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Obituary ~ Dr. Robert Wirth "Bob" Clothier
January 12, 1940 ~ January 11, 2009
Dr. Robert W. Clothier, 68, Independence, MO completed his life’s journey on Jan. 11, 2009. A memorial service will be held at 5:00 pm, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009 at Community of Christ Village Heights congregation. Visitation will be 6-8 pm, Wed. at Speaks Suburban Chapel. Committal services will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to the Independence School District Foundation to benefit the Dr. Robert Clothier Scholarship Fund.
Robert Wirth Clothier was born Jan. 12, 1940 in Dow City, IA, the second son of Wesley Iven and Leila Mae Clothier. When he was an infant, his family moved to a farm in eastern Independence, where he was raised. He graduated from Fort Osage High School in 1957, and attended Graceland College and the University of Missouri, where he earned a B.S. in Chemistry in 1961. A month later, he married Sharon Marie Hetrick. To this union were born three children: Russell William, Raymond Scott, and Julie Marie.
After graduating from Medical School at the University of Missouri, Dr. Clothier interned at Harbor General Hospital in Torrance, CA. He spent two years as a Captain in the Air Force, serving as a General Medical Officer at Duluth Air Base in Duluth, MN. He finished his residency at UCLA before moving back to Independence with his family. “Dr. Bob” spent the next 38 years practicing Pediatrics, caring for a generation of Independence children. He was at various times Chair of the Pediatrics Dept. of the Medical Center of Independence, and Chief of Pediatrics at St. Mary’s Hospital of Blue Springs.
Dr. Clothier was active in community affairs, serving on the boards of the Child Abuse Prevention Association, Sunshine Center School, the Crossroads Homeless Shelter, and Youth Court. The American Business Women’s Association recognized him as Boss of the Year for 1986. From 1988 to 1992, he represented the Third District as a member of the Independence City Council.
He was a strong supporter of education. He spent 12 years as a Trustee of Graceland University. He helped lead school bond initiatives for the Independence School District in 1996 and 1998, and was currently serving his second year as a member of the School Board. The Independence Council of PTA’s named him Citizen of the Year in 1997.
He was an active member of the East Alton congregation of the Community of Christ, serving several terms as pastor. He spearheaded construction of a playground at the church, which is called “Dr. Bob’s Playground”. He held the offices of High Priest and Evangelist, and served on numerous committees for the world church.
He is survived by his wife, Sharon, of Independence, MO; brother Richard Iven Clothier and wife Louita, of Lamoni, IA; son Russell and wife Ann, of Kansas City, MO; son Raymond and wife Darby Ray, of Jackson, MS; daughter Julie Bover and husband Mike, of Independence, MO; five grandchildren: Layne Stone Kapp, Chandler and Elena Clothier, and Kaitlyn and Hannah Bover; and a host of friends, colleagues and patients.
Arrangesments were handled by Speaks Chapel.
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, January of 2016