RAPID CITY | Robert James Kenner was born Feb. 22, 1931 in Rapid City. He passed away on Oct. 5, 2019, at Clarkson Health Care Facility.
Robert "Bob" was the son of Howard and Vera Kenner, the younger of two children. Following graduation from Rapid City High School, he attended South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geological Engineering in 1952. Immediately following graduation, he married Patricia Maguire, enjoying 61 years together.
In 1952, Bob and Pat relocated from Rapid City to Kansas where Bob worked for Gulf Oil. During their two years in Kansas, their first son, Mark was born. Following Mark’s birth, they returned to Rapid City for Bob to manage the family business, Howard’s Body Shop. Bob and Pat’s next six children were born in Rapid City — their seven children were born over 9-1/2 years. Needless to say, the Kenner household was a very busy place and a little chaotic at times throughout the couple’s life together.
Over the next 35 years, Bob, his brother Loren, and Howard’s Body Shop were prominent figures in downtown Rapid City. Through the body shop, Bob supported scouting, youth baseball and other activities in the Rapid City community. As Scout Master he led Cub Scout Pack 152 to the exposition award in 1963. Following his retirement from the body shop, he joined GAB as an insurance adjuster working several more years.
Outside of the body shop, Bob lived to hunt, fish, and spend time at the lake. Hunting and fishing were born out of necessity, providing for a growing family. His love for camping, water skiing, and fishing at the lake were all about his sense for adventure. One of his fondest fishing adventures was joining his sons on a trip to Alaska. Bob and his brother Loren’s exploits at Angostura were something of legend. During the '70s at Angostura, very few people did not know of the Kenner brothers and their twin purple jet boats. Bob was an avid sports fan, playing golf through most of his life and a diehard Hardrocker and Broncos fan. He loved to bowl with his brother, playing on a team sponsored by the body shop.
Bob was his mother’s son. Vera made sure Bob took music and dance at a very young age. As a result, he developed his natural musical gifts. For several years he and friend Ken Stone played week nights at the Slash J in Piedmont. He sang in the church choir and played for the Sunday service at the nursing home where Vera spent her final years. He enjoyed sitting at the piano and just playing completely by ear. His love for music was only second to his love for family.
You have free articles remaining.
Robert was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia; parents, Howard and Vera; bother, Loren; his eldest son, Mark; and three great-grandchildren, James, Coen, and Coral. He is survived by his six children, Scott (Mary), Rapid City, Kristen (Ken), Reno, NV, Robyn (Kelly), Spokane, WA, Terese, Sioux Falls, Todd (Sally), Rapid City, and Paul (Kim), Las Vegas, NV; 13 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10, at Osheim & Schmidt Funeral Home.
Memorial services will be at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11, at the funeral home.
In Bob’s memory, donations can be made to the Mark James Kenner Memorial Scholarship at the South Dakota Mines Foundation, 330 E. Kansas City St., Rapid City, SD 57701 or https://foundation.sdsmt.edu/memorials.
Family and friends may sign Robert’s online guestbook at osheimschmidt.com.