Train Custom

Robert G. "Bob" Bottger

November 22, 1935 ~ February 23, 2021 (age 85)



Obituary of Robert G. “Bob” Bottger

            Robert Gene “Bob” Bottger, the son of Paul Jensen Bottger and Hazel Lucille (Moore) Bottger, was born November 22, 1935 as a twin in Concordia, KS and passed away on February 23, 2021 at Republic County Hospital-ISB, Belleville, KS at the age of 85 years, 3 months, and 1 day.

            Bob grew up in Belleville, graduating from Belleville High School in 1954.   He then attended Fairbury Junior College on a 2 year football scholarship.  After college, he went to work for the Rock Island Railroad in Lincoln, NE on June 26, 1956.   He started out on the freight docks but also unloaded cars, loaded trucks, worked as a yard clerk, baggage & express clerk and a relief operator. He met his 1st wife Patricia Weber from Friend, NE while he was working in Fairbury. He also worked in Beatrice, NE and Goodland, KS. He married Patricia on November 26, 1960 and they soon moved to Phillipsburg. They had a son, Barry Kent.  Bob lost his wife and unborn daughter Terri Lynn from illness during her 2nd pregnancy on June 3, 1965 . He and Barry moved to Belleville with family and he continued to work for the Rock Island as a clerk from June of 1966 to March 1, 1980.

            In Belleville, Bob sang in a barbershop quartet out of Concordia, KS. He went through the chairs of the Elks Club and served as the Exalted Ruler for 3 years. He was on the Belleville Chamber of Commerce Fair Amusement Committee for 9 years and served as chairman/secretary for 3 years. In 1967, he thought he was to be laid off from the RR soon so he purchased the bar at 18th and M. He renamed it Bob’s Recreation. He never got laid off and so juggled both jobs from November of 1967 until 1980 when the Rock Island RR shut down. He hosted and traveled to many pool tournaments with his buddy Jack Morgan who introduced him to his 2nd wife, Phillis (Beeson) Cottenmyre. They were married on May 7, 1977, and he became step-dad to her 5 children – Teresa Lynn, Michael Charles, Robert Wayne, Karen Faye and Yvonne Marie. Then they had a daughter, Jennifer Ann.   He owned and ran the bar until 1986 and then worked various jobs, including the local seed company, driving truck for Anderson’s, bartending at Rock Island Lounge (Bell-Villa) and a failed business named Crusty’s Pizza in Omaha, NE. Then he took a job working as a 3rd trick dispatcher for Kyle Railroad and Arizona Eastern Railroad in Phillipsburg, KS in May of 1988 where he later got promoted to Chief Dispatcher aka “Big Kahuna” and worked there until he retired on August 31, 2000.  Bob was active at the local coffee shops and also at bars that had snooker tables and was part of a league there at Darlene’s Bar & Grill.

          Bob and Phillis moved back to Belleville to retire in their first marital home at 1714 Q Street. Bob went back to work hauling train crews and driving farm trucks for Roger Benyshek and Ed Popelka.  He got a job working with his brother Norm as a door greeter at the Walmart in Concordia and worked there from November 30, 2004 until the end of 2013. His retirement activities included playing cards in his old bar, coffee breaks to various places in town, dessert and chat visits to his brother Norm’s, travel to Florida to see his daughter and a train trip out West to Seattle, WA.         

          Bob was preceded in death by his parents, wife, Patricia and infant daughter, Terri Lynn;  son, Robert Wayne Cottenmyre;  three brothers,  Herb, Norman, and Bob’s twin brother, Richard;  granddaughter, Raelene Henderson, many cousins, and other family members.

            He is survived by his wife, Phillis M. Bottger of Belleville, KS;  children: Teresa Manus of Jewell, KS,  Mike (Stacie) Cottenmyre of Belleville, KS, Barry Bottger of Belleville, KS, Karen (Shawn) Woolsey of Belleville, KS, Yvonne Cottenmyre of Belleville, KS, and Jennifer Rolle of Lutz, Florida;  many grandchildren and great grandchildren; nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.

            Cremation was selected and memorial services will be held 2:00 PM, Saturday, March 20, 2021 at the Central Christian Church, Belleville, KS.

            The family will greet friends from 6 PM  until 8 PM on Friday, March 19th at the funeral home.

            Inurnment will follow at the Belleville Cemetery, Belleville, KS.

            Memorials are suggested to the Meadowlark Hospice or Republic County Hospital-ISB and can be sent in care of the funeral home.

            Online condolences and information at

            Bachelor-Surber Funeral Home, 1322 19th St, Belleville, KS is in charge of the arrangements.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert G. "Bob" Bottger, please visit our floral store.

 Service Program


Family Greeting Friends
March 19, 2021

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Bachelor-Surber Funeral Home
1322 19th Street
Belleville, KS 66935

Memorial Service
March 20, 2021

2:00 PM
Central Christian Church
2329 O Street
Belleville, KS 66935

Inurnment graveside services
March 20, 2021

3:00 PM
Belleville Cemetery
1670 Nickel Road
Belleville, KS 66935

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