company of his family.

Born April 24, 1924 in Shawnee, KS, Bob was the fifth child of Louis and Alma Rieke. Bob was preceded in death by his brothers: Elwyn and Gerald Rieke and sisters: Maude Lorey and Peggy Neher.  Bob’s maternal and paternal grandparents were some of Shawnee’s earliest residents.  He spent his early years as a farmer and was an active member of Future Farmers of America.  Bob was a Master Mason of the Shawnee Masonic Lodge as his maternal grandfather had been.  In 1944 he married Geraldine Lillich and from this marriage they raised three children, Gregory, Janet (O’Neal) and Robin (Neville).

Bob was a prominent area building contractor, providing shelter for families throughout Johnson County over five decades. He served a term as Vice President of the Kansas City Home Builders Association.  In the 1970s Bob owned an advertising company, Searchlight Rentals, which afforded him the opportunity for regional travel and meeting many dignitaries at special events.

Civically active throughout his long life, Bob was a Councilman on the Shawnee City Council and also served several years on the Johnson County Planning Commission.  His family attended the Shawnee Methodist Church where he built the parsonage.  Bob was an early founder of Shawnee Town, and was active in both its creation and in rebuilding the old jail which was relocated there at its inception.

In 1986 Bob Married Barbara Ann Calkins of Olathe to whom he has been married until his passing.  They had a strong marriage and a wonderful group of Olathe friends in their later years. Though Barbara suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, Bob lovingly attended to her until the end, making her family part of his own.  Barbara’s children are Stephen Calkins, Lee Calkins and the late Jeanne Calkins.

Bob loved to travel and meet new friends from all religious traditions and walks of life.  He rarely met a stranger.  Bob believed in the fellowship of Man, regardless of their station or religious creed, and practiced this in his daily affairs among all people.  An avid lover of nature, Bob was adept at growing things throughout his long life.  Bob loved tending bees in his later years, making honey for many friends and relatives.  He also loved making wine in the fall with later generations of his family.  Bob was a great story teller whose infectious good will, good humor and zest for life are long remembered by all who crossed his path.  He will be missed by his entire family, including eight grandchildren and ten great grandchildren.

A visitation will be held from 10:00 – 11:30am on Friday, December 2 at the Amos Family Funeral Home in Shawnee, KS, followed by a memorial service. Bob chose to be cremated so a private interment, with immediate family, will occur at a later date.

The family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Alzheimer’s Association-Heart of America Chapter, 3846 W. 75th St., Prairie Village, KS 66208 or to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation,6950 Squibb Road, Suite 310, Mission, KS 66202 in Bob’s memory.

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