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Celebration of life for Robert Alspaugh

Robert Ladean Alspaugh died in December 2023 at the age of 88 in Kearney, Nebraska.

The family will host a Celebration of Life for Robert Alspaugh on June 8, 2024 at 11 a.m. at Broken Bow Cemetery.

Robert is survived by his sons Lenny Alspaugh of Broken Bow, Ne and Michael (Gina) Alspaugh of Amboy, Wa, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, his sisters Jean Pomplun of Broken Bow, Ne and Shirley Lange of Cook, Minnesota, his brother Roger Alspaugh of Broken Bow, Ne and his two former wives Sue Bonfiglio of Ca and Lynn Alspaugh of Broken Bow, Ne.

Robert is preceded in death by parents Louis and Francis Alspaugh, brothers Donald, Glenn and Ronnie Alspaugh and brother-in-law Alvie Pomplun – all of Broken Bow, Ne.

Born in Broken Bow, Nebraska in 1935, Robert had returned to spend his final years in what he considered the “best place on earth”: the place of his birth.

Robert was the youngest of four brothers who enlisted in the United States Navy and the only one who made it his career. Serving in the Navy was the greatest adventure of Robert’s life and it allowed him and his family to see the world and travel across the country and back from coast to coast, Norfolk, Virginia, San Diego, California, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and Olongapo. , Philippines. Places like Colonial Williamsburg and the Grand Canyon left an indelible mark on his two young sons. They were proud of their father’s career in the Navy and both later joined the Navy, continuing the family tradition.

Robert was proud of his Navy career as a Damage Controlman. Serving in capacity on various ships and dry docks around the world. He was especially proud of his ability to dock ships in the Navy’s floating dry docks. While still in the 2nd class, he received a letter of praise from a captain, which was also sent to the command’s chief engineer, stating, “I could barely keep up with Petty Officer Alspaugh as he gave me a full and thorough tour of the ship gave. .”

He met his first wife at a California fair. Both were there to see the new singer, Elvis. They married in 1957 and had two children. In 1973, upon retiring from the USS Forrestal at the rank of Chief Petty Officer, Bob settled on barren land in Walker, California. He and his boys literally started digging with a shovel of sagebrush to create a driveway from a paved road to the arid prairie. He even made bricks by hand to build the family’s pump house.

Robert worked various jobs to support his family and build a successful home, doing school maintenance, housing projects and auto body repairs. One job in particular was at the Terrible Herbst gas station in Carson City, Nevada.

He never forgot his boys – he saved old cash from the cash register for his son Michael’s coin collection and once bought his son Lenny a 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible for $500 from a customer who was a gambler who was “unlucky” and on was looking for one far outside the city. Bob and his brothers also owned a mining claim in Sumpter, Oregon and spent many years “washing rocks and shaking dirt.”

Later in life, Robert met and married his second wife, Lynn, in Longview, Washington. Together they moved back to Nebraska. He purchased “Buckeye,” outside Broken Bow, where the old Buckeye Village and mercantile store once stood. The Nebraska State Historical Society gave Buckeye a historical marker. Robert hosted many large family reunions there and welcomed anyone who wanted to visit. He loved sharing his Navy stories.

Robert enjoyed gardening, fishing, hunting, shooting and horseback riding. He and Lynn, although separated for many years, moved to Broken Bow during the last years of his life. They lived in the house his father built in the 1940s until health problems required assisted living in 2023.

Robert went “home” to his Heavenly Father’s house

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