Traverse City Record-Eagle


May 12, 2013

Robert Francis Koontz

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Robert Francis “Coach Bob” Koontz, 80, of Springfield, Mo., passed away Tuesday, May 7, 2013, following an illness.

Bob was born Dec. 20, 1932, to Franklin Cary and Clare Winifred (Bray) Koontz, of Flint. Bob’s parents owned and operated Franks Drugs of Elk Rapids.

Bob was a 1951 graduate of Elk Rapids High School, lettering in four sports. He attended the University of New Mexico as a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Midshipman from 1951 to 1955, and became a lifelong member of Sigma Chi fraternity. Bob received his bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant. He furthered his post graduate education at the U.S. Sport Academy, Milwaukee, Wis.

Bob was a retired educator of 43 years, coaching track and field, cross country and wrestling. He was instrumental in developing the wrestling programs at Neosho High School and Crowder College, where many of his athletes were State qualifiers and scholarship recipients to major universities. One mentored athlete was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy. Bob was an athletic sponsor to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

In 1957 Bob and the former Dorsey Jean Jones, of Neosho, Mo., were united in marriage, and to that union a daughter was born; both survive.

Preceding him in death were his parents; a brother-in-law, William A. Gersting; a niece, Janna Gail Gersting; and a nephew, William Robert Gersting.

In addition to his wife of 55 years, surviving family are daughter, Julie (Greg), of Missouri; a sister, Virginia Gersting, of Florida; a sister and brother-in-law, Wayne and Pat Moore, of Missouri; two granddaughters; three great-grandchildren; along with a host of extended family and friends.

Services were held Saturday, May 11, 2013, at the Clark Chapel of Memories, Neosho, Mo., with Walter Crews officiating. Family served as pall bearers. Honorary pall bearers were by Sigma Chi fraternity brothers, former students and athletes. A private family burial was held the Kenney Cemetery, Neosho, Mo.

Contributions in Bob’s memory may be made to Oxford Hospice of Springfield or the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, c/o Clark Funeral Home, PO Box 66, Neosho, MO 64850.

Online condolences may be posted at

Arrangements were under the direction of Clark Funeral Homes of Neosho, Mo.

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