Robert G. Tonjes

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Robert “Bob” Tonjes, Overland Park, Kan., passed away Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, at the age of 90. Bob was born in Carthage, Mo., on June 6, 1929, the fourth of six children of Gerd and Hermine Tonjes. Bob graduated from Carthage High School in 1947, Joplin Junior College in 1949, and Valparaiso (IN) University in 1951 with a B.S. in Business Administration. Following graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. He served four years, including one year in Greenland. He was honorably discharged in 1955 as a Staff Sergeant.

Bob was employed by the Kansas City Power & Light Co. as an accountant. After 39 years he retired as a manager and director of special projects in 1994.

In 1961 he met his future wife, Lorraine Pritchard, on a blind date. Apparently, he was quite impressed as they married in June 1962 and spent the next 57 years happily together.

Bob was a charter member of the Prairie Village, Kan., Lions Club where he served in many capacities for over 50 years that included Cabinet Secretary, District Governor, and State Council Chairman. In 1987 he was elected to a two-year term on the International Board of Directors for Lions Club International. In that capacity he and Lorraine traveled over 120,000 miles in 20 states and 11 foreign countries. Bob received three Presidential awards and the Ambassador of Goodwill Award, which is the highest awarded by Lions International.

Bob and Lorraine were both members of the St. Michaels and All Angels Episcopal Church in Mission, Kan.

Bob was preceeded in death by his parents, two sisters and three brothers, one in infancy. He is survived by his wife, Lorraine, two nieces, six nephews, and sister-in-law Jo Wilhite.

Visitation and funeral services were held at 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 24, 2019, at the church. Memorials may be made to The Kansas Lions Sight Foundation, c/o Kansas University Medical School.