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Forest Park Westheimer Funeral Home and Cemetery

12800 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

OBITUARY

Robert Hunter Warkentin

September 20, 1944January 11, 2020

Our good friend Robert "Bob" Warkentin who had a great sense of humor, is now inside the pearly gates telling one of his great One- Liners. Bob passed away at The Methodist Hospital on January 11, 2020.

Bob was born in Oklahoma City to Ralph and Sarah Warkentin on September 20, 1944. He graduated from University of Houston with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics in 1968 and in 1975 received a Master of Science in Chemistry.

In 1965 Bob enlisted in the Army National Guard of Texas and was honorably discharged in 1971. He then enlisted in the United States Army and was honorably discharged in 1974. His final enlistment was with the United States Army Reserve in 1974. He was a Warrant Officer assigned to the Criminal Intelligence Unit. He spent his active duty time in the Army’s lab doing trace evidence analysis. He finally retired in 1997, after 32 years of service.

Houston Police Department was honored to have Bob as a cadet in 1965 and assigned him to the Crime Lab. During his tenure, he wore many hats and worked in several disciplines. He was a breath test supervisor, analyzed controlled substances, serological evidence and primarily specialized in trace evidence. Bob made many crime scenes, documenting and collecting the evidence, which he brought back to the lab and analyzed. He was instrumental in training the first formal crime scene units for the department. He retired from the Police Department in 1989 after 24 years of service.

For recreation, Bob took up scuba diving and underwater photography, and traveled throughout the Caribbean enjoying his new hobby. In 1987, prior to his retirement from the police department, he made up his mind that he was going to start a little underwater camera service and repair business. This little business, Bob Warkentin’s Southern Nikonos Service Center, ended up being a big business with lenses, cameras and strobes coming in from around the world for service and repair. He also conducted repair workshops at many popular diving destinations, held seminars at Nikon’s NIKONOS SHOOTOUT competitions and at Houston’s SEASPACE expositions. He was working on underwater cameras the week prior to his death.

When Heather Marie came into Bob’s life in 1973, his whole life changed. He loved cuddling, rocking and feeding his daughter in the middle of the night. She was such a ray of sunshine in his life, that he nicknamed her “Sun Face”. He loved to spoil her and show her off to all his friends and co-workers. She loved traveling with her “Papa Bear” and even learned how to scuba. Bob was her biggest protector and he gently guided her through her path in life. His heart was broken in 1998, when Heather died from complications from juvenile diabetes.

On a Cozumel scuba diving trip in 1977, Bob met and fell in love with Gwendolynn Hailey. Bob romanced his sweetheart Gwen, and married her in 1985. Bob appreciated her enthusiasm in assisting him with his camera business and they both traveled throughout the Caribbean on “work vacations” doing camera workshops, seminars and squeezing in some time for fun scuba diving. Heather joined Bob and Gwen on many of their outings and vacations and they were know as the “Three Bears”. They all loved cats and dogs and eventually settled on breeding and showing Norwich Terriers. Cruise ship travel became their favorite way to relax and see the world. Their favorite trip was through the Panama Canal. Bob lost the love of his life when Gwen died on August 29, 2019.

Bob is preceded in death by his parents Ralph and Sarah, his wife Gwendolynn (Gwen) and daughter Heather Marie. He is survived by his cousins Patrick and wife Alison, Robyn Burns, Colette Warkentin, Bart Regier, John Regier, Susan Regier, John Warkentin, Carl Warkentin and sisters-in-law Frances Boutin and Clarissa Streetman.

Services will be held on Thursday, January 23, 2020 in the Chapel of Forest Park Westheimer Funeral Home, 12800 Westheimer Road Houston, TX 77077. Visitation will begin at 9:30 a.m. and The Celebration of Life Service will commence at 10:00 a.m. The Committal Service will immediately follow at Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Services

  • Visitation Thursday, January 23, 2020
  • Funeral Service Thursday, January 23, 2020
  • Committal Service Thursday, January 23, 2020

Memories

Robert Hunter Warkentin

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Danita Heller

January 27, 2020

I am so saddened to hear of Bob's passing. Bob was my supervisor for several years at HPD Crime Lab. My sincere sympathy for his family.

M. D. Beale, Jr.

January 27, 2020

My deepest sympathy to Bob's family and friends.

He worked on a lot of evidence for me and other detectives over the years. He was a great guy and I know he'll be missed.mdb

Det. Sgt. M. D. Beale, Jr. HPD Robbery Division Ret.

Tammy Allyn

January 27, 2020

I have so many good memories of Bob. Every time we had a problem with one of our cameras, we would take it to Bob and he would take care of it perfectly, all the while keeping us entertained with his stories and humor. I am sorry he has left this life, but trust he is happily reunited with Gwen and Heather.

Charles Kieffner

January 27, 2020

Just wanted to leave my condolences to the family of a very very close friend, who got me thru some rough times and made me laugh more than anyone I know. Our mutual interest in diving and cameras, cemented our friendship like no other. Coming back from years of multiple insane "hang it out, in the abyss" Hawaii and Caribbean dives without a flooded camera, and having a lifetime of memories, is everything. It was an absolute pleasure to see you and Gwen and the pups at your home Dec 2018. I also want to thank your Houston P.D.friends for posting your service last week, as I didn't know what happened after talking to you the final time Jan 10. Rest in peace amigo, I'm going to miss your hourly/daily emails and laughter, insight, wisdom and friendship. You and Gwen will always share a special place in my heart for helping me.

Kenneth Erickson

January 23, 2020

We are so saddened from the loss of a best friend, brother-in-law & inspirational bright light known as Robert Warkentin. We spoke or emailed about something everyday; his enjoyable presence & positive personality will be missed dearly. A true class act in so many ways. We love you Robert, thank you for sharing your life with ours.
Kenneth & Frances

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY