Robert Kelsey Pete Petro Robert Kelsey Pete Petro, 89, Topeka, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, surrounded by his family. He was born in Topeka, November 27, 1923. He was the eldest son of Edna B. Smith and Kelsey H. Petro. He was educated in the Topeka Public Schools, Washburn University, and Kansas State University, where he received a B.S. in Agricultural Economics. He served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in WWII in the South Pacific as a hospital medical technician. He is survived by his beautiful wife of 68 years, Barbara Sheidley of Kansas City, Missouri, who he married on June 22, 1946; his brother, Richard T. Petro (Rita) of Georgetown, TX; and by four children Deborah G. Rasch (Dana) of Peoria, AZ; Christopher J. Petro, MD (Cindi) of Oro Valley, AZ; David R. Petro (Nancy) of Lecompton, KS; and Susan J. Lane (Bruce) of Topeka, KS; as well as by nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Robert was a business executive and was active in business both nationally and in Northeast Kansas. With his father and brother, he was a co-owner in the Petro family businesses: Petro s Surgical Appliances; Smith Truss Co. and Physio-Technology, Inc. He added to his experience in lab medicine by training in the physical medicine and rehabilitation field, training in prosthetics as an orthotist and as a certified podorthotist. He served as a board member of the Topeka State Bank and of Merchants Bank, both of Topeka, KS. He served the family businesses as Vice President, President and Chairman before retiring to pursue his avocations of farm management, hunting, fishing and golf. He took pride in being a native son of Topeka and he was a member of The First Congregational Church; Topeka Country Club; Capital City Gun Club; Alpha Delta and Beta Theta Pi fraternities; the Sons of the American Revolution; the American Legion; the Topeka Antique Dealer s Association; and the International Society of Appraisers. He was an active member of the Cosmopolitan Club, where he sponsored youth baseball teams and served as coach. In retirement, he loved giving back to his community. He was honored as volunteer of the year by the Junior League of Topeka in 1987. He served on the Board of the Topeka Junior Chamber of Commerce; the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce; the Community Chest of Shawnee County; and he organized the Small Business Council of the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce. He was Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop No. 41; a funding committee member for the Topeka Performing Arts Center; and he served as a fundraiser for the Drugstore Project for Ward Meade Park. He taught gun and hunter safety classes to youth. He served as a crusade chairman; taught educational programs on Colorectal Cancer Screening; and was a volunteer driver for the Road to Recovery Program for the Shawnee County Unit of the American Cancer Society. He also served as a volunteer driver for the Meals-On-Wheels program. He loved to help those in need through these programs and he delighted in seeing them move towards healing and recovery. Robert was a dedicated father and grandfather; an avid golfer; outdoor enthusiast, enjoying hunting and fishing. He and his wife, Barbara, loved to travel and created wonderful memories, taking trips all over the world. Cremation is planned. A memorial ceremony will be held at 10:30 am, Saturday, October 26 at First Congregational Church, 1801 SW Collins, Topeka. Penwell-Gabel Southwest Chapel is assisting with arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Robert K. & Barbara Petro Agronomy Scholarship at Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS; or to the Meals-on-Wheels Program, 2701 S.W. East Circle Dr., South, Suite 2, Topeka, KS. To leave a message for the family online, please visit www.PenwellGabelTopeka.com. Robert K. Pete Petro
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Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home & Crematory
3700 SW Wanamaker Rd
Topeka, KS 66610
Published in Topeka Capital-Journal on Oct. 25, 2013