Robert Blank

Friday, August 31, 2012

In the afternoon of Aug. 28, 2012, God called home Robert Paul "Bob" Blank, 74, of Cape Girardeau.

He was born Jan. 26, 1938, at home, to Charles Paul and Gladys Whitticre Blank of Cape Girardeau. He and Gaye Foeste were married Jan. 19, 1957, at Trinity Lutheran Church. She was his partner, best friend and love of life.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years; a brother, Bill Blank; a sister, Barbara Blank; a daughter, Deena Ring; a son, Scott (Lisa) Blank; three grandchildren, Timothy Simmons, Travis Simmons and Benjamin Blank, all of Cape Girardeau; a nephew, Jim (Jessie) Gunn of Rolla, Mo.; and a niece, Nancy (Fred) Harms of Pekin, Ill.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters.

Bob had a strong work ethic that started early in life, carrying various odd jobs to help contribute to his family. Upon graduating from Central High School, Bob went to work for Simpson Oil Co. as terminal manager. Eager to start his own business, Bob opened a Mobil service station for a brief time before going to work with his in-laws at Southern Oil Co., managing a service station. Seeing an opportunity to expand the business, Bob started Bi-State Oil Co. in the early 1970s, a bulk tank delivery business that expanded to operating three trucks.

His business vision led him back to the service station business some time later when he and his wife remodeled and reopened his in-laws' store on Morgan Oak Street as a convenience store, new to the industry at the time. His direction and leadership led to their opening of a second store in Cape Girardeau. For some 40 combined years Bob handled the stores and trucks while his wife, Gaye, handled the office and finances. What a team they made!

Bob had a strong commitment to family, community and faith.

After high school he joined the National Guard, serving 10 years and earning the rank of sergeant.

Later he served on both the Trinity Lutheran and Cape Girardeau school boards, and was president of the Trinity board. He was very proud to be a part of the board that helped pass the school bond issue to build the Career and Technology Center, Central High School and Blanchard Elementary. In addition, Bob held two terms on the Cape Girardeau Planning and Zoning Commission.

Fulfilling his joy of athletics, Bob served on the Capaha Field Improvement Committee, helping to improve the quality of sports and the atmosphere for which it was played at Capaha Field. He loved the game of baseball and was a season-ticket holder many years to Cardinals games.

In his profession, Bob was a member of Missouri Petroleum Marketers Association many years. Bob was a devoted member of St. Andrew Lutheran Church, and served as treasurer.

While playing an active role in his children's activities, Bob enjoyed spending time with the Boy Scout Association. He was instrumental in starting the Merchant Flag Program with Boy Scout Troop 21 that still exists today. His commitments to Boy Scouts rewarded him with the honorary Order of the Arrow Award.

Upon his retirement from the oil business, Bob continued to stay active as a founding board member of Alliance Bank in Cape Girardeau. He served the bank in various board roles and advisory leadership positions several years until his health did not allow.

Bob enjoyed the outdoors. He enjoyed hunting and fishing, but mostly just enjoyed being outside. This led to spending time at the family farm and tending to his tree farm. His interests in forestry led to obtaining a tree farming certification as master tree farmer. Bob has been very successful in planting and growing a variety of trees.

Bob will be missed for his leadership, wisdom and love.

Friends may call from 3 to 8 p.m. today at Ford and Sons Mount Auburn Funeral Home.

The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Andrew Lutheran Church. Entombment will be in Cape County Memorial Park Mausoleum.

Pallbearers will be George Bockhorst, Jim Gunn, Gerald Jones, Tim Simmons, Travis Simmons and Randy Stovall. Honorary pallbearers will be Benjamin Blank, Don Brown, Mel Dockins and Ron Hunt.

Memorial contributions can be made to St. Andrew Lutheran Church or Cape Girardeau Public Schools Foundation.

Online condolences may be shared at www.fordandsonsfuneralhome.com.