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True Friend

Bob Oehrke was a true friend to our family during our time in Sedalia. He helped us when we first moved to Sedalia and that help never stopped if we needed something fixed or done around the house. There are so many good things to say about Bob and here are three that stick out to me:

1. Bob was a genuine giver. He was always giving of himself and was thinking of ways to help others. What a great example to all of us!

2. Bob was someone you could always count on. Whenever we needed him, he was available. What a true friend!

3. Bob had the unique gift of making you feel better about yourself just by being around him. I always felt better about myself after being with Bob.

One quick story. After I interviewed at State Fair for the Men’s Basketball position, my family and I were waiting to see if we would be offered the job. We lived in Springfield at the time and came home on a Sunday afternoon to find a message was left on our answering machine. It was Bob calling to say Congratulations on being the next Coach at State Fair. We hadn’t actually heard from State Fair or Dr. Drennon so I wasn’t exacly sure if I was being offered the job or not. Fortunately, Dr. Drennon called soon thereafter and we were offered the position! Bob just beat her to the punch and was kind enough to call and welcome us.

Bob’s legacy will live on as he has been and will continue to be an inspiration to all of us. Personally, he makes me want to be a better person, friend, and genuine giver. He was all of those things and more.

Dale Riddle

Second Father Figure

It’s only been four days, and many of those days I have looked up from my desk waiting to see you walk thru the athletic office door. Mr. Bob; you were and always will be a second father figure to me and to many others. I OWE YOU A LOT


Darren Pannier

Ultimate Booster

If there ever was a a Gym Rat, it was Bob. During my nine years working in the MPC, Mr. Bob was a daily visitor. He was such a great guy and such a great father/grandfather figure to MANY, MANY student athletes. He’d always be seen passing out gum while passing along words of encouragement to the players. Bob was the ultimate booster member, helping out where ever he could. It will be sad to look into the stands and not see him and those long legs sitting in his usual seat. Rest in Peace Mr. Bob – you will be missed greatly!

Dana Page

SFCC Loses Longtime Athletics Booster

The State Fair Community College Roadrunners lost a member of the family this week. Bob Oehrke died Monday after a long illness.

Known as “Mr. Bob,” Oehrke was a longtime supporter of the basketball teams and was a fixture at every practice and game.

“Bob would help take tickets, open and close the concession stand, drive the team van to away games,” said SFCC Athletic Director Darren Pannier. “Anything you asked of him, he’d be there to do it, no matter how big or small.”

Lady Roadrunners head coach Kevin Bucher said he knew Oehrke from his coaching days at Moberly.

“When I was there I’d see him at games standing on the sidelines with coaches and at recruiting events,” Bucher said. “When I got (to SFCC) he was a permanent fixture in the gym or the offices. He truly loved the game and the players. He was always positive.”

That positive disposition was a lesson for Bucher.

“There were times when I’d be disgusted with the way we played a game and Mr. Bob would just tell me ‘Oh coach, it wasn’t so bad. We’ll get better,’ ” he said. “He definitely kept me grounded and had a calming effect.”

Former Lady Roadrunners shooting guard Marie Goyette said Oehrke and his wife were the grandparents she never knew.

“We had the adoptive parent program when I was at State Fair when I was a freshman and sophomore,” Goyette said. “He and Marlene (Oehrke’s wife) would invite me over to the house for dinner, let me do laundry there, bought me birthday and Christmas presents. I only have a grandfather who lives in Florida, so Mr. Bob and Marlene, they sort of filled that void.”

Goyette said Oehrke let her ride shotgun in the van for away games and they kept in touch even after she left SFCC.

“When I was playing at Ottawa University, he drove all the way to Ottawa, Kan., for senior night,” she said. “Besides my parents, he was my biggest fan and I know a lot of players felt that way. He was always there, cheering us on.”

Oehrke chose to keep his illness to himself, Pannier said. Not even Goyette — who still spoke to him once a month — knew until very recently.

“When he told me I was just devastated,” Goyette said. “During all our phone calls I told him how much he meant to me and how he affected my life. He knew how I, and I’m sure all the other players, felt about him. That comforts me.”

“He held it in,” Bucher. “He went to all the games, even if he wasn’t feeling well. You could see his dedication to his girls, his team.”

In the spring, Oehrke was inducted into the SFCC Athletics Hall of Fame for his 18 years of dedication to the SFCC Booster Club, a well-deserved honor, Pannier said.

“I was so glad (the Hall of Fame committee) inducted him this year,” Pannier said. “Especially with him being sick, I’m glad he was there to receive that honor. Bob was always a grandfather figure to the team, but he was also a father figure for us, too. He had great wisdom for everyone who listened.”

“I can’t tell you how many former players have called me this week about Bob’s passing,” Bucher said. “Everyone around here knew Mr. Bob. Everyone wants to share their stories and talk about the memories they have.”

For Goyette, one memory doesn’t involve basketball at all. Oehrke gave her a Christmas ornament one year with her name on it and she continues to hang it on her Christmas tree every year.

“It’s just a little memory, but it stands out,” she said. “I’m really going to miss him. I think they should change the whole fieldhouse and rename it after him. That’s how much of an influence he had on everyone.”

Written by Emily Jarrett

Lady Roadrunners Superfan Bob Oehrke Loses Battle with Cancer, Inspires New Athletic Award

Say the name “Mr. Bob” around State Fair Community College, and everyone knows who you are talking about.  He was probably the biggest Lady Roadrunner basketball fan ever.  Bob Oehrke lost his battle with cancer late Monday night.

Bob went years without missing a game, home or away.  If you went to a regional game, the people there knew him as well as they did the Roadrunner coaches or players.  Bob drove the vans, took money at the gate, worked concessions and did whatever needed to be done.  He was at almost every practice.  He knew the kids and their families, and they all knew Mr. Bob.

If you asked the girls, he was the man with the gum.  Bob probably spent hundreds of dollars a year on gum.  You would see him on the floor before every game handing out gum to the players, and occasionally he’d drop a piece off up at the announcers booth and we would discuss the nights upcoming games.

Bob and I traveled a gazillion miles together over the years, all over the country from one gym to the next.  We talked about everything. At 1 a.m. coming back from a trip from Three Rivers, it gets kinda boring, but Bob always made it fun.  He took a loss almost as hard as the coaches, but he always had a uplifting word for the kids.

SFCC has a program called “adopt-a-kid,” where the booster club members adopts a player and helps them through the year.  In my opinion, Bob made most of us look bad.  He was a great parent to those players.

I will miss Bob very much, he was a wonderful guy and a great friend.  It will be a strange year without him.

I am very proud to announce that after each ballgame this year, we will be giving out the “Bob Oehrke KSIS Radio Player of the Game” for both the men and women’s’ games.  A wonderful tribute to a wonderful fan.

Written by: Jack Miller

Hall of Fame Inductee

State Fair Community College Hall of Fame InducteeThe State Fair Community College Athletics Department will induct three new members into the Roadrunner Athletics Hall of Fame at its annual athletic banquet at 6:30 p.m. April 3, 2012 at the Best Western State Fair Inn.

Bob Oehrke, better known as “Mr. Bob” to SFCC players, coaches and fans, has devoted countless hours to the college’s athletic programs during his 18 years as an SFCC Booster Club member. Bob drives the team van, films away games, accompanies coaches on recruiting trips, and has even washed uniforms for both basketball teams and the former volleyball team. Because of his steadfast support, the coaches are able to focus on preparing the student athletes for each game. Bob is always there to share his wisdom and friendship with all SFCC’s athletes, who consider him a surrogate father and grandfather.

Docking the Boat

This is how the boat should lookIn 2009, when Bob went to Eagle Falls Lodge in Canada fishing with his son and two grandsons (Jared and Austin) he drove the boat onto the dock.

He was fishing with Jared that morning and when they came into the lodge they pulled up to the dock.  Jared was in the front of the boat and Bob was driving the outboard motor.  Jared was reaching for the dock when Bob decided they were coming in too fast.  He turned the handle in the direction he thought was reverse but it ended up being forward (full blast).

All of a sudden Jared flies back on top of Bob, the boat was almost upright and Bob was half in half out of the back of the boat.  Jared pulled his grandfather back into the boat and Terry and Austin moved the boat back in the water.

Burning Down The Haystack

Bob Oehrke was mainly a very serious person but those that knew him well knew he had a funny side of him as well.

One-time, when Bob was little he got the whipping of his life.  Bob and his brother Cecil were smoking grape vines behind the barn.  They wanted to be out of site so they climbed into the haystack behind the barn. They were out of site but their plan had some problems.  They accidentally burnt down their father’s entire haystack.