Robert Shmalberg

Memorial services for Robert E. “Bob” Shmalberg, 84, Lawrence, KS will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, November 26, 2011 at Plymouth Congregational Church in Lawrence.    Private entombment will be at the Memorial Park Garden Mausoleum in Lawrence.  He died on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at his home.  Rev. Dr. Peter Luckey will be the officiant. 

Bob was born on February 16, 1927 in Kansas City, MO, the son of Eugene F.and Agnes Drake Shmalberg. His family moved to Chanute, KS in 1937,  hegraduated from Chanute High School. It was at the Chanute Country Club
that he developed his lifelong passion for golf.

Following service in the U.S. Army, Bob enrolled at the University of Kansas where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity. Upon graduating with a B.S. in Industrial Management he worked for the Westinghouse Electric Corporation from 1950 to 1959 in various division management positions.

In 1959, he moved to Lawrence where he joined his Father in the family business, Lawrence Launderers and Dry Cleaners, the company would later be renamed Scotch Industries.  He served as President and CEO from 1959 until his semi- retirement in 1994. During that time, the business expanded from a single store in Lawrence to include operations in Topeka and Kansas City. In the 1970s and 1980s he created Lawrence Linen Supply and Uniform Rental, which was later sold to a national company.

Bob was a member of Plymouth Congregational Church in Lawrence. He served in several capacities at the church including the Executive Building Committee as well as the Second Century Building Committee. He served 20 years on the Lawrence Salvation Army Board (Chairman 3 times), 25 years on the Cottonwood, Inc. Board and the Cottonwood Foundation, including a term as President. He served as Chairman of the Kansas Open Golf Tournament, a primary fundraiser for Cottonwood. He served on the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce Board, the United Way Board, and the Spencer Museum Corporate Membership Committee.

Professionally he served as the President of the Kansas-Missouri Dry Cleaners Association and served as Chairman of the Roundtable of Cleaners & Launderers International. He founded the Share the Warmth Program which has collected,
cleaned and distributed over two hundred thousand winter coats through the Salvation Army in Lawrence and Topeka. He was a longtime member of the Lawrence Noon Kiwanis Club.

He was the recipient of various awards and honors including: 1984- first Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Person of the Year, 1989- Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce Small Business Person of the
Year, 1989- Baker University Business Person of the Year, 1993- Topeka Heartland Sertoma Club Service to Mankind Award, 2003- Cottonwood, Inc. Lifetime Achievement Award.

He was married to Jacqueline “Jackie” Kreider on December 31, 1950 in Chanute, Kansas. She survives of the home.

Other survivors include two sons: Jeffery (wife Lori) Shmalberg, of Lawrence, Scott (wife, Deb ) Shmalberg of Lawrence, five grandchildren: Dr. Justin Shmalberg, Blake Shmalberg, Dylan Shmalberg, Jamie Shmalberg Kauffman,
Thomas Shmalberg and three step grandchildren; Jeff Davis, Eric Davis and Drue Davis.

The family suggests memorials in his name to the Cottonwood Foundation or Plymouth Congregational Church and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence.

He will lie in state on Friday at Warren-McElwain Mortuary from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.


8 Condolences

  1. Robert and Gudrun Ohlen on November 23, 2011 at 6:46 am

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Robert and Gudrun Ohlen

  2. Jo McClure & Jaye Conner on November 23, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Jackie, Jeff & Scott,

    Our deepest sympathy for your lost. I always looked forward to seeing him when he stopped at the Topeka Plant. My father always thought alot of him. He is with God now and will always be watching over you and your families.

  3. John & Susan Esau on November 23, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Bob was a true gentleman and astute businessman whose generous charitable and philanthropic efforts will be missed by a grateful community. He was a wonderful example to all, and certainly had a positive influence on both of us. Our sincere sympathy to Jackie, Scott, Jeff and the entire family.

  4. Jeff Tryon on November 23, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
    Jeff Tryon

  5. Kim Heavin Wilson and Andy Wilson on November 23, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Jackie, Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Deepest sympathies to you, your children and grandchildren. We’ll be thinking of you. Kim, Andy and Alex Wilson

  6. Eric Kloter on November 24, 2011 at 5:29 am

    Scott, I’m sad to think of your loss. There are many fine memories of conversations with your Dad and his thoughtful perspectives. A true gentleman – he will be missed by all.

  7. Chuck and Yvonne Hedges on November 25, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    We extend our sincere condolences to Jackie and family. He was a remarkable husband, father, businessman and volunteer.

  8. ken wertzberger on December 4, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Dear Jackie,

    sorry for your loss. My best wishes.

    Ken Wertzberger

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