Robert Ambrose Jefferis

Robert (“Bob”, “Jeff”) Jefferis peacefully departed this life on August 18, 2020 in Shawnee, KS. He leaves behind his wife of 68 years (Nancy Fouts Jefferis) as well as his children their extended their families as well as his sister-in-law Beverly Fouts Lyon, nephews and nieces. The children, their spouses and grandchildren / great-children include:

(Son) Brinton Jefferis,

(Daughter) Laura Jefferis (and husband Jerry) Wells, granddaughter Sarah Wells (and husband Will) Parsons, and grandson Stephen Wells,

(Son) Neal Jefferis (and wife Suzanne), grandson Robert Jefferis (and wife Missy, and great-grandson Alex), granddaughter Catherine Jefferis (and husband Stephen, and great-grandsons Christopher and Joshua) Hunt, and granddaughter Elizabeth Jefferis (and husband Trevor) Womack.

(Son) Curtis Jefferis (and wife Marlene).

He was preceded in death by his parents Alva Brinton and Maude Isabelle Jefferis (Piedmont, MO) and his in-laws Harold Eugene and Maxine Marie Fouts (Nebraska City, NE.).

There will be a Celebration of Life service at Knox Presbyterian Church 9595 W 95th Street, Overland Park, KS on September 18th at 10 am. He was an active member of his church, an ordained Elder, and served in many capacities. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge for 70 years in Wayne County, MO.

Bob or Jeff, as you prefer, grew up in Missouri (splitting time between St. Louis and Piedmont), attended the University of Illinois before transferring to and finishing at the University of Missouri (and was a proud Tiger thereafter). After serving in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy (Reserves), he worked at Century Electric in St. Louis, MO.; at Peabody Gordan & Piatt in Winfield, KS; owned Calorie Transfers in Shawnee, KS; worked for Metropolitan Energy Center and also the Department of Labor. He was a Registered Professional Engineer and a member of MENSA International.

Bob (Jeff) had many interests and hobbies beyond his family. He liked music. He was an accomplished instrumentalist, and at various times played the Alto Saxophone, B Flat Clarinet, the Flute and the Piccolo. He played in the concert and marching bands at Soldan High School in St. Louis and in the marching band at the University of Illinois. In later years, he was still known to sneak in a flute duet at church with his daughter Laura. He was an accomplished Tenor singer whose vocal talents were shared in the elite University Singers at the University of Missouri, in small musical groups in St. Louis, in church choirs for 74 years (and served as a Choir Director for several years), and in the annual performance of ELJIJAH in Winfield, KS.

Bob (Jeff) was a train enthusiast. His railroading interests was from an early age as he watched the Missouri-Pacific trains pass in front of his home in Piedmont as well as many experiences riding the Illinois Terminal Railroad. He belonged to and participated actively in many railroading organizations in St. Louis and in the greater Kansas City area. He even had a “hobby job” running the train at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City. He learned this hobby from his father and shared it with his sons Brinton and Curtis. He wrote and edited the newsletter for local chapters of National Model Railroad Association and National Railway Historical Society (as well as serving as President of both local chapters) and provided talks to groups of fellow railroaders and other local groups about related subjects. He was also the President of the Kansas City Live Steamers. He was a voluntee at the Union Station in Kansas City and was consulted by the local PBS station (KCPT) for a documentary on the Strand Line inter-urban system.

Bob (Jeff) enjoyed playing Bridge with friends. He also enjoyed playing cribbage with his father-in-law Harold and his son Neal. Bob (Jeff) enjoyed swimming and canoeing. His interest in photography was learned from both his uncle (Robert Lee Zallee) and his mother (Maude Jefferis), both professional photographers. He learned about the movie business helping his parents with the operation of the indoor Jefferis Theater and Pine-Hill Drive-Inn Theater (both of which they built).

Bob (Jeff) was a private pilot who shared his interest in and enjoyment for flying and with his sons Brinton and Neal, as well as with his son-in-law Jerry. He was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association and Aircraft Pilot and Owners Association.

Bob (Jeff) was active as a volunteer in his communities. At various times, he was a leader in the YMCA Indian Guides, a Boy Scout Troop leader, a volunteer with the League of Women Voters and served as an usher at the Kansas City Symphony and later at the Kaufman Center for fourteen years.

In self-defense, he often claimed, he became active in the Navy League in Kansas City. It was self-defense with three sons and one son-in-law in the Navy at the same time, but it was also a passion and patriotism. He eventually served as the President of the Kansas City Chapter of the Navy League. He also thoroughly enjoyed his “Tiger Cruise” on board a Navy Frigate returning home from an overseas deployment and observing one of his sons at work on the ship.

Through it all, he was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and friend to the many who knew him. He had a great sense of humor. He was loved and will be missed by family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his name to the following organizations that were an important part of Bob’s (Jeff)’s life would be appreciated. These are the Kansas City Symphony (https://tickets.kcsymphony.org/donate/contribute1) or Knox Presbyterian Church (https://www.knoxchurch.org/).

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