Robert (Bob) Dean Hirsch, Sr.

Sept. 15, 2021
Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Robert (Bob) Dean Hirsch, Sr. passed away Sept. 13 at Amberwell Hiawatha Community Hospital, Hiawatha, Kansas. He was born Feb. 8, 1932, in Fairbury, Nebraska, the second son to Alvin Carl and Veda Mae Hirsch.
The family moved to Powhattan when he was 8 years old, where he attended Powhattan Grade School and graduated in 1950 from Powhattan High School. Bob had a football scholarship to play at Kansas State University, but lost his scholarship due to an injury.
He joined the Kansas Army National Guard in 1949 and served over 30 years with 154th Field Artillery Battalion and the 2nd Battalion, 130th Field Artillery, retiring with a rank of command sergeant major and 10 years in the retired reserves. He mobilized in 1968 with the 69th Brigade to Fort Carson, Colorado, where he volunteered to serve in Vietnam.
Bob’s sons retired Staff Sgt. Terry Hirsch and Spc. Ronald Hirsch were both members of the 2nd Battalion, 130th Field Artillery.
He was inducted into the Ancient Order of Saint Barbara of the Field Artillery.
He married the love of his life, Barbara Harvey, Dec. 6, 1953. To this union were six children. They spent the majority of their lives in Powhattan, where he worked many years for Bartley Grain Elevator, Brown County Co-op and, later, the Robinson Co-op.
Bob was very active and dedicated to his church, community and country. He was a lifelong member of Powhattan United Methodist Church and longtime Powhattan School Board member, where he served as president for many years. He was a member of Hiawatha Elks Lodge 1741 and, later, Atchison Elks Lodge 647, where he served many years on the Kansas Elks Training Center for the Handicapped board; was district deputy for the National Grand Lodge of the Elks and coordinated many hoop shoots. He was a member of Hiawatha Masonic Lodge #35, lifetime member of the Powhattan American Legion Wenger Post 373 and lifetime member of Sabetha VFW Post 7285. In his later years, he was involved with making Sleeping Mats for homeless vets. He continued this until his hands wouldn’t let him due to arthritis.
Bob is survived by his wife, Barbara; daughter-in-law Susan Hirsch, Netawaka; Peggy (Rick) Hutchison, Wakarusa; Fred (Joan) Hirsch, Abilene; Terry (Jean) Hirsch, Hiawath; and Ron Hirsch, Sabetha. brothers Leroy (Sylvia) Hirsch, Mesa, Arizona; Larry (Bernita) Hitsch, Syracuse; and sister Rose Ann (Gene) Odermatt, Topeka; sisters-in-Law Virginia Lee Hirsch, Lorton, Virginia; and Mary Hirsch, Hiawatha. He is also survived by grandchildren Jenna (Art) Merriman, Shawnee; Jessica (Philip) Jeffery, Tonganoxie; Danielle Hutchison, Overland Park; Bryan (Kelsee) Hirsch, Horton; Michelle (Doug) Niehues, Holton; Brent (Abbey) Hirsch, Hays; Michael Hirsch, Hiawatha; Steven Hirsch, Sabetha; Ashley (Paul) Janzen, Hesston; April Braxdale, Sabetha; great grandchildren Zoe and Xander Merriman, Aria and Ella Jeffery, Soyer and Shelbi Coan, Rachel and Charlotte Hirsch, Henry Niehues, Lucy Hirsch, Alyssa Braxdale, plus two more expected great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Bob preceded in death by parents, his sons Robert Dean Jr. (Bobby), and Walter Bryan; brothers Fred, Dennis and Jim; and sister and brother-in-law Carol and Mike Brady.
His enjoyed fishing, hunting, and watching NASCAR. He tried to attend all of his kids’ and grandkids’ activities, often driving many miles to watch. A grandfather like no other.
Celebration of life service is planned for 10:30 a.m. Sept. 17 at the Powhattan United Methodist Church. Interment will follow with military honors at Powhattan Cemetery.
Friends may call at Chapel Oaks Funeral Home after 10 a.m. Sept. 16, where the family will meet with friends that evening from 6 until 7:30 p.m.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the Powhattan Methodist Church or Powhattan American Legion, which may be sent in care of the funeral home, 124 S 7th St., Hiawatha 66434.
A special message may be sent to the family at www.chapeloaksfuneralhome.com