Robert Francis “Coach Bob” Koontz, 80, Springfield, Mo., passed away Tuesday, May 7, 2013 following an illness.

Robert Francis "Coach Bob" Koontz, 80, Springfield, Mo., passed away Tuesday, May 7, 2013 following an illness.

Bob was born Dec. 20, 1932, to Franklin Cary and Clare Winifred (Bray) Koontz of Flint Michigan. Bob was a 1951 graduate of Elk Rapids High School, lettering in four sports. He attended the University of New Mexico as a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Midshipman from 1951 to 1955, and became a lifelong member of Sigma Chi fraternity. Bob received his bachelors degree from Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Mich. He furthered his post graduate education at the U.S. Sport Academy, Milwaukee, Wis.

Bob was a retired educator of 43 years, coaching track and field, cross country and wrestling. He was instrumental in developing the wrestling programs at Neosho High School and Crowder College, where many of his athletes were State qualifiers and scholarship recipients to major universities. One mentored athlete was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy. Bob was an athletic sponsor to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Bob was a former member of Fellowship Baptist Church in Neosho.

In 1957, Bob and the former Dorsey Jean Jones, Neosho, were united in marriage, and to that union a daughter was born; both survive.

Preceding him in death were his parents; a brother-in-law, William A. Gersting; a niece, Janna Gail Gersting; and a nephew, William Robert Gersting.

In addition to his wife of 55 years, surviving family are daughter Julie (Greg) of the state of Missouri; a sister, Virginia Gersting of the state of Florida; a sister and brother-in-law, Wayne and Pat Moore of the state of Missouri; two granddaughters; and three great-grandchildren along with a host of extended family and friends.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Clark Chapel of Memories, Neosho, Walter Crews officiating. Family will serve as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be Sigma Chi fraternity brothers, former students and athletes.

A private family burial will be held at the Kenney Cemetery, Neosho. Friends may call at the Clark Funeral Home, Neosho on Saturday, one hour prior to services. Casket will remain closed at all times.

Contributions in lieu of flowers may be made in Bob's memory to Oxford Hospice of Springfield or the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, c/o Clark Funeral Home, P.O. Box 66, Neosho, 64850.

Arrangements are under the direction of Clark Funeral Homes of Neosho.

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