A.C. Robert “Bob” Berger, 88, passed away on Sunday, May 26, 2019, very peacefully in the home that he was born in, just as he wished.
Bob has requested cremation and a graveside service, which will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 4, 2019, at Mt. Vernon Cemetery with the Rev. Dr. Rachel Dannar officiating. Becker-Dyer-Stanton Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Atchison Family YMCA for scholarships and may be sent in care of the funeral home. Condolences to the family may be left online at www.beckerdyer.com.
Bob was born on October 8, 1930, in the west room of his family home at 127 N. Terrace in Atchison, Kansas, the son of A.C. and Minnie (Kuntz) Berger. He graduated from Atchison High School and attended Kansas State University before earning his petroleum engineering degree from the University of Oklahoma. He was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. Bob served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. He worked in Houston, Texas, as a petroleum engineer before returning to Atchison to join his father’s leather company after a flood and a fire. Upon his return to Atchison, he began many decades of active involvement serving and leading numerous community organizations, groups, and projects. Among the organizations were the Atchison Family YMCA, Atchison Area Chamber of Commerce, Santa Fe Depot Trustees, Atchison Area United Way, Courtney S. Turner Charitable Trust Advisory Committee, and Boy Scouts of America where he was an Eagle Scout.
Bob was also a longtime member of a number of organizations including the Atchison Rotary Club, Elks, American Legion, Bellevue Country Club & Pineview Country Club. He served on the Board of the Exchange National Bank & Trust and was also very active in the Republican Party at the local, state and national levels.
Bob was the retired Chairman of the Board of Berger Company, an international leather and textile company that he founded, and the parent company of Atchison Leather Products Co., a fourth-generation company which was founded in 1908 by his father A.C. Berger. He was devoted to his family and loved spending time with his kids, grandkids and great-grandkids. He loved the outdoors, fishing, hunting, and boating. (And going to the casino with his buddies!)
Bob married JoAnn Tauchman on August 17, 1952, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Atchison, KS. She preceded him in death on October 21, 2014, as did an older brother Walter, and two sisters, Marian and Dorothy. He is survived by a daughter, Carla Berger Blattner, a son and daughter-in-law Rick and Sally Berger, 4 grandchildren, Bart (Amber) Blattner, Eric (Amy) Blattner, Reed (Becky) Berger, and Sarah (Adam) Berger Bakri. He also leaves behind 8 great grandchildren, Gwynn and Grant Blattner, Oliver, Henry and Charlie Blattner, Roe and Ramzia Bakri and Beau Robert Berger.