Harry Robert “Bob” Vess age 85, died Thursday July 12, 2012 at his home in Osawatomie, Ks.
Bob was born in Osawatomie on September 29, 1926 to Harry A. and Leona Alice “Cotton”(Tyrell) Vess. He was an only child.
He grew up in Osawatomie and attended Osawatomie Schools graduating in the class of 1944.
On June 18, 1944 Bob married Gertrude Amelia Jacobs in Kansas City, Kansas and they became the parents of five children. Bob and Gert were married for 68 years.
While still attending high school Bob worked for Missouri Pacific Railroad in the grain door plant, then as a machine apprentice, running a drill press and lathe making locomotive parts for repair. He left that job to join the Army during WWII, he enlisted on Dec. 11, 1944. During his enlistment he went to Military Police School in Honolulu, Hawaii where for twelve weeks he trained in Judo, fire arms and methods of identification. He served in the military police for about a year and then became a military investigator. He worked with military and civilian police investigating crimes which included accidents, sabotage, espionage and subversive activities to name a few. He helped in apprehending criminals, recovery of stolen property, preparing case reports and helped in solving crimes involving military personnel. Bob was discharged from the Army July 27, 1946 at Fort Lewis Washington.
After being discharged from the service Bob purchased and ran a dry cleaning shop for awhile. He then went back to work for Missouri Pacific Railroad as a brakeman, then a clerk moving up to Chief Clerk. After working for the railroad for 43 years, Bob retired in 1986 as a star agent.
Bob had many hobbies, in high school he was a swimmer and diver, he was a bowler, a golfer, liked playing pool and snooker he also liked playing dominoes, cards (pinochle and cribbage). He collected stamps and coins and enjoyed genealogy. Bob and Gert lived in the house her great grandfather built, Bob remodeled the entire house adding rooms with their expanding family, using only “a saw, a hammer, and his thumb”.
Bob was a Deacon at the First Christian Church of Osawatomie and was chairman of the church board. He belonged to the Elks Lodge #921 of Osawatomie, Railroad Clerks Union, National Assoc. of Retired Veteran Railway Employees (Narvre) and the Hanlin –Kelley Post # 2258 of the VFW of Osawatomie.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, and one son Richard Alan “Dick” Vess who died in 2011.
He is survived by his wife Gertrude of the home, three sons:Bob Vess II of Humble, Texas, Gary Vess of Palm Springs, California, Daniel “Dan” Vess of San Diego, California and one daughter: Cathy Louise Vess of Overland Park, Kansas. Ten grandchildren and fourteen great grandchildren
Services will be 10:30am Monday July 16 at the First Christian Church of Osawatomie with burial in the Osawatomie Cemetery with military honors. Visitation will be from 1-3pm Sunday July 15 at the Eddy-Birchard Funeral Home 203 Main, Osawatomie, Ks. 66064 913-755-2114 www.eddybirchard.com
Memorials may be made to First Christian Church of Osawatomie or Crossroads Hospice.