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THE PASSING OF BOB NANCE
National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) reports:

1967 NAFB President Bob Nance passed away after a brief illness on Sunday, February 26. Bob's career began in Oklahoma and continued in Indiana, but he was best known for his tenure at WMT Radio and Television in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Bob was inducted to the NAFB Hall of Fame in 2007 and had remained active in his community with baseball, barbershop quartet, and more throughout his retirement.

Visitation will be held Wednesday, March 1 from 4:00 - 7:00 with service at 11:00 am on Thursday, March 2. The following obituary was published online from The Ada News:


Bobby Ray "Bob" Nance, 89, of Cedar Rapids passed away Sunday, February 26, at St. Luke's Hospital after a short illness.

Survivors include his loving wife of 68 years, Verna Ruth (Whittington), son Danny Ray Nance of Des Moines, daughter Nancy Ruth (Robert) Knutson of Porter, Oklahoma, and daughter Pamela Sue (Rick) Zehr of Iowa City. Grandchildren include Kimberly (Ben) Garcia of Stamford CT, and their children Graciela and Gabriel, Michael Jesse (Erin) Knutson of San Antonio TX, and their children Alexander and Christopher, Erick (Tara) Zehr of Newton Iowa, and their children Emmett and Garrett, Jordan Zehr of Iowa City, Rachelle Zehr of Iowa City, and Nathan Zehr of Chicago.

"Bob" as he was affectionately known by his many friends and radio TV listeners, was born in Holdenville, Oklahoma October 9, 1927, the son of Jesse Milton Nance and Ethyl Pearl (Buchner) Nance. Bob graduated from Byng High School near Ada Oklahoma in 1945, and East Central College and Oklahoma A&M in 1948. He married Verna Whittington on August 14, 1948 in Ada, Oklahoma.

As a farm boy, Bob pursued a career in agriculture journalism as a broadcaster. He was employed by the Oklahoma extension service airing daily radio programs. From there he advanced to station WIOU in Kokomo, IN, where he was honored with several farm service recognitions. Radio station WMT in Cedar Rapids subsequently hired Bob as farm editor in 1952. In 1955 he became Farm Services Director of WMT-TV and remained in that position until 1973. Bob and Verna hosted WMT sponsored Farm Tours that included Australia, New Zealand and South America.

Upon retirement, he was hired by Vigortone Ag Products as the Vice President of Advertising and Public Relations Program and oversaw its growth to thirty states nationwide.

Bob was active in the SPEBSQSA, the nationwide barbershop society, for 62 years, including the Harmony Hawks Chorus and the Vigortones quartet, excelling to international recognition. In 1971 the Vigortones joined a USO Troupe and entertained servicemen in hospitals throughout the Vietnam Theatre.

Bob also gave much of his time to groups and organizations having been president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters, the Cedar Rapids AG Club, Linn County Extension Council, Cedar Rapids Professional Baseball Club, and Otter Creek Lions Club. He was recipient of numerous honors from agricultural groups, including Iowa 4-H Clubs, Iowa FFA, National FFA, Star Farmer Award and many livestock and youth groups.

Other prestigious honors included "Hall of Fame" recognitions from WMT Radio, Central States Barbershop Quartet, as well as the Cedar Rapids Professional Baseball Club, and the National Farm Broadcaster Hall of Fame. He also served 40 years with the Otter Creek Lions Club.

Bob was an active member of Echo Hill Presbyterian Church in Marion, IA, and participated in the Chancel Choir and men's groups.

Among his hobbies were minor league baseball, piloting private aircraft, woodworking, photography, fishing, singing and helping wife Verna parent their loving family. They were blessed with many friends and engaged in social activities throughout their lifetime.

Memorials may be directed to the Echo Hill Presbyterian Church Building Fund (P.O. Box 11334, Cedar Rapids, IA, 52410), or Camp Courageous.


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