Aloysius Benedict "Al" Robke

 Aloysius Benedict "Al" Robke
Al in 1943 driving a tractor

Aloysius Benedict Robke

Al B. Robke, 82, of, Seneca, Kansas, passed away on Friday June 9th, 2017, at Nemaha Valley Community Hospital. His seven year battle with COPD ended peacefully with family by his side.

Al was born September 11th 1934 on the family farm east of Seneca, to August (Gus) and Pauline (Paula) Runnebaum Robke. He was the third of eight children, and attended the Seneca school district through his junior year. He completed his senior year at Maur Hill in Atchison, KS, and then attended Benedictine college for 2 years as he considered entering the Seminary. He enlisted in the Army in 1954 and was stationed in California, where he worked as a computer operator.

On December 28, 1960, Al married Erma Bokern Robke at St. Bede’s Church in Kelly, Kansas. They were happily married for 36 years before Erma succumbed to her battle with cancer on April 18, 1996. She passed away at their farm home with Al by her side. Al and Erma had eight children: Kevin, Denver, CO; Brenda Seger (Dan), Bloomington, IL; Donna Elder (Greg), Seneca, KS; Rhonda (Bob), McKinney, TX; Steve (Claudine), Lawrence, KS; Gregg (Kim), Auburn, NE; Matt, Seneca, KS; and Ryan (Kelli), Manhattan, KS.

Through his younger years, Al spent relentless hours working on the family farm with his father, Gus. After returning from the service, he performed several other jobs in Seneca; one that he mentioned regularly was filling feed sacks for Wintersheidts Feed Mill (Blair Feeds) in Seneca. In 1970, Al and Erma purchased a farm west of Seneca where Al grew crops and raised livestock, mostly hogs, for the majority of his working career. In 1983, they purchased the Shoe Center on Main Street in Seneca, Kansas. Al and Erma owned and operated this business as husband and wife until Erma was diagnosed with cancer. Following Erma’s death, Al took on multiple occupations, ranging from driving vehicles for Honeyman Ford, working at local liquor store in Seneca, and volunteering for the schools reading books to children. Eventually, Al settled into retirement in a home a short walk away from the family farm. During this time, Al enjoyed his coffee shop time, playing cards, and sharing quality memories with his family and grandchildren.

Al and Erma were active members of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Seneca, KS. Al was a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He and Erma dedicated 12 years as foster parents, accepting teenagers and children into their home on emergency placement. Chris Griffis Workman (Troy) and her son Zachariah were one of those foster families accepted by Al and Erma. Chris and her family are members of Al and Erma’s family today. Al and Erma enjoyed spending as much time as possible with family and friends that regularly included dinners and card games.

Al was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Ray and a sister, Agatha

Al is survived by his eight children; 21 grandchildren: Zach Elder, Alec Wroten, Zachariah Workman, Annie Elder, Jacob Seger, Tyler Robke, Mary Wroten, Alison Seger, Abe Elder, Jeron Robke, Nick Seger, Ethan Vandercook, Sara Robke, Megan Seger, Brooke Wroten, Emma Elder, Owen Vandercook, Addison Workman, Ruby Robke, Henry Robke, and Charlie Robke; 2 great grandchildren: Vincent Elder and Jolie Sherill; 3 sisters: MaryAnn Vondemkamp of Seneca, KS, Rita Kelly of Gladstone, MO, and Sharon Hurley of Wichita, KS; and 2 brothers: Joe Robke of Seneca, KS and Herb Robke of Kansas City, MO.

Al will be laid to rest beside Erma in the Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery in Seneca, KS. Pallbearers for the ceremony are Zach Elder, Alec Wroten, Jacob Seger, Tyler Robke, Abe Elder, Jeron Robke, Nick Seger, Ethan Vandercook, Owen Vandercook, Henry Robke, Charlie Robke, and Zachariah Workman.

The rosary was prayed in the Lauer Funeral Home at 2pm and 7pm on Sunday, June 11th.

The mass of the Christian burial will be on Monday, June 12th at 9am, by Father Arul Carasala, at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Seneca, KS.

Memorials are for Sts. Peter and Paul School and or Seneca Knights of Columbus sent in care of the family.