A Celebration of Life Service for Robert P. Tooker, Sr., age 98 of O’Neill, NE, will be 11:00 AM Friday, August 26, 2022 at Biglin’s Mortuary with Pastor Mike Durre officiating. Inurnment will be at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Atkinson with Military Rites provided by the Atkinson American Legion Farley-Tushla Post 86. Robert passed away on Thursday, August 11, 2022, at his home in O’Neill. Memorials may be directed to the family for future designation. Arrangements are under the direction of Biglin’s Mortuary in O’Neill.
Robert Paul Tooker, Sr. was born on March 2, 1924 in Atkinson, NE to Albert and Vera (Dickover) Tooker. He grew up in Atkinson, graduating from Atkinson High School in 1942. While in high school, Robert enjoyed playing drums in local dance bands. It was also during this time that he began building model airplanes.
Robert was drafted into the military in early March 1943. He was ordered to Fort Crook, which is now known as Offutt Air Force Base, where he took the Oath of Allegiance to his country before heading off to basic training at Camp Barkeley in Texas. After a brief stint at Camp Carson in Colorado, Robert was sent off to Bari Italy where he was assigned to the 45th General Hospital. Finally, on May 8, while working in northern Italy, the war ended. On his return to the United States via New York Harbor, Robert remembered seeing the Statue of Liberty – and what a site it was. Robert was honorably discharged in 1946. He enlisted into the regular Army in 1948 and served in Korea. He was again honorably discharged in 1952.
Robert married Bernice Grothe on May 20, 1953 at the Christ Lutheran Church in O’Neill. To this union, the couple raised two children: Robert P Tooker, Jr. and Sue Tooker.
Robert was a master carpenter for many years in the Atkinson and O’Neill areas. He worked at Boeing Aircraft for a time in Seattle, WA and also for Champion Homes in Colorado.
Robert loved to build model airplanes and kids’ pedal planes. In his later years, he really enjoyed metal detecting and surfing the internet.
Robert was a proud member of the Atkinson American Legion.
Robert is survived by his wife of 69 years, Bernice of O’Neill; two children, Robert P. Tooker, Jr. and wife Debi Jo of Norfolk, NE and Sue Tooker of O’Neill; one brother, Earl Tooker and wife Kathy of Omaha, NE; nieces, nephews, relatives and his two beloved grand pets, Sally Sue and Bella.
He was preceded in death by his father, Albert Tooker; mother and stepfather, Vera and Claude Humphreys; and four sisters and three brothers.