Robert “Bob” Levi Traeger Sr.

Robert “Bob” Levi Traeger Sr.

Robert “Bob” Levi Traeger Sr.

West Union

Robert “Bob” Levi Traeger Sr., 99, of West Union, passed away Saturday, Sep 17, 2022, in his home in West Union, Iowa. He was born Aug. 7, 1923, to Edgar and Bessie (Book) Traeger on the family farm near Sumner, Iowa. Later the family moved to West Union.

After high school graduation in 1942, Bob attended Kemper Military school then enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and assigned to the 8th Airforce based in England during World War II. Bob was a left waist gunner in a B-24 Liberator making 30 bombing runs over Nazi Germany. His squadron was disbanded due to heavy losses and allowed to return to the states.

Bob married Ruth Trainor on Jun 22, 1947, at the Presbyterian Church in West Union, Iowa. Together they operated the Eldorado, Iowa, Country Grocery Store. They then moved to West Union, Iowa, and opened Big Value grocery, later renamed Jack and Jill. They also owned and operated a hardware store and a farm which produced beef for the grocery business. Bob and Ruth owned and operated the grocery store for 40 years and retired in 1986.

Throughout his life, Bob had a love for horses. Starting at a young age, he delivered the Cedar Rapids Gazette with his first pony and sleigh. Over the years, he had many horses and enjoyed trail rides out West and locally at Volga River State Recreation Area. Bob had a Belgian team and provided sleigh and wagon rides in the community. At age 93, Bob rode his horse “Bea” on his last trail ride at Volga.

Bob was a long-standing member of the West Union Messiah Chorus and soloist. Several generations of family members participated making the annual event memorable.

Bob was involved in the West Union American legion and was recognized for the longest continuous membership at 70 years. Bob participated in an Honor flight to Washington DC to visit the WWII memorial and other sites and was honored for his service as a World War II veteran.

Surviving Bob are his two sons, Don (Lori Kay) Traeger of Cresco, Iowa, and Robert (Lori Jo) Traeger Jr. of Weatherford, Texas; six grandchildren, Ginger (Dan) Mielke of Cresco, Jayme Traeger of Cresco, Dustin Traeger of Cedar Rapids, Benjamin Traeger of Cedar Rapids, Brendan (Anna) Gorman of San Angelo, Texas, and Andrea (Marshall) Traeger-Thorp of Bridgeport, Texas; six great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Edgar A. Traeger Sr. and Bessie (Book) Traeger; brother, Edgar Traeger Jr.; and sister, Alice Koempel.

Bob loved life and his family and lived it fully.

Special thanks to Gundersen Palmer Home Heath & Circle of Life Caregivers that provided exceptional in-home care over the past year and to special neighbors Bruce, Donna, and Sawyer Fink.

Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, at Burnham-Wood-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service in West Union, Iowa. There will also be a one hour visitation before services at the church on Saturday.

Funeral Service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, at Zion Lutheran Church in West Union, Iowa, with the Rev. Lynn Noel as the officiant.

Burial to follow at West Union City Cemetery in West Union, Iowa.

Burnham-Wood-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of West Union, Iowa, is assisting the family with arrangements.

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