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Robert "Bob" GammonDecember 27, 1931 ~ May 19, 2020 (age 88)
Robert “Bob” Gammon was born on December 27, 1931 to Ruth Ward Wolfe Gammon and Paul Gammon in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He had two sisters: Carol Gammon Edsall and Francis Gammon Boyd. Bob graduated from Bentonville H.S. in Arkansas and soon thereafter enlisted in the Air Force where he trained at Camp Gordon, Georgia from May to June 1951. He served as a Senior Air Policeman from 1951 until 1954. Much of his time spent in the service was at Royal Air Force Greenham Common in Berkshire, England, about 55 miles west of London. This was during the time of Queen Mary’s death and Queen Elizabeth’s coronation. He played on the Air Force basketball team, the Greenham Common Pirates, experiencing much success with his teammates. To his dying day, in his billfold he carried the original newspaper clipping of a Greenham game where it stated “Gammon connected for 10 field goals and hit for 11 of his 12 free throws.” That’s 31 points, friends! He obviously cherished memories of those basketball days! Upon his exit from the Air Force Bob first returned to McConnell AFB in Wichita, and then received a compassionate Honorable Discharge and returned home to Bentonville, Arkansas to help care for his dying father, who at the age of 44, suffered from the same blood cancer Bob would later have, but live with until age 88. Bob began work at Boeing in Wichita, after his service in the military. It was there that he met Letha Pickett. They married on August 25, 1956 at the Rose Hill Friends Church in Rose Hill, Kansas. Bob and Letha lived in Florida and Arizona prior to returning home to Kansas to be near family. Together they raised three children: Rhonda, Courtney, and Kendall. Through the years Bob pursued many hobbies and vocations – always with the yearn to learn. Early on, he attained his amateur radio license. Later he sold life insurance. When the family moved from Arizona to Kansas, Bob once again worked for Boeing many different times over the years until his retirement as a Supervisor in Modification, having worked on Air Force One at one point in his career. He also became certified as an instructor to be able to teach classes to Boeing employees. Bob was a Jack Of All Trades and Master At Every One Of Them, and truly an entrepreneur at heart. In Mulvane he built a garage next to his home and supported his family by single-handedly constructing camper toppers which were every pickup truck driver’s dream during that era. Other endeavors he pursued to provide for his family included farming land on the Pickett family homestead, selling storm windows, and serving as a U.S. Postal worker. Bob loved sports and was a vociferous fan in the stands at ball games where his children and grandchildren were the players. He loved the game of golf and encouraged his sons and grandsons to enjoy the sport as well. In 1988 his wife of 32 years, Letha, passed away after a quick illness. It was after that time Bob pursued even more hobbies. He took flying lessons, went snow skiing, and played racquetball, where he often excelled over those much younger than himself at the Boeing gym. He became a landlord and enjoyed renting a home to McConnell Air Force families. Bob also loved to dance, and was good at it. That’s where he met Karen Hennes. They were married on April 11, 1997. Bob enjoyed spending time with Karen and her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, hosting Easter Egg Hunts and cook-outs, where the recreational activity often included Bob pitching a ball to whomever would step up to the plate and getting down on all fours to give “horse” rides to the littlest in the group. Bob took every opportunity to see all of the grandkids play sports and perform in dance recitals. He was such an avid fan that after experiencing a fall and suffering an injury just after Christmas 2019, he negotiated his way out of ICU and back home to his easy chair where he could watch one grandson’s final college football game in the comfort of his own home. Throughout their 23 years of marriage, Bob and Karen enjoyed traveling to see family, friends, and scenic destinations. While they were married, Bob built yet another garage, this time to pursue his goal of building a Velocity airplane. Those in his Velocity community who visited to see his progress were always impressed with his workmanship. After a serious illness in 2015, Bob sold the partially built plane to a fellow Velocity enthusiast. Bob enjoyed reading, especially about UFO sightings and Roswell, New Mexico. He was fascinated with the possibility of life beyond our planet. Bob made the golf course his sanctuary and golfing buddies his congregation. When he was 82, he would inform those who asked that his golf score was his age. If you know anything about golf, well – that says it all! A few years back he hit a hole in one on two separate golf courses within one week’s time! He was elated, to say the least! One of his last projects was building his own golf simulation site in his garage so he could keep his swing perfected, even during cold weather. Bob’s last outing was a “joy ride” with his sons, Courtney and Kendall. They drove through old homesteads in Mulvane, the family farm in Rose Hill, and at the end of their ride, stopped to enjoy Bob’s favorite ice cream – Black Walnut! They had man’s best friend along for the ride – the family’s favorite Labrador – Murphy! It was a great day! On May 19, 2020, Bob passed peacefully in his sleep at the home he shared with his wife Karen. Bob is preceded in death by his parents, his sister Carol, and his wife, Letha. He is survived by his sister, Francis (Gammon) Boyd of Bentonville, AR, his children, Rhonda Castrisos (Jim) and their children, Macrina Bayless (Andrew), Christopher, and Nicholas, all of Wichita, Kansas; Kendall Gammon and his sons, Blaise and Drake of Overland Park; and Courtney Gammon of Wichita; his wife, Karen, and her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren whom he loved and adored as if they were his own: Greg Hennes (Michele) of Conway Springs, KS, and their children: Garrett (Melissa) Hennes and their children, Bo and Jayde of Aurora, CO, Tyler (fiance’ Hunter Henderson) of Weatherford, OK; Jeannie (Gardenhire) Perkins (Jeffrey) and their children, Ethan, Kaley, Jacie and Aden Perkins; Katy (Gardenhire) Graham (Bryan) and their children, Alexis and Eli Benge and Ryley Graham; Jarod (Chelsie) Gardenhire and their children, Graysea, Karter, and Preslea, all of Conway Springs, KS; Brian Hennes of Wichita, Kansas and his children: Breanna (Ryan) Burkhart and their children, Nolan and Charlotte of Argyle, TX; Andrew (Megan) Hennes and their daughter, Hadley of Merriam, KS; Jeff Hennes (Michelle) and their son, Leevi of Wichita, Kansas; Sheila Schremmer (Kurt) and their children, Karissa, Jaycee, and Alex of Great Bend, KS. Memorials in Bob’s memory may be made to: The First Tee or Wichita Cancer Foundation. Bob will be laid to rest at the Kansas Veterans’ Cemetery Winfield, Kansas at a private memorial service with family at a later date. Services by Broadway Mortuary.