Robert Herbert Petrey

February 25, 1934September 10, 2018
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Robert Herbert Petrey

Robert Petrey, known to all as Bob, passed on September 10, 2018 in Houston, Texas.

Bob has chosen to be cremated. A memorial service with military honors will be held at Earthman Bellaire Funeral Home, 4525 Bissonnet St, Bellaire, TX 77401, on November 23, 2018 at noon. The service will be conducted by Reverend Bill Cole. A potluck will be held on Thanksgiving Day at a nearby family home and all are welcome to attend.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a small donation to Star of Hope Mission of Houston.

Bob was born in Stanford, Kentucky to James Herman Petrey and Frankie Jane Lawson. He was raised by his beloved aunt Lula until he was 17 years old and enlisted in the Air Force. During his 26 years of service, Bob was stationed all over the world, including: Germany, England, The Philippines, Alaska, and many other locations around the United States. Bob met his wife, Shirley, while stationed in Cut Bank, Montana; they were married in 1956. They soon started a family together. Bob continued to serve in the United States Air Force until 1977, when he honorably retired as a Senior Master Sergeant with many accommodations, including: the Meritorious Service Medal, Longevity Service Award, Good Conduct Medal, and Outstanding Unit Award.

Bob is survived by his wife, of 62 years, Shirley and his five daughters and their spouses: Leona and Joe Fortner of Houston, Texas; Charlotte Petrey and Lisa Shore of Houston, Texas; Donna and Steve Johnson of Clearwater, Kansas; Dorothy Petrey of Omaha, Nebraska; Erika Petrey of Springfield, Missouri; as well as eight adoring grandchildren, six loving great-grandchildren, and four caring nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his sister Dettie Mae Smock of Stanford, Kentucky; his brother Curtis Petrey of Oberlin, Ohio; and his sister-in-law Ruth Petrey of Wakeman, Ohio.

He joins in rest his father James Herman Petrey and mother Frankie Jane Lawson of Stanford, Kentucky; his aunt Lula Harris, of Stanford, Kentucky; his brother Wallace Petrey, of Wakeman, Ohio; and son Robert Herbert Petrey Jr., of Clearwater, Kansas.

Bob’s hobbies included home improvement projects, flirting with waitresses, and organizing his garage. He instilled many of his positive values in his children, including the meticulous organization and the importance of respecting your belongings. He never missed an opportunity to take care of his family and friends; whether it was getting them a car wash or taking them to stock up on toilet paper. Bob enjoyed watching westerns, comedies, Keeping Up Appearances, and Steve Martin movies. A few of his favorite films were Shane and Shrek. He loved a good Tejano tune, classical music, country-western and bluegrass music, and high-energy Riverdance. He handled the household grocery shopping, Christmas shopping and gift wrapping, and was always very supportive of Shirley’s Scrabble habit. Bob was a very patriotic man.

Bob had a few well-known catch phrases. His kids remember his encouraging words when they’d tell him about a new job or project they were excited about, he’d say “That’s real nice, kid.” Since his stroke in the late 1980’s, he had a hard time remembering everyone’s names, and since the family is very large, he was known to end a conversation with: “say hi to what’s-his-name for me”, and he meant it. During phone conversations, if you asked what he was up to, he’d most likely reply with: “I’m just sitting on the back porch with a cup of coffee and a cigar, and stuff like that.”

If you knew Bob well enough to ask him about his military service or family history, he would sit down with you, tell stories, and show photos of his upbringing and adventures around the world in the service. He could be a quiet and private man, but when he opened up to you, you could learn a lot about him. Bob will be greatly missed by his friends and family, but as he would say, “that’s the way it goes.”


  • Memorial Service Friday, November 23, 2018

Robert Herbert Petrey

have a memory or condolence to add?

Christina Hanna (Petrey)

September 16, 2018

My favorite memories of my grandfather are the ones from the summers I would spend with him and Grandma and Erika. I remember the El Camino pool, I remember hanging out and having lunches and dinners in the clubhouse. He would drive us to the town pool everyday. He let me drive his Cadillac one day, it was the first time I ever was scary... but he stayed so calm. I remember carrying a million full cups of coffee out to the garage where he hung out all day ( I get compliments at the diner I work at, I can carry two full cups in one hand across the whole diner without spilling a drop thanks to him). My memories other than those summers are him always reminding me to do good in school, save money and to make sure I take good care of my mother. He was there for my graduation and when my daughter was born. He always asked for her report card from school and would pay her a certain amount for each A she got...of course she looked forward to that every year.
I wish I could have spent more time with him these last few years, but being 900 miles apart made that difficult. I would drive down to Clearwater, Kansas to visit sometimes when he was glad I did. I will miss you greatly and think of you always. I love you Grandpa Bob ❤✌

Erika Petrey

September 15, 2018

Dad always made sure I was taken care of. Whether it be getting my car washed, or stocking me up on groceries. I felt “spoiled rotten” and my sisters will tell you that I definitely was. :-) I am glad I did not take it for granted in the long run. Dad taught me to balance a checkbook, file a tax return, keep my car clean, always get my oil changed on time, change my a/c filters, and countless other useful skills.
Dad might have been quiet about his upbringing, but I’m so thankful for the times he sat me down and shared his life stories. He really enjoyed showing his old family photos and telling me about his past.
When I was five years old he built me the coolest play house that any little girl could ever ask for. White picket fence, American flag hanging outside, Dixie cup holder, air-conditioner, and I pretty much could’ve lived there full-time if I wanted to.
One of my other favorite memories is when he built me a swimming pool in the back of his El Camino. Yep. Lined it with plastic, filled it with water, put a canopy over it for shade, and threw a few beach balls in it. I still have pictures of that and it’s definitely a core memory.
He also covered for me when I was misbehaving as a teenager, LOL. Did he find booze in the trunk of the car after I borrowed it? Mom will never know. :-D When I left home at way too young of an age, Dad strongly encouraged me to get my GED, and then continue my education with college. I was renting an apartment and he wanted me to put my money towards something that I could own, so he helped me purchase my first real estate when I was 19.
I wouldn’t be where I am in life without my Pops, and the skills he taught me have been truly invaluable. We might not agree on politics, and we might not agree on a few other things, but overall he was absolutely the best Dad that he could be for me and for that I am very thankful. I love you, Dad.

With respect and gratitude,
Your baby daughter,