Robert Custer, 1940 – 2017

Funeral services for Robert Custer, 77, of Jefferson were held Friday, Sept. 1, at Central Christian Church in Jefferson. Burial will take place at a later date at Dawson Township Cemetery, Greene County, Iowa.

Robert Wray Custer was born January 23, 1940, in Jefferson to Wray Joseph Custer and Nina Blanche Smith Custer. Bob died August 26, 2017, with his family by his side at St. Anthony Hospital in Carroll at the age of 77 years.

Bob grew up in Greene County and attended country school in Bristol Township until the sixth grade and then he attended school in Jefferson. He graduated from Jefferson High School in 1958.

After the death of Bob’s father, he took over the family farm. He raised crops and also cows and sheep. Farming, his dogs and his horses were really important to Bob.

In 1957, Bob was united in marriage to Sharon Coellner. Three children were born to this union: Stephen, Sheryl, and Laura Jean. In 1962, Bob was united in marriage to Marilyn Lee. Three children were born to this union: Jeff, Cindy, and Cherie. In 1972, Bob was united in marriage to Jessie Godwin Peterson. They expanded their family with Jessie’s children: Debora, David, and Rebecca Peterson.

Bob loved his country and in February of 1957, he enlisted in the Army National Guard. He was part of the 234th Signal Battalion out of Jefferson Bob served until he was honorably Discharged in 1965. In September of 1973, Bob reenlisted in the Army National Guard and was honorably discharged in 1974.

In his earlier years, Bob was a member of a saddle club and loved to go trail riding with his two favorite horses, Diablo and Silver. He also enjoyed fishing and playing cards and often hosted card parties out on the farm. Bob loved to snowmobile and was a member of the local snowmobile club. He was also active in the State Snowmobile Association. Bob sold and installed CB radios for several years and talked with people all over the country on those radios.

Bob and Jessie established and grew an active Amway business, traveling in many states meeting many new friends. One of the highlights of this business was time spent in the Bahamas.

Bob had a love for children. He was involved with activities that involved being around and teaching kids. He was a 4-H leader for many years and never missed a day at the county fair. He participated in the 4-H Producer Class, which allowed him to donate a calf to a youth and work with them as they raised it and eventually showed it in the countyfFair. He also umpired Little League for a few years. Through the years Father’s Days would often find Bob and family headed for Okoboji for their annual family reunion. Bob loved spending time with his grandchildren when they visited and often playing chase games usually ending up in a tickle match.

For several years, Bob and Jessie applied anhydrous ammonia all over the county in the spring, often starting at dark and ending at dark. Then turned their attention to their own farming operation.

Bob was a member of the Central Christian Church his entire life. He served as board chairman and for many years as a deacon. He also served on many committees.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Wray and Nina; grandsons: Dimitrios Turnas and Andrew Paul Peterson; his sister and brother-in-law Virgil and Gladys Kinnan; and his brother Billy Custer.

He is survived by his wife Jessie Custer of Jefferson; his children Stephen (Vicki) Custer of Reeds Spring, MO, Sheryl (Doug) Zimmerman of Carroll, IA, Laura Jean (Jeff) Wine of Lake City, IA, Jeff (Lois) Custer of Jefferson, IA, Cindy (J.R.) Johnson of Lamar, MO, and (David) Moore of Grand Island, FL; step-children Debora (Joe) Bynum of Oklahoma City, OK, David Peterson of Jefferson, and Becca Johnson of Knoxville, TN; 18 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great grandson; nieces and nephews; other relatives; and many friends.

Memorials are suggested to Central Christian Church or St. Anthony’s Hospice.

Slininger-Schroeder Funeral Home of Jefferson assisted the family.

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