Friday, November 12, 2021

Death Notice/Obituary Robert E. Trauger


A private family Funeral Service will be held for Robert on Monday, November 15, 2021 at Farmer Funeral Home in Exeter.

A private Graveside Service will be held in the Exeter Cemetery following the Funeral Service.

Public Visitation will be on Sunday, November 14, 2021 from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with family present from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Farmer Funeral Home in Exeter.

A Memorial has been established as the Robert Trauger Memorial Fund. Contributions and condolences may be sent to Farmer & Son Funeral Home, 242 N 10th Street, Geneva, NE 68361. The Memorial Fund will be designated at a later date to an antique steam show to help carry on Robert and Shirley’s desire to perpetuate pioneer memories and also to the Capital Humane Society.

Robert Edmund Trauger, lifetime resident of the Exeter area passed on at age 93 in the same room where he was born. He resided in the 133 year old family home his entire life.
Robert was born on January 23, 1928 in Exeter, Nebraska to Charley Trauger and Ethel (Downey) Trauger.

Robert attended District 22 country school before entering the Exeter Public School system where he graduated with the class of 1946.

Robert married Shirley Gillan Trauger on August 18, 1953 and together they raised one son, Charles, and two daughters, Lynnelle and Melissa. When Robert proposed to Shirley he gave her a car instead of a ring! Her mom was not impressed, but he did follow through and get her a diamond before the wedding.

Robert was a lifelong farmer who farmed the same land his grandfather had bought from the railroad in 1878. Along with farming, he raised cattle, pigs and was an Archer Oil salesman.

As a child, he loved to travel with his parents and brother, Don. In 1931, when he was three, he met Amelia Earhart and shook her hand. She made a huge impression on him and he remembered that meeting fondly throughout his life. He attended the 1934 Chicago World’s Fair with his family and that also made a lasting impression which fostered his love of travel later in life.

Robert was an 80 year member of the Exeter United Methodist church where his grandfather was a founding member. He served as President of the Board of Trustees. From 1955 until the mid 1970’s, Robert and Shirley were co-leaders for the Methodist Youth Fellowship.

Robert was on the organizing board for the Fillmore County Soil Conservation. Throughout his farming career, he supported soil conservation and other land programs. He was passionate about change and spoke before the Nebraska State Legislature to change the state’s boiler inspection laws.

He also introduced the antique license plate law to the Nebraska Senate Chamber and spoke before the committee about his proposed bill, which eventually passed.
He was inducted into the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska. This honor is bestowed by the Governor to those who have contributed in a significant way to the state of Nebraska.

He also enjoyed architecture and construction. He drew the plans for the Exeter United Methodist Parsonage. He applied his architectural talents to the family home as well by adding on and remodeling it numerous times over the years. He didn’t have a fear of heights and always ran across the beams of the buildings he was constructing, much to the astonishment of those who were watching from below!

Robert loved to collect antiques and travel, often combining the two. He and Shirley traveled the United States before having children.

Robert was an avid antique car and steam engine collector his entire life. In 1950, Robert purchased his first antique car. This car was the beginning of his collection, which he continued to add to his entire life. In 1968, Robert and Shirley started, “Old Timer’s Day,” an annual event held on the family farm until 1986. It was an event dedicated to perpetuating pioneer farm memories. The event drew thousands of people from across the United States to experience antique farm machinery and cars in action. In 1979, Robert and Shirley were featured on a PBS documentary to discuss their varied collection and antique show.

Family trips were so memorable. He loved road trips and always made sure we left around 3 in the morning, but the early departure always meant we would stop for a big breakfast. He loved stopping at every historical sight and vacations were the time to ask for souvenirs because dad couldn’t say no. He enjoyed being outdoors and the life of a farmer suited him perfectly. He was a very private man who was soft spoken and known for his kind and compassionate spirit. He was of the opinion that you have to be honest, prepared and courageous. He believed in doing a good deed daily, being polite, trustworthy, loyal and courteous. He was a loving and kind dad and grandpa who was always there for each member of his family. He was a man of his word and a pillar of strength. His amazing spirit will live on in his family.

Robert was welcomed home by his loving wife and best friend of 64 years, Shirley; his parents, Ethel and Charley Trauger; brother and sister-in-law, Donald B. and Elaine Trauger; in-laws, Earl and Ethel Gillan; and brother in law, Duane Gillan.

He is survived by his daughter and caregiver, Lynnelle Trauger of the family home; son Charlie (Lynette) Trauger of York; and daughter Melissa (Peter) Dufort of Shawnee, Kansas; grandchildren; Jameson Trauger, Huntington Trauger (Lauren Morgan), Alexis Trauger (Caleb Duff), Sam and Luke Dufort, Tyler Trauger and Nicole (Chad) Sideris; two Great Grandchildren, Raedyn Marie Trauger and Lorelai Kathleen Duff; two nephews, Byron (Aleta) Trauger of Nashville, Tennessee and Tom Trauger (Jana Belsky) of Washington D.C.

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