Robert “Bob” Gerald Newcomb passed away Sunday, May 30th, 2021, at the age of 93 at the Bertrand Nursing Home. He was born July 12, 1927 at the family homestead north of Cambridge in Frontier County to Edward and Grace (Baker) Newcomb. He was the fourth of five children for Edward and Grace.
Bob attended the first through eighth grades in a one-room country school north of Cambridge. He attended Cambridge High School and graduated as a member of the CHS Class of 1945. While in high school Bob participated in football, basketball, and track. He also spent summers in Cambridge as a lifeguard at the public pool.
Following graduation, Bob served in the United States Navy for a year. After being discharged from the Navy, he enrolled at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. Bob often spoke of his fond memories of rooming with his younger brother, Ross, as well as attending classes with Warren Buffett. He graduated from UNL with his Master’s in Education, Teaching Certificate in the spring of 1950.
Bob married Janice Haussler. To this marriage, a son, Robert Douglas (Doug) Newcomb was born in 1952. Bob and Janice divorced after a brief time.
Hampton, Nebraska was where Bob began his teaching and coaching career. He taught for two years at Hampton. Then he taught and coached at Friend, Nebraska for three years. Bob then accepted a teaching position in Anchorage, Alaska. Bob and Doug drove to Anchorage in the summer of 1957. After the visit, Bob decided that was not going to be a good fit for him and his young son. The cost of living was very high, and it was so far from home.
In the fall of 1957, Bob started his 33-year teaching and coaching career at Bartley, Nebraska. He also met another young teacher at Bartley, Arlene Gramm, who had joined the Bartley staff just a year earlier. After a year-long courtship, Bob and Arlene were married in a double ceremony with Arlene’s sister Edna and Arnold Warren in Bethune, Colorado on August 2, 1958. Bob and Arlene had three additional sons, Gary, Larry, and Craig.
In 1962, Bob earned his Lifetime Education Administration Certificate from Colorado State College of Education in Greeley, Colorado. He became Principal at Bartley High School in the fall of 1962, a position he held until he retired in the spring of 1990.
Bob became affectionately known as “Bartley Bob”. He taught a variety of social science courses and coached football, boys’ basketball, and track. He and Arlene sponsored countless dances, proms and Senior Sneak Trips to Colorado. He thoroughly enjoyed working with Bartley School Superintendents, Max Ingram, Dale Eberhart, and Glen Troyer, but there was probably nothing better than coaching football alongside his best friend, Roy “Junior” Hart, under the Friday night lights.
Several memorable, lifelong friendships were developed during the time Bob worked for the U.S. Geological Survey Office. He worked there both full-time and a few summers, as well. In addition to the people, Bob enjoyed the opportunity to work outdoors.
Bob and Arlene enjoyed gardening together and always had such a variety of produce—strawberries, cucumbers, potatoes, and peppers. They also enjoyed morning coffee on their deck surrounded by Arlene’s beautiful flowers, riding bikes and taking walks around a few blocks in Bartley.
Bob’s family was one of his greatest treasures. He took great pride in each of his four boys and their school activities, then work careers and their families. He found a way to spend time with each of his boys, whether through school activities, sports, hunting, fishing or by taking leisurely drives around Harry Strunk Reservoir north of Cambridge.
He enjoyed visiting Arlene’s family in Kansas and Colorado, his family in Colorado and Idaho and his children and grandchildren as often as possible, but he also greatly enjoyed having company (family, friends, the coffee gang) in his home. A good cup of coffee or a cold glass of iced tea around the kitchen table with simple conversation was best.
Bob was a member of Kemper Memorial Methodist Church in Bartley at the time of his death. He was a member of the Lions Club, the Legion, the Elks Club in McCook and a Lifetime Member of the Nebraska Coaches’ Association.
Giving back to the community through various volunteer efforts was important to Bob and Arlene. They actively participated in summer community events, celebrations, and parades. They often assisted at The Bartley Café.
Leaving those to mourn his death, but celebrate his life include: his wife of nearly 63 years, Arlene (Gramm) of Bartley, sons and daughters-in-law, (Robert) Doug Newcomb, Stratton; Gary Newcomb, Bartley; Larry and Shari (Bunger) Newcomb, Minden and Craig and Trista (Hitzemann) Newcomb, Bertrand. Four grandchildren: Kari and husband Tim Vacek, Lincoln; Kayla and husband Scott Smalley, McCook; Kyle and wife Hayley (Storm) Newcomb, Stratton and Dawson Newcomb, Bertrand. Six great-grandchildren: Tricia, Teddy, Molly and Luke Vacek, Lincoln; Hailey and Hayden Smalley, McCook. Sister-in-law Edna Warren, Kanorado, Kansas and a host of nieces, nephews and cherished friends.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents Edward and Grace (Baker) Newcomb; parents-in-law, William and Martha (Stahlecker) Gramm; brothers and sisters-in-law, Winton and Maxine Newcomb, William (Bill) and Virginia (Ginny) Newcomb and Ross and Mae Newcomb; sisters and brothers-in-law Ruby (Newcomb) Estergard Hutcheson, Willard Estergard and Bill Hutcheson; brother-in-law Arnold Warren; two nephews, Ryan Warren and Tommy Newcomb; and niece Kristi Temple.
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Kemper United Methodist Church
Bartley NE 69020
Bartley American Legion
Bartley NE 69020