Former Cozad Resident: Dr. Robert Vasey (1032-2016
Dr. Robert K. Vasey, 84, passed away September 17, 2016 at Leisure Homestead, St. John. He was born March 29th, 1932 to Royal and Hilda (German) Vasey on the family farm near Cozad, Nebraska. His mother was one of 14 children and his Grandma German was one of 21, so Bob had many cousins with whom to share adventures. He graduated from Cozad High School in 1949. He spent the next year as State President of Nebraska FFA.
The following year found him at Colorado State University, where he majored in agriculture for 3 years. There he met his future wife, was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, and played football. Then came one and a half years serving in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps.
He married Elinor (“Skippy”) Ewald in Lead, South Dakota on December 28th, 1954. They returned to Colorado where he received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine I 1959. After 2 years as a relief veterinarian in the SanFrancisco Bay area, the family moved to Stafford, Kansas where he practiced for 18 years, and was a member of the school board and city council. For many years he was very active in the Stafford Drama Guild.
Bob got his pilot’s license in 1962, and flying became his life-long joy. In 1979 a move was made to Homer, Alaska, where he became a “bush pilot” for an air taxi service, delivering everything from mail to cases of pop, sofas and three-wheelers at 3 native villages accessible only by sea or air. An Alaska veterinary license enabled him to do a few spays on the pets of the local villagers, and he was the veterinarian in charge of the Galena Checkpoint for the 1982 Iditarod dogsled race.
After three years, a return was made to Kansas, where he started a veterinary practice in Sylvia. This kept him busy until he retired several years ago. His great pleasure was building and flying two airplanes – a ¾ scale P-51 Mustang and an experimental RV3. He attended the EAA fly-in at Oshkosh, Wisconsin for 30 years. He was always interested in his children’s school activities, especially their music, sports and drama.
Bob is survived by his wife Elinor (“Skip”); children Marcia (Bill) Bauerle of Imperial, Nebraska; Kirk Vasey of Homer, Arkansas; Keith (Valerie) Vasey of Overland Park, Kansas; Janet (Don) Hardin of Stafford, Kansas; sister Patricia (Al) Henderson of Boise, ID; brother Bill Vasey of Cozad, Nnebraska; grandchildren Maika (Scott) Liebrandt of Seymore Johnson AFB, NC; Megan Bauerle of Lincoln, Nebraska, Lucas Bauerle of Sheppard AFB, Texas; Ben Vasey and Henry Vasey of Overland Park, Kansas; great grandson Simon Liebrandt of Seymore Johnson AFB, NC.
Dr. Vasey was preceded in death by his parents and sisters, Bette Green and Arlene Hart. At his request, his body was donated to the KU Medical Center for research. Private family burial will be at a later date. A memorial service will be held at Minnis Funeral Chapel in Stafford on Saturday, October 8th at 2:00 PM.
Memorials may be made to Public Television Station KPTS and the Alzheimer’s Association.