Robert “Bob” Lawrence Goombi

Robert “Bob” Lawrence Goombi was born on November 8th, 1933, on his grandparent’s farm in Mountainview, OK. He departed to his heavenly home on November 27th, 2022, at the age of 89 in Eudora, KS.

Bob is the son of Robert and Bessie Goombi. He spent his childhood and early teen years at his family home in Mountainview with his siblings Frances, Wesley, Irene, James, Lloyd, Katie, and Willy. As the eldest sibling, Bob relished in being the leader of the pack and often reminisced about growing up in a home surrounded by family, where his grandmother “ruled the roost.”

When Bob was 16 years old, the pastor and missionary at his church asked him if he wanted to go to New York. Bob, who had never been more than 100 miles from home, agreed and set out in a “Ike” jacket (that his mother had dyed purple because she didn’t like the color). He reflected on some of the “faux pas” he committed on the train ride to his new home, like when he drank the water that was meant to wash his hands. Bob eventually settled in at Stony Brook Boarding School where he had the privilege of being taught under Frank Gaebelein. He had many fond memories of his time at Stony Brook, describing it as a place where his perspective shifted and made him more determined than ever to go on to college.

Upon graduation from Stony Brook, Bob returned to Oklahoma where he started college at Bacone Indian University. Within the first few days, it became evident that Bob would get more than an education. Bob found himself hanging out on campus when a woman with big bouffant hair walked past him. Undeterred by the man she was with, Bob decided to ask her where she was headed and even accompany her, making himself comfortable between the two for the rest of the evening while they watched a movie. The woman who had captured Bob’s eyes was his “sweetie” Katherine Amos. Katherine recalls that she was first attracted to Bob’s boldness and brashness. The two dated on and off for the next three years and married on June 4th, 1955, in Oklahoma City, OK.

Bob was quite determined when it came to his education. He earned an Associate’s of Liberal Arts from Bacone Indian College, a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Northeastern State University, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Oklahoma. His determination also extended into his career pursuits. Over his career, Bob held many different jobs. He spent four years in the Airforce as an Airman First Class (stationed at Tinker Airforce Base), sold Reader’s Digests, and worked as a meat cutter at IGA. Bob was selected as one of 12 salesmen (out of 120 applicants) for Phillips Petroleum where he worked for several years. He later took over a Phillip’s Station as an owner/operator for 8 years. He moved on to Westinghouse where he worked for 5 years. In his spare time, Bob served as the president of the Indian Expo in Anadarko, OK, where he met many influential individuals and educated those around him about American Indian history and customs.

Bob spent the majority of his career at Haskell Indian Nations University where he started as a teacher in January 1978. Bob retired from Haskell in 2004 after 26 years of service having also served as the Dean of the Business Department and Budget Director. Goombi Indian Jewelry was also a big part of Bob and Katherine’s life. Originally started with a small tray of rings by Katherine, Bob would expand into a local department store then later to Cheyenne Frontier Days where they had a 46-year residency, along with craft shows and pow wows across the Midwest.

Bob considered the most important thing about him to be his love for the Lord. He invited Jesus to be his personal Lord and Savior at the age of 11. He would spend his life devoted to learning and building a relationship with the Lord. He would often say, “think about your walk with the Lord.” Bob faithfully served his church in various capacities as a deacon, choir director, and teacher. He most recently attended Indian Avenue Baptist Church.

Bob loved his two children Ronald “Ron” and Gary. He was proud to be their dad and said that he decided to have only two children based on his “double or bust” motto. Bob enjoyed being a dad; in fact, he was so comfortable in his role that he decided to go out for coffee while his son Gary was being born. Bob reminisced about phone calls from Ron and how he would always start conversations with, “hello Dad.”

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, brother Lloyd, and son Ron. Bob is survived by his wife Katherine Goombi, son Gary (Lenora) Goombi, and daughter-in-law Alfie Goombi. His six siblings Frances (Wendell) Tsoodle, Wesley Goombi, Irene Johnson, James (Judy) Goombi, Katie Goombi, and Willy (Juanita) Goombi. His five grandchildren Kurtis Goombi, Dr. Marcy (Ryan) Vandament, Daniel (Kimberly) Goombi, Jonathan Goombi, and Lauren (Israel) Jefferson. His five great-grandchildren Eleonor, Elizabeth, Sophia, Lillian, and Evangeline.

The Goombi family would like to thank those who provided care to Bob in his final days. A special thank you to his hospice nurse Dillion and nurse/granddaughter Lauren.

13 Condolences

  1. Jerry Katzfey on November 30, 2022 at 10:14 am

    So sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. I was truly blessed to have met Bob and to be able to call him my friend. Bob was one of a kind! I will remember our talks and the stories he would tell about his life growing up. My condolences to his wife Katherine and the Goombi family.
    Rest in peace my friend.

  2. Kerry Girty-Cuny on November 30, 2022 at 10:52 am

    My condolences to the Goombi family. Sending prayers for comfort. Enjoyed working with Mr. Goombi. He certainly had a big presence at HIJC & HINU.

  3. Bill and Rhonda Ferguson on November 30, 2022 at 1:44 pm

    Bob was a wonderful man and brother in the LORD. We know that he is rejoicing with Jesus. Catherine you are in our prayers along with all of the Goombi family. This is not good-bye but until we see each other again in Jesus Christ’ Kingdom.

  4. Bennie & Diana Nelson on November 30, 2022 at 3:38 pm

    We join in celebrating Uncle Bobby’s wonderful life. He was such a good example of a godly man. He lived a wonderful life and everyone he came in contact with was blessed by him smile, laughter and compassion. We are grateful for the memories that we have of him and Aunt Katherine. We know those memories will sustain us until we meet in heaven one day.

  5. Barbara Velazquez on November 30, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    On behalf of the Fort Omaha Intertribal Powwow Committee and Metropolitan Community College, we send our deepest condolences to the Goombi family. Mr. Robert Goombi served as a vendor of exquisite authentic Native American jewelry for many years at our powwow in Omaha. It was always a pleasure to see him and his wife, and later have his son, Ron, and daughter-in-law, Alfie, take on the sales at our Omaha powwow. Mr. Goombi made this powwow a better place, not only because of his fine products, but also because of his genuine and friendly outreach to everyone who was fortunate enough to interact with him. We will remain thankful and honored to have shared Saturdays in September with the Goombi family.

  6. Steve La Cour on November 30, 2022 at 4:45 pm

    Awesome man

  7. Stephen & Kim Prue on November 30, 2022 at 5:42 pm

    Our condolences to family and friends, Bob was a good man and strong believer in our Lord. He rest now in heaven!

  8. John and Lisa Paulson on December 1, 2022 at 9:55 am

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. Brother Goombi was a good friend and mentor to me. I am blessed to have the privledge of sitting under his bible teaching in Sunday School. Glad my brother in Christ is in glory but he will be missed greatly.

  9. Waylon Ingle on December 1, 2022 at 10:46 am

    Bob and Kathrine were very special to Dianna and I. They were key leaders at First Southern when we were there. We were are saddened by his passing, but rejoice with the knowledge of his home going. God bless you and yours!

  10. Noreen Morgan on December 1, 2022 at 7:55 pm

    My condolences to the family. What a legacy!

  11. Karen Abernathy on December 2, 2022 at 11:28 am

    Katharine, I’m so sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. My prayers are.with you and your family.

  12. Bob Steinlage on December 4, 2022 at 1:10 pm

    Saddened for your loss but happy for heaven’s gain. He surely will be with our Lord forever. We are forever blessed with his example ! ThankYou !

  13. Barbara Tuttle on December 6, 2022 at 10:02 am

    Katharine, My thoughts and prayers are with you & your family.

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