Robert Charles Hastert, 97, of Lawrence, Kansas, passed away peacefully on June 6, 2021.
Bob was born in Shelby, Nebraska on January 27, 1924, the son of Louis A. and Rose (Gabriel) Hastert. He attended Shelby Public Schools and graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in chemical engineering. He was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon. Upon graduation Bob took a position with Wilson & Co. in Omaha. He married his college sweetheart, Ava Bromwich, on September 1, 1947.
After a couple of years Bob was transferred to Oklahoma City followed by a transfer to Chattanooga. In 1958 he accepted a position with Harshaw Chemical Co. in Cleveland, Ohio. Bob’s experience with Wilson & Co. made him very knowledgeable about the hydrogenation of edible fats and oils. Couple that with his expertise with catalysts in Cleveland and his theatrical experience in high school, college and community theater, Bob became a sought-after speaker at American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS) Meetings, Short Courses and World Meetings. With the support of his employer, Bob pursued the opportunity of elective office in AOCS, subsequently serving on the Governing Board and becoming President in 1967. Over the years he received many honors, both here and abroad.
After retiring in 1991, Bob set up a job placement business in the edible fats and oil industry, HASTECH. In 1994 Bob and Ava moved to Omaha to be near their two aging mothers. In 2019, having become the aging parents themselves, they moved to Lawrence, Kansas to be closer to their daughter, Joyce.
Bob enjoyed fishing and went to Canada each year on a fishing trip with “the fellas.” He took up camping, hiking and backpacking when his son was in Boy Scouts, and continued to enjoy the outdoors throughout his life. He earned the status of Life Master as a duplicate bridge player. He and his wife were very active in the Mouth of the Platte chapter of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation in Omaha. They enjoyed participating in many Trail events across the country. Bob and Ava’s travels took them throughout the world. While Bob enjoyed many things in life, a day was not complete without at least one bowl of ice cream.
Bob’s middle daughter, Laura Rose Long, died of breast cancer two years ago. He is survived by his wife of 73 years, Ava; his daughter Joyce and husband, Dean Jordan; and son, Paul, and wife, Laura; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren and one step-great-grandchild.
A memorial gathering is planned at a later date in Nebraska. Memorial contributions may be made in Bob’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.
Dear Hastert family,
We were so sad to learn of the death of Uncle Bob. At 97, of course, it is expected at some point, but the finality is always a shock. I will be forever grateful for his help and guidance in learning genealogy. He was an enigma whose intelligence went beyond his work as a chemical engineer, always learning and stimulating his brain! My heart goes out to Aunt Ava who has lost her partner of 73 years. You lovingly vowed to care for Uncle Bob to the end, and you did just that. Ben and I hope your memories will sustain you. To Joyce and Paul, peace and love from us as well. Your dad will never be forgotten.
All our love,
Ben & Kathy Aderhold
My thoughts and prayers are with you, Aunt Ava, Joyce, and Paul–Uncle Bob was one of the most knowledgeable and interesting people I’ve ever met. Family gatherings will not be the same! His obituary just scratches the surface of his accomplishments–he was also a good husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle! I believe he is now playing bridge with Dad, Grandpa, and Grandma! Love to you all and your families!
What a wonderful life and we were so very blessed he was part of ours! Sending you love, prayers, comfort and peace.
We send our condolences to the family and friends and especially to Ava. We recall Bob and Ava with fond memories from the McClimans family gatherings in Burwell. We have also cherished all the Christmas greetings from Joyce and Dean with updates on the family growth and the old timers.
Peggy and I wish to extend our deepest sympathies to Ava and the entire Bob Hastert family in the recent loss of your beloved husband, father, and grandfather. Uncle Bob was my godfather and I will forever cherish his impact on my life, our extensive discussions, his wit, and most of all, his compassion for family and friends alike. If he didn’t know someone, they soon would be friends after a short conversation with Uncle Bob! He also had a talent that is hard to find these days..he was a great listener which was followed by thought-provoking insight. Uncle Bob will be sorely missed but his legacy will help mend those wounds in the years to come. God Bless Uncle Bob! Love to Ava, Joyce, Paul and your families!
I am so glad I got to know Bob a little through Mouth of the Platte Chapter. He was always inspiring. Sending prayers of comfort to Ava and family.