BENKELMAN -- Robert Francis Vontz, 84, died Sunday (Oct. 29, 2006) at Dundy County Hospital in Benkelman.
He was born Sept. 25, 1922, at Bartley, the son of Casper and Josephine (Meyers) Vontz.
He entered the U.S. Army on Dec. 23, 1942, at Denver, Colo., with his long trip on the 'Milk Train'. His war decorations and citations include the World War II Victory Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and the Philippine Liberation Medal. He received his honorable discharge on Jan. 5, 1946.
On June 2, 1946, he married Martha Gladys Vaughn at Oberlin. They moved to Trenton where they farmed south of town for more than 43 years. He also worked for the Trenton Public Schools as a school bus driver for 17 years. She preceded him in death on Jan. 24, 1987.
On Sept. 5, 1992, he married Joan E. (Kempter) Barker at Benkelman, where they lived until his death.
He was a member of the Stellegs-Baker American Legion Post No. 337 of Trenton, the Fraternal Order of Eagles of McCook, and the Timer Saver and Dub coffee clubs. He also played Legion ball and won several pool and horseshoe tournaments and trophies and was an avid Husker fan,
He was preceded in death by his parents, Casper and Josephine Vontz; first wife, Martha Vontz; one son, Robert Vontz, Jr.; a son-in-law, Donald Cole; five brothers; and one sister.
Survivors include his loving wife, Joan Vontz of Benkelman and their dog, Ivy Lou; three daughters, Marilyn Taul and husband, Jerel of North Platte, Mary Bruun and husband, David of Glenarm, Ill., Madelyn McKain and companion, Richard Kring of McCook; nine grandchildren, Scott Taul and companion, Dena of Crosby, Texas, Kristi O'Neal and husband, Mike of Hebron, Kari Taul and companion, Tracy of North Platte, Teena Coffey and husband, Bill of Rochester, Ill., Duane Bruun of Bloomington, Ill, Craig Cole and wife, Michelle of Alma, Jeff Cole and wife, Billie of McCook, Mike Cole and wife, Colby of Culbertson and Bobby Cole of Lincoln; 18 great-grandchildren; seven sisters-in-law; two brothers-in-law; and numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be Thursday, 1 p.m. (MT) at the United Presbyterian Church in Benkelman with Marcine Farmer, PMA, officiating. Interment with military honors will follow at the Trenton Cemetery.
Visitation is today from 5 to 7 p.m., at Forch Funeral Chapel in Benkelman.
Memorials may be given in his name.
Arrangements are under the direction of Forch Funeral Chapel of Benkelman.