KEARNEY — Robert "Bob" Talbitzer, 55, of Kearney died Monday, July 13, 2020, at his home surrounded by family.

Services are 10 a.m. Saturday at Kearney First Baptist Church with the Rev. Sean Dougherty officiating and a reception following the service at the church.

A private burial ceremony will take place Saturday afternoon at Stanley Cemetery near Amherst.

Visitation is 6-8 p.m. Friday at First Baptist Church. Masks are strongly encouraged.

O’Brien Straatmann Redinger Funeral and Cremation Services in Kearney is in charge of arrangements.


Robert James Talbitzer was born June 24, 1965, in Omaha to Charles and Barbara (Lyle) Talbitzer. He received his education from North Bend High School, graduating with the class of 1983. Bob attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in education. He later received his Masters of Biology degree from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. On June 27, 1986, Bob married Roxanne Crabtree. To this union three children were blessed, Trenton LeRoy, Grahm Arch and Lyndee Mae. The couple made their home in Kearney where Bob was a biology teacher and pole vault coach for KHS.

Bob greatly enjoyed working with young students and athletes. During his tenure at KHS, Bob received many awards for his teaching and coaching. The list of honors and accolades include president of Nebraska Association of Teachers of Science (1993-1995), Tandy Technology Scholars Award (1998), Peter Kiewit Foundation Teacher Achievement Award (1998), Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching (1998), Track & Field Coaches Association Nebraska Coach of the Year (2014), Vernier and National Science Teachers Association Technology Award (2018) and KHS Athletic Hall of Fame Assistant Boys Track and Field Coach (2019). In 2018, Bob was instrumental in receiving a grant from America’s Farmers Rural Education Program for implementation of a biotechnology class at KHS. After 29 years of teaching, Bob retired in October 2019.

He was an active member of the Kearney First Baptist Church. Bob served on various church committees, as well as teaching Sunday school. Bob enjoyed the outdoors, whether it be hunting, fishing or hiking in the mountains. He was very active. Riding his bike was a favorite pastime. He loved football and everything it entailed. He enjoyed watching his boys play, refereeing with friends on Friday nights and cheering on the Huskers. He would tell you, though, that one of his greatest joys was teaching his three children. He loved his children and grandchildren dearly. At his core, Bob was about relationships with people, mentoring, teaching, encouraging and loving others.

Survivors include his wife, Roxanne of Kearney; children, Trenton (Sarah) Talbitzer of Kearney, Grahm (Shay) Talbitzer of Denver and Lyndee (Mitchell) Whalen of Lincoln; grandchildren, Jackson, Elise, Gwyneth and Heath Talbitzer; mother, Barbara Bird of Fremont; father, Charles (Sherry) Talbitzer of Malcolm; siblings, Cathy Bird, Melinda (Curtis) Miller, Lyle (Dana) Bird, Jenny (Chris) Smithberg, David (Sara) Bird, Barbie (Michael) Johnson, Lisa (Marcus) Schmidt, Jennifer (Jim) Vaughn, Tori (Greg) Parde and Rachel (Jordan) Powell; and several nieces, nephews and extended family and friends.

Bob was preceded in death by his father, LeRoy Bird, and grandparents.

Memorials are suggested to Kearney First Baptist Church, Kearney Public Schools Foundation, or Platte River Recovery Whooping Crane Memorial.

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