Robert (Bob) Martin Stockman, 93, left this world to join his Lord Jesus Christ on July 28, 2019, at his home.
Family and friends may gather at two visitations. The first is at Piper Funeral Home, St. Marys, 5-7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, concluding with a vigil liturgy and sharing of memories. The second is at St. Patrick Catholic Church (St Brigid’s Hall) in Osage City, 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. A Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. in the church. A luncheon will follow. Interment will be at 2 p.m. at the Maple Hill Cemetery. A coffee gathering will be at the Senior Center in Maple Hill immediately following. Memorial contributions may be made to the building fund for St. Patrick Church of Scranton, C/O Parishes of St. Patrick, 309 S 6th St, Osage City, KS 66523 or the Wabaunsee Co. 4-H Grensing Memorial Scholarship Fund for 4-Hers C/O Wabaunsee County, PO Box 278, Alma, KS 66401.
He was born April 28, 1926, at his parent’s home in Sandy Hook, near St. Marys, Kansas. He was the second of 13 children born to Francis Peter (F.P.) and Martha Boelens Stockman.
Bob grew up on the family farm in Sandy Hook, where he attended country school in a one-room school house. He was a member of the Tomato Club, which was the precursor to 4-H. He moved to St. Marys and lived with his paternal grandparents. He finished his schooling at Immaculate Conception Catholic High School. After high school graduation, he worked in various jobs before moving to New Mexico. There he joined the U. S. Navy. He was stationed in Jacksonville, Florida, from 1945 until 1946.
After his honorable discharge in 1946, he worked a variety of jobs before migrating to Cheyenne, Wyoming. There he married his high school sweetheart, Mary T Erbacher, on Friday, June 13, 1947, in the Cathedral of St. Mary in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
After a few years there, they returned to Kansas to farm and raise a family. After brief periods on farms in the Emmett and Rossville areas, they settled near Maple Hill, where they lived and ranched for 43 years. Bob loved raising cattle and farming a great deal. He and ‘T’ bought cattle in Texas and had them shipped to Kansas on multiple occasions. He was interested in new farming techniques and trying new crops. He was also known for his creativity in solving problems and unique fixes that earned him a nickname of “MacGyver.”
Bob and ‘T’ served on the Maple Hill school board and were involved with the Maple Hill Hustlers 4-H Club and Wabaunsee County 4-H. He was also a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church parish in St. Marys. He was an honorary life member of the Knights of Columbus Council #657 and the Thomas A. McNeive 4th Degree Assembly and the American Legion Post 130.
In 1996, Bob and ‘T’ retired and moved to their home on Pomona Lake. He loved the view of the lake and watching the various birds, but especially the eagles. In retirement, he became a Master Gardener and focused his love of raising plants on a large garden. It was his inspiration and passion. He found joy in experimentation with new varieties and sharing from its bounty.
Bob was known for his story-telling and his many “Bob-isms.” He never met a stranger and enjoyed striking up a good conversation. After moving, he and ‘T’ became members of St. Patrick Churches of Osage City and Scranton. They enjoyed their involvement with parish community activities and the Rusty Bucket garden club.
In 2017, Bob and ‘T’ celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary with a gathering of family and friends. They were named the longest-married couple in Kansas for 2017 by Worldwide Marriage Encounter. There also was a proclamation by the Kansas House of Representatives honoring them for their long marriage.
Bob was preceded in death by ‘T’ as well as their daughter, Beverly Jean Stockman Harris. He also was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, Pat Banks and Regina Stockman, and six brothers, Ted, Harold, Leo, Joe, Don and Tom.
He is survived by his sons and daughters; Barbara (Larry) Schulte, of Leawood; Bruce (Pat) Stockman, of Prior Lake, Minnesota; Brian (Michele) Stockman, of Parker, Colorado; Brenda (Kevin) Selman, of Columbia, Missouri. He has 12 grandchildren, Aimee, Justin, Andy, Ryan, Lauren, Adam, Heather, Lina, Zac, Kyle, Paige and Amanda; and eight great-grandchildren, Erika, Grant, Sophia, Hadley, Hudson, Grace, Thomas, and Ida; a niece, Marian Hartung, and two nephews, John Hartung and David Fay, who lived with the Stockman family in Maple Hill. Many of his nephews were able to experience the farm/ranch life along Mill Creek near Maple Hill. (Two of those nephews found their way to the ranch without their parents’ permission!) He is also survived by many other loving extended family members, neighbors and caregivers.