Dr. Bobby  Steere


Dr. Bobby 'Bob' Farrel Steere, former professor at Missouri Southern State University, died at 1:17 a.m. Thursday, April 18, 2019. Bobby was born August 9, 1931 at Cheyenne, OK.
Bobby's parents were Thomas Harold Steere and Sallie Susan Trammell. Sallie's parents homesteaded in a dugout in Oklahoma Territory where her father Robert later became sheriff of Roger Mills County. Upon his death, wife Myra (Snow) was appointed sheriff making her one of the first woman sheriffs. Thomas Harold's parents, Solon and Jessie (Griffin) Steere, were farmers in Kansas before settling in Cheyenne.
Bob excelled in sports at Cheyenne High School and Sayre Junior College, in Oklahoma. His schooling was interrupted by the Korean War, of which from 1951 to 1955, he served in the United States Air Force as a Staff Sergeant. After discharge from the USAF, he graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 1956.
While at Southwestern, in 1955, he married Loretta Ann Little Bird.
Mr. Steere started his teaching career at Rancho High School, in Las Vegas, where he was also a lecturer at the newly founded UNLV. The young educator was named Nevada's Outstanding Biology Teacher for his innovative practices and teaching skills. The National Science Foundation awarded him scholarships to study and do research at Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University, and the University of Southern California. He attained his doctorate at Utah State University. As an administrator, he led faculties in implementing non-graded (continuous progress) curricula.
Missing teaching, Dr. Steere gained employment in 1969 at the then new Missouri Southern State University, where he thereafter retired in 1991. His tenure at Southern allowed his authoring of two textbooks and numerous professional articles. He chaired or was a member of most standing committees and served as the Faculty Instructional Improvement Mentor at Southern. He was frequently a presenter at national conventions and state and local workshops.
As an environmentalist, he developed a walnut and Christmas tree farm that received Jasper County's Outstanding Achievement Award. He was also a director on the Citizens for Environmental Safety, a member of the Joplin Solid Waste Committee, the Environmental Task Force of Jasper and Newton Counties, and the Jasper County Superfund Site Coalition.
Dr. Steere fondly remembered his election to the Joplin School Board and service to the Joplin Museum Complex. He enjoyed genealogical research and traced his four grandparents' families to the 1600s. With ancestors having sailed on the Mayflower and served in the Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War I and World War II, he held memberships in the Sons of the American Revolution and the Mayflower Society. He had affinity for and restored Model 'A's', 1965-66 Mustangs and 1955 T-Birds. He and Loretta collected soda fountain and Coca Cola memorabilia.
After retirement, Bob's stories about small-town life and colorful individuals he knew in the 1940s were periodically published in his hometown newspaper-"The Cheyenne (OK) Star". At 77, Bobby authored "The Trace of Southern Arapaho". Loretta and Bob traveled extensively during retirement.
Bobby was a quiet man and an analytical thinker. He advocated caution in joining organizations warning that one becomes less of a free thinker; less analytical when one gives his/her allegiance to organizational dogma. Furthermore, he believed that will and persistence are ingredients for success. He lived this belief by moving from a speech impaired youth who cared little about schooling, who shined shoes on the street for five cents a pair, pulled cotton for one cent per pound, greased and washed cars, worked as a laboratory assistant for 50 cents per hour dismembering cadavers, to becoming a professor, author, and loving father and grandfather.
In addition to his beloved wife Loretta, whom he married October 7, 1955, three children survive, Ricky Bob Steere, Vicki Ann (Steere), Nelson and Patti Sue Steere. Son, Keith Jon, died in 1990. Ricky lives in Joplin, Vicki and husband, Fred, live in Hutchinson, KS, Keith's wife, Julie Lewis, lives near Joplin, and Patti lives in Joplin. Bob has a remaining brother, Billy Steere and wife, Elaine, of Overton, TX; and a sister, Juretta Drake, of San Antonio, TX. A brother, Thomas Harold Steere, preceded him in death. Grandchildren, Ty Nelson (fiancé, Rachel Martin), Las Vegas, NV, Dustin Nelson (fiancé, Samantha Mehrotra), Minneapolis, MN, Nicole Marie Nelson, Piedmont, CA, Andrea Rae Steere Wise, Brooklyn, NY, Spencer Pittman, Springfield, MO, and Jacob Keith Pittman, Springfield. Bob often complimented his grandchildren by mentioning that all are outstanding students and responsible citizens.
Bobby's love of family and friends are for eternity.
Services are planned for Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at Parker Mortuary Chapel. Interment will be Thursday at 11 a.m. at the Cheyenne (OK) Cemetery. The family will receive friends Monday from 6-7:30 p.m. at Parker Mortuary.
Memorial contributions may be made to Joplin Watered Gardens, in care of Parker Mortuary.
Arrangements are under the direction of Parker Mortuary.
Published on April 21, 2019
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