Robert Wherry

Robert Wherry

1947-2020Wherry, Robert

Robert “Bob” Paul Wherry passed away August 12, 2020 after a valiant and unnecessary battle against COVID-19. He was a much-loved and respected husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, friend and civil servant.

He was born August 6, 1947 in Holton, KS to George and Frances Wherry. One of seven children, his love of books and learning began early. In fact, he and his sisters and brothers would walk three miles to the library every week, always checking out the maximum number of books before hiking the three miles back home. He attended one of the last one-room schools and yes, he did walk a mile to school every day regardless of the weather!

A commitment to public service began early with Bob when he enlisted in the Air Force in 1969. After his enlistment, he added to his B.A. in Economics from Fort Hays Kansas University a master’s degree in Political Science from Wichita State University in 1976.

Beginning in 1978, his dedication moved to public administration with his first position as an assistant city manager in Herington, KS. In 1981 he was appointed city manager in Yale, OK. He went on to serve as city manager in Glenpool and Harrah, OK before becoming city manager in Lakeland, TN. In his last position, as a Revenue Compliance Officer with the Oklahoma Tax Commission, he remained committed to civil service as he took great pride in helping businesses manage their sales tax finances.

In 1995, Bob met who would later become the love of his life, Aliene. Little did both know one swing dance would change their lives forever. The couple considered it a miracle they were in the right place at the right time. The friendship soon blossomed to a love affair and the couple was married in 1997. Over the years, they both enjoyed reading, baseball, dancing and being with their families. They also enjoyed travel including their trips to China, Panama, Canada, Mexico and many states in the USA.

He was a long-time member of the City Management Association of Oklahoma, Tennessee City Management Association and the International City Management Association.  He was also dedicated to improved public speaking. For more than 35 years, Bob was a member of Toastmasters International and participated in numerous local and state competitions.

During all his positions in city management, Bob worked to improve or establish a community library. His love of books was further affirmed with his ongoing Friends of the Library membership and his attendance at the Annual Book Sale at the OKC Fairgrounds.

Bob especially enjoyed being a grandfather and great-grandfather. His extensive collection of Hot Wheels sedans, trucks, first responder vehicles and race cars, along with his roadway rugs, always made for exciting play times. There were always enough Hot Wheels to go around.

Bob also loved poetry to the extent he attended courses, workshops and readings. He enjoyed the prose of others, like “Days Gone By” by the late poet Michael H. Cotton, while also authoring his own poetry to include “Dreams of Youth” and “My Day of Grey.”  Additionally, Bob enjoyed playing the violin. His love of the stringed instrument started later in life when he began taking lessons in his 40s. He appreciated the violin’s place in classical music to include “Concerto for Two Violins” and “The Four Seasons” both by Vilvaldi.

In addition to his wife Aliene, Bob is survived by his daughter Angela Wherry-Curtis and husband James, son Ronald Werneke and his wife Vicki, and daughter Michelann Ooten and her husband David; Grandchildren Keith and Gayle Ooten, Michael and Molly Ooten, Sara Werneke, Peter Werneke and his wife Caitlin Keeney, Tia Hawthorne, Kali Curtis and Katherine Curtis; sisters Mary Ann Wherry, Margaret Wilson and husband Jerry, Barbara Scala and her husband Bill, Eleanor Wherry and her husband Kim; brothers Vincent Wherry and John Wherry; great grandchildren Jayshawn, Leah, Henry, Nikki, Benjamin, Angela and Mazie Ooten; and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, other family and friends.

As an alternative to flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the City of Edmond Library at: Library Endowment Trust to Support the Edmond City Library, 300 Park Avenue, OKC, OK 73102. Please be sure to designate your donation is for the Edmond City Library.

A memorial service will be held at 10:00 am, Sat. October 3, 2020 at Matthews Funeral Home Chapel Edmond, OK.

We will be live streaming this service in an effort to accommodate those people that wish to attend but feel they should not due to the health environment.  To watch the service CLICK HERE to go to our YouTube page.  Then click on ‘Videos’ then ‘Live Streams’.

11 thoughts on “Robert Wherry”

  1. I am deeply saddened by Bob’s death.
    He and I were old friends back in the 1960s when we attended Dorrance High School in Kansas. We had just reconnected prior to him becoming ill. He lived in Edmond. I live in Yukon.

    I miss his daily blog. He attempted to keep in touch with me in the early stages of his illness. But it became too great of a challenge.

    I shall pray for Bob and his family.

    Jerry Bohnen

    1. Margaret Wilson

      Thank you for the note and for your prayers. Robert often spoke of you and considered you a good friend. We will all miss him. Margaret Wherry Wilson -sister

      1. I recall you and your sister.
        Fond memories of having Bob as a friend back in the 60s. Riding around Dorrance.

        One Memorial Day, I remember we drove around listening on the radio to the Indy 500 race, then stopping in Lindemeyer’s beer joint on a Sunday to get some pop. The only thing he had was diet Pepsi.
        We drank it but it wasn’t exactly the real Pepsi.

        Bob and I were on the high school football team. We played 8-man football with only 9 players out. Bob never complained about how we would always being beaten badly by other teams. But he did his best.
        I believe he recently told me you and your sister were married and living in Plainville, is that right?

        My email address is:
        Hope to hear from you.

        1. Eleanor Wherry

          I also remember you, or at least your name, from Robert’s years at Dorrance. He thought highly of you as a friend in those years. I do remember the football games, too. He had the ability but possibly not the temperment for football.

          I am glad the two of you were able to reconnect prior to his death.

          Both Margaret and I (Eleanor) are married and are living in Plainville.

  2. Cheryl Yarbro

    The passing of Mr. Wherry saddens me deeply. I worked for him at the City of Lakeland and he was the best boss that I have ever had. He really cared about all of us and the City. It was important for him to encourage us each and every day to become all that we could be. He taught us how to work together as a team and training was always encouraged. More than that he let us get to know him and his love for bike riding and matchbox cars. His and Aliene’s travels kept us all wondering where they would go next. He would get so tickled telling us about the country music fair and how he got to meet Sara Evans. He was truly a joy to be around and had a zest for life that we all should have. Ms. Aliene, I am so sorry for your loss and a big loss it was. May God Bless you and ease your pain, you will be in my prayers.

    Cheryl Yarbro

    1. Thank you so much, Cheryl, for this very kind message and your wonderful remembrances!

      All the best to you!

      Mary Anne Wherry (Robert’s sister)

  3. The Tennessee City Management Association (TCMA) would like to express its sincere condolences to Aliene and the family. Bob was a great public servant, and we appreciate his service in Lakeland and his leadership within TCMA.

  4. Patricia Schallenberg

    Aliene and all of Bob’s Family,

    So very sorry for the loss of a wonderful and talented person as Bob (our brother-in-law). He was always easy to talk to and made you feel special. He loved life and lived it fully!

    We loved Bob and will miss him greatly!

    Patricia and Van

  5. Constance J. Ooten

    To Aliene and Bob’s Family:

    I want to express my sadness and deep sympathy to Aliene and all of Bob’s family. I didn’t know Bob very well; I only recently started to get to know him from conversations I had with him and Aliene while attending family functions. I will truly miss hearing stories from Bob about some of the great trips he and Aliene had together. I will also miss having political discussions with Bob- what an astute and smart guy! He was a sweet and gentle man; always made you feel like you were part of the conversation.


    Constance J. Ooten

  6. Judithrose Morelli

    Sincere condolences to Aliene and Angela and her girls. Bob was a gentle man in every sense of the word. I saw him devoted to his wife and all the family. He certainly loved his grand daughters and Alienes grandchildren and then the “greats” that arrived as time went on. He and Aliene enjoyed each other thoroughly and did many fun things together. It’s way more than just a shame that he had to endure his last days away from everyone. He will be remembered with great affection.

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