After fighting numerous, complicated, courageous health battles since January 2019, our Robert (Bob) Charles Schleicher crossed the finish line, falling into the open arms of Our Heavenly Father on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, at Creighton University Medical Center-Bergan Mercy in Omaha.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday at St. Leo’s Catholic Church. The Revs. Donald A. Buhrman and Mark A. Maresh will concelebrate the funeral mass. Interment will be in the Grand Island City Cemetery. Visitation with the family present will be from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday at St. Leo’s Catholic Church, with a Scripture vigil service at 7 p.m. Your thoughts and prayers may be given at www.curranfuneralchapel.com under Bob’s obituary. Curran Funeral Chapel is assisting the family.
Bob was born (one of three children) in Valdosta, Ga., on July 24, 1958, to Ann P. (Cahela) Schleicher and Charles W. Schleicher. Growing up in Fremont, Bob had a number of passions. His love for his Lord, his parents, sister, and brother were evident. In his “younger years” Bob was an avid and successful long-distance runner, running long distances through track and cross-country. One could find Bob running the streets, open areas, and tracks in the Fremont area and beyond. His successes led him to compete at the national level.
After graduating from Fremont High School, Bob attended Wayne State College and competed at the collegiate level. He valued and respected his coaches and teammates. Fremont High School’s Coach Jon Appleget was one of many whom he held in such high regard.
While attending WSC, Bob worked as a mechanic at M & S Oil Co. in Wayne. While at work on May 8, 1981, he and Gary West performed CPR which eventually saved a woman’s life. He graduated from WSC in 1980. He loved working on vehicles, he found happiness with tools in hand, with no fear of dirtying himself. He was challenged to extend the life of each vehicle we have owned. Evidence of his success is our 1998 Suburban with 283,000 miles and our 2009 Minivan with 194,000 miles.
He was committed to his work as a Principal Financial employee working with individuals in other states and countries to keep the computers and servers performing as needed 24/7, 365 days/nights a year. He was a man of honor and service to God, his family, and any others who needed help in any manner.
Bob met Arlene (Arly) at “Big Al’s” bar in Wayne. The humor in that meeting is that Bob NEVER drank a bit of alcohol in his lifetime. He was just there to meet a friend for supper. He had no idea what would transpire that evening or what would unfold during the 43 years that followed. Bob would be stuck with that long legged, 6 foot tall “sweet business” who captured his attention. Their love began to grow as they spent time together as Wayne State Wildcats.
On Saturday, Aug. 2, 1980, they were married at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Spalding. They began their journey through life together, filled with many blessings and sprinkled with a few challenges along the way. During their first year of marriage, Arlene managed to break both her wrists which allowed Bob to provide more personal care than ever imagined to be needed.
Bob and Arlene began their married life in Potter. During that time, Bob managed a Phillips 66 gas station for two years, and then returned to college for the automotive repair trade. While at Western Nebraska Technical College, in addition to taking classes, he was the intramural director, a part time instructor, and coached track at Bridgeport High School.
In 1986, they moved to Grand Island where Bob was employed at Graham Tire Goodyear as a service technician. This led to a service advisor position at Anderson Ford. Later he worked at Case New Holland until he was part of multiple layoffs.
In 1990, Bob once again chose to further his education. He enrolled in classes at Central Community College. He completed an associate’s degree in information technology. While there, he earned an academic tuition scholarship for his second year and was honored at the graduation ceremony for contributions to the department network and set up of an Education Center. Bob would share his hunger for learning and he welcomed new challenges as he started his employment in 1993 at Principal as a system analyst. His goal was to retire with 26 years of service to Principal. By the end of this year, he did exactly that!
Faith, family, and service to others were Bob’s priorities in life. He treasured any time with his family whether it was a meal, fun activity, working on a project, or being present for school or athletic events. Just being present with and for his family filled his heart with joy. If he wasn’t busy with Principal duties, he could be found walking behind his lawnmower, moving his tractor sprinklers to water the lawn, bicycle riding, walking, working on home improvement projects, participating in Habitat for Humanity builds, and helping anyone in need of anything, especially with technology challenges. He was definitely a computer geek!
Bob was a long-time member of St. Leo’s Knights of Columbus Council #10387.
For fun, our Schleicher family names are in ABC order: Arlene, Bob and our four blessings in Caitlin Mae, Devin Robert, Erin Rita, and Faith Ann. Our blessings also include two granddaughters, Angeline Mae Dillon and Charlie Fae Schleicher. Our extended family includes Jon, Joella, and Xavier Dillon. Bob’s surviving siblings are, Deborah (Charles Kinzer) and David Schleicher (Sarah). Also surviving are his in-laws, Marguerite (Marvin Tremel), Michaeline (Gale Rieck), Michael Naughtin (Glenda), Arthur Naughtin (and Eileen Bode), Ann (Michael Schlick), Roberta Naughtin (and Mary Woods), Richard Naughtin and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and five four-legged furry grandchildren: Peanut, Romeo, Harper, Gracie and Tucker.
Bob was preceded in death by his grandparents; aunts; uncles; mother and father-in-law, Rita and Mike Naughtin; sister-in-law, Cheryl Naughtin; and special friend, Pam Meyer.
In lieu of flowers, donations of paper products or food items may be brought to the service for distribution to charities supported by St. Leo’s. Memorials can be made to the family to be designated at a later time.