Robert 'Bob' Volker, 71
Robert “Bob” Volker, age 71 of New Hampton, died Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, at New Hampton Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, at St. John Lutheran Church, Frederika, with the Rev. Jane Harris presiding.
Interment will be in the church cemetery.
Friends may greet the family from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, at the Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory in New Hampton. Visitation continues an hour prior to the service at the church.
Robert Roy Volker was born on Sept. 5, 1948, on a farm near Frederika, IA, to Roy and Maxine (Bahlmann) Volker, and he was welcomed into this world by his Great-Grandmother Volker, who was a mid-wife.
Bob attended country school in between Tripoli, Frederika and Sumner, and then transferred to Tripoli High School, where he was a member of the Class of 1967.
He then went to work for Bergman Brothers as a truck driver and later moved on to Rausch Brothers before retiring in 2010.
Bob, though, wasn’t the retiring kind of guy, and a couple of years later, he began driving truck for Rex Nolte. He also plowed snow for several commercial and residential customers in New Hampton.
In 1998, Bob was introduced to Pat Lukes, and their family and friends told both of them that the other was a “good catch,” and they have been together ever since.
Bob loved and adored Pat’s kids as if they were his own. He was grandpa to Kyle, Logan, Lola,Tyler, Brianna and Dillon. He loved spending time with them and he loved the good-natured teasing that was dished out during their time together. He always called Lola “Lulu” and she in return nicknamed him “Sponge Bob.”
Bob was a big man, but he had a tender heart. He had a zest for life, and enjoyed hunting, fishing and boating with his dad and his Grandpa Hermann Bahlmann, and playing rummy nearly every night during “social hour” with Pat.
The couple was known to take many road trips throughout northeast Iowa.
In later life, he enjoyed his “coffee clubs” at Klunder’s Kafe, where he and his buddies would meet up every morning at 5, and the New Hampton NAPA Auto Parts Store, which met “roughly” three times a day.
He was a man who believed in helping people, and he could fix or build just about anything.
He was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Frederika and he had been a longtime volunteer firefighter in Frederika.
Bob loved helping Pat when she opened a “Rosa Burger” stand in the NAPA parking lot. He’d do the heavy work but he was especially good at the “socializing” with Rosa Burger customers.
This past spring, Bob was diagnosed with Stage IV kidney cancer. He put up a courageous and valiant fight before he was called home.
Pat, her children and her grandchildren — as well as his many friends — will miss him dearly, as will Amos, the cocker spaniel that welcomed him home every time he had to “run into town.”
Survivors include his dear friend and companion, Pat Lukes of New Hampton; Pat’s children, Faron (Tracy) Swehla of Liberty, Missouri; Jackie (Jimmy) Lemke of New Hampton; Faron’s children, Tyler, Brianna and Dillon Swehla; Jackie’s children, Logan Finnegan and Lola Lemke; one aunt, LaDonna Lampe of Waverly; amd several cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents and Jackie’s son, Kyle DeVries in 2007.