BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- Robert Alexander "Bob" Daffer Jr., 59, beloved son, brother, husband, father and grandfather, passed away Friday, Jan. 6, 2006, after a brave, four-year battle with colon cancer.
Born on June 15, 1946, to Robert and Marie Daffer, Bob grew up on a farm in Lebanon. From an early age, he enjoyed building things and learning how they worked. He transferred this curiosity into a lifelong career in engineering. After graduating from Beaver Valley High School in Lebanon, he attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where he earned a bachelor's of science degree in electrical engineering (1969), and an everlasting loyalty to Cornhusker football.
Fate brought him to the love of his life, Marilyn DePasco, while he was in Kansas City for a job interview. The couple met in March 1969 and were married a little over a year later on June 20, 1970. Their 35-year marriage produced three daughters and a lifetime of wonderful memories.
Bob worked at Burns & McDonnell Engineering Co. as a consulting engineer for 33 years, during which time he built a solid reputation for his analytical mind and ability to work with clients. He held his PE license in seven states. Bob was also highly respected among his peers and mentored many young engineers.
Bob spent most of his adult life in Blue Springs, Mo., where he and Marilyn moved in 1972. He not only saw the town grow, but helped in its development as a member of the city's Planning Commission and later as a City Council member, a post he held for almost 17 years. During his long tenure, Bob was known for his solid principles and unfaltering commitment to make the city a better place to raise a family.
He also was a devoted parishioner at St. John LaLande Catholic Church, where his daughters attended grade school. Until the end, Bob's deep faith in God and the prayers and support of the church community gave him strength to continue fighting his disease.
Family was the center of Bob's world, and his wife and three daughters, Holli, Jami and Traci, made him complete. They will never forget playing basketball in the driveway, learning to drive, and attending the annual St. Teresa's Academy Father/Daughter Dance, where they could usually convince him to take a spin or two on the dance floor.
It was for these four women in his life that he fought cancer with such amazing courage. When first diagnosed in December 2001, the doctors only gave him three months to live, but he astonished them all with his unceasing determination. During the last four blessed years he was on this earth, he lived to see two of Holli's children born, celebrated Traci's college graduation, and walked Jami down the aisle for her August wedding. Through the end, he showed an unbelievable strength, a positive attitude, and a sense of humor to those around him, whether family, friends, or the nurses and doctors who helped him.
Such an amazing man will never be forgotten by those whose lives he touched.
He is survived by his parents, Robert and Marie Daffer of Lebanon; Marilyn, beloved wife; his daughter, Holli Langle and husband, John of Lee's Summit, Mo.; daughter, Jami Hilbrich and husband, Andy of Lee's Summit; and daughter, Traci of the home; the three grandchildren he adored, Jack, Katie and Abby Langle; his brother, Dan Daffer of Denver, Colo.; a sister, Kathie Turley of Wichita, Kan.; and a host of nieces, nephews, in-laws and friends who will cherish his memory always.
A funeral Mass was at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10, at St. John LaLande Catholic Church in Blue Springs. Burial was in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Raytown, Mo.
Arrangements were under the direction of Webb-Freer Funeral Home of Blue Springs.