Robert Duane (Bob) Wittman

Robert Duane Wittman, 76, Lawrence, will be in state from 8am-8pm, Monday, November 18, 2019, at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home. Family will be here to greet friends from 9-10am.

Messages & Condolences

From Alanna Frendt...

Uncle Bob – I’m so sad that you are gone. Your sudden passing took me by surprise and I am upset with myself for not keeping in better touch with you. I often looked at your Facebook photos to see what interesting places you were traveling to or what you and Judy were up to. It brings me comfort to know that you lived your life to the fullest. I want to follow your example and live my life this way. You are loved and missed.

To Judy, Kara, Jen and families – I am thinking of you all and sending you love and peace.

From Charlene Peavler...

Judy & girls. Although I have already expressed my sympathy to all of you on FB, I just wanted to be a part of this group also. I read all of the notices posted, & wanted to be included with this group it’s so many of our co-workers. I had the pleasure of being Bob’s secretary for almost 20 years. I was very fortunate for such a kind, caring person as my supervisor. We had a very close knit of highly regarded staff of knowledgeable people, each in there specialized area. Somewhere, close to 200 staff he was responsible for. I am proud & happy to also have been a Friend of Bob & will always miss him.

From Jim Rhodes...

Bob and I were neighbors for many years. Our daughters were the same age and played with each other for many years. He and I had many lunches together during our working years. He was always upbeat and interesting. Our last conversation together was in Lawrence when we had lunch at the Free State and then we spent part of the afternoon renewing our friendship during stops at a restaurant and bar in East Lawrence. We talked about our families and experiences we enjoyed when our daughters were young, and also when they got older. I also remember that he would break out singing, especially Julio Iglesias songs! And I knew about his interest in films, which I shared with him. I will always remember him and am sad at his passing.

From Debbie Austin...

Judy,
I am thinking of you, with sympathy, in friendship, and with love.

From Erik Perrins...

I have known Bob for several years—only as “Bob”—as a casual acquaintance at the pool. He was always happy, inquisitive, and positive. He was one of my favorite friends to bump into, and I saw him twice last week. I will miss him. We had a very nice 5-minute conversation Friday morning around 8:00 am, which was typical of most. After asking what was going on with me at the university, he shared some similar experiences his son-in-law has had, and he spoke about his daughter’s accomplishments with a big smile on his face. I just wanted to leave a note for his family to let them know they were on his mind last Friday morning, and that I’m so sorry for your loss.

From Maria Denney...

I was fortunate to have been hired by Bob twice in my career & consider that time spent with him and others as “the glory days” of special education support. When Bob consulted on situations, he was always able to keep the focus on the student while supporting staff and family and his knowledge of the application of special education law & policy was unequalled. He did all of that with warmth that endeared him to those who knew him. I have loved my time with Judy as well & to see the two of them go on adventures & continue to learn & embrace new experiences has been a joy. Bob will be missed and always thought of with such high regard & respect.

From Marie Carter – Topeka...

I’ve known you and your family since your girls were little (Avondale West) Bob you were always pleasant, kind, caring and the best story teller. A true professional in every sense of the word. Thank you for being you friend.

From Laura Green...

Bob was a wonderful colleague to my Mother, Sara Green, and she wanted me to send her deepest sympathies to Bob’s family and friends. I remember him as a kind man who always had time for me when I was a kid.

From Pamela Reiman...

Dr. Bob – What a wonderful person and friend, you will be missed by many. I am so lucky to have worked with you closely and shared a special friendship. I will miss all the stories we used to share. I thank you again for being there for me when things were tough. I am forever grateful for your friendship and advice. May you rest in peace my friend. Judy and the rest of the family – you are all are in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. May you find strength in each other. God Bless

From Paula Waters...

I have never been good at writing in cards, but I don’t want that to keep me from letting you know the deep sympathy I feel for you at this time. Bob was an incredible educator and mentor for many of us.

From Roxanne Wendt...

This does not seem possible. Bob, you were such an advocate for children and those mighty warriors that worked with you. May you new travels to just as adventurous.

From Lisa Gay...

Judy, I am so sorry for your loss. I pray for your strength and courage to live in honor of Bob. Dr. Wittman was a good boss, who had a sense of humor and had the patience of a saint. I am sad to know of his passing. He gave so much to our District and touched so many lives with his wit and stories and knowledge. He will be sorely missed. Judy, we, you’re work family, love you, and just know that we’re here for you.

From RENEE J FINCHAM...

Judy, my thoughts are with you. I remember Bob from Whitson and important meetings he attended. So sorry, he was a great man! Renee Anderson-Fincham

From Pamela Johnson-Betts...

Bob Wittman was a one of a kind special person not easily emulated and never to be forgotten! This world is a lot dimmer without his special light, laughter, intellect, wit, charm and unique take on things. We met and arrived in TPS in the same year, shared so many stories & laughs throughout the decades and in more recent years shared our favorite wines, political insights and ideology! Without reservation I can easily say Bob was a most special & all time favorite colleague, friend and man that I admired, respected and loved. The lives he touched benefitted richly! Rest In Peace Bob….. job well done! Judy my heart goes out to you. I am just a phone call away….. may the memories of this wonderful man and the trips and special life journey you shared with him provide some peace and comfort in the days to come. Love you too! My condolences to the entire Wittman family.

From Aaron Kipp...

What an amazing human being. Bob always gave me perspective on work and life in general. He was a great co-worker and was always a friendly face. Heaven just got a wonderful man.

From Keelin Pierce...

My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

From Jennifer Harrington...

Dr. Bob was an amazing mentor and person. I am thankful for the knowledge I gained from him, the interesting conversations we had, and the stories he shared. He will be missed greatly. Judy you are in my thoughts and prayers.

From Carleen Lister...

Ahhh, the afterlife just became a much more interesting place…the conversations, stories, opinions and expanding of horizons are continuing with a different audience. At least I hope it is that way. Dr. Wittman was a very special person I am so glad I had the pleasure to meet. I sure hope he made it to Esalon!

From DR. Tiffany Anderson...

On behalf of the Topeka Public Schools District, we extend our condolences. We are deeply saddened to learn about the passing of our retired Director of Special Services, Dr. Robert Wittman. His positive reputation and his impact to Topeka Public Schools can continue to be viewed today in so many ways. While I never had the privilege of meeting Dr. Whittman, many of our staff members have shared so much about him and his positive energy. His leadership was an example for all to learn from and he will be missed by all in Topeka. You remain in our thoughts and prayers.

The Williams staff and our Topeka Public School District family are available for any needs we can assist with and we stand ready to support you in any way we can. We love you and pray for your strength. In talking with many in the building who knew and worked with Dr. Wittman, it is clear that he brought joy and laughter to many. Dr. Whittman developed a firm foundation for the special education department and his work in advocating for students in need has been an example for all who have followed in his footsteps.
Your family remains in our thoughts and prayers. May you feel the love surrounding you as you work through this difficult time.

Dr. Anderson
Superintendent of Topeka Public Schools

From Preston R. Williams...

I will miss Dr. Wittman’s gift of gab. He could sell a used car to a 100 year old person, but make them feel at the same time how fortunate it was that the person decided against the purchase – on their own free will. That was the beauty of Dr. Wittman, that he could help an opposing person see the value of their particular opinion, but could acknowledge how great it was that the person was agreeable to meeting him somewhere in the middle. Some would call that a “win – win” situation. I would call it Dr. Bob’s special sauce!
Bob also believed in the English language, and would always ask, “why use 5 words to express yourself, when 50 well chosen words was much more interesting.”
Rest in peace Dr. Bob, for you were a true champion of the special education law 94-142 – a free and appropriate public education for all special needs student being a Federal requirement. Rest in peace my friend. Preston.

From Rosie Brunkow...

Thoughts and condolences for Judy and family. Bob was a good friend. I will miss his sense of humor and keen mind.

From Nancy Ellis...

Bob was one of the best! He was a continual advocate for students and staff. He was truly an exceptional individual who could calm a storm like no other. He will be missed by all. My thoughts are with you, Judy, and the family.

From Sandy Hanson...

I’m so sad to hear this. I loved Bob. He was a great leader for Special Education and will be missed.

From Cynthia Camacho...

So sad you are gone. You will be missed greatly. I so appreciate your humor and person. Thanks for taking the time to visit my brother in Arizona while there. It’s the kindness we’ll remember

From Peggy Fisher...

Bob was my “white owl” of wisdom! His authenticity, blended with his sense of humor and intelligence, provided a professional mentorship that is unsurpassable. Dr. Wittman’s commitment to special education leaves a deep weave of legacy through the many lives he touched in the community. Thank you Judy and girls for sharing him with all of us for so many years.

From Cheryl Kulp...

Dr. Bob was a respected educator and advocate for children. His intelligence and knowledge of special education will be hard to replace, but the greatest gift he had was a sense of humor.

From Steve Greer...

We loved you Bob. You championed the values we hold so near. You rose above the petty politics of public education, and fought for what special kids deserve. We’ll miss you mightily.

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