WARRENSBURG, Mo. — Hazel Lorene (Rog) Robbins, 96, died at 11 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, in the Warrensburg Manor Care Center, Warrensburg, Missouri. In 2017, she had moved to Warrensburg to live with her family.
Lorene was born in Parsons on April 29, 1923, the daughter of Loren Dantic and Emma Louise Fuchs.
When she was a young child, Lorene’s family farmed near Strauss. She attended a one-room school, Oak Grove School, northeast of Parsons until the fourth grade. She then moved to Parsons with her family and attended Lincoln School, where she made a grade school friend, Lee Robbins, who would become her future husband. Her family, unable to pay taxes during the Great Depression on their small home in Parsons, lost that home at a tax sale. She always contended, however, that though poor her family was the smartest and best looking.
Lorene graduated from Parsons High School in 1940 and from Parsons Community College in 1942. An excellent student, she achieved the highest scores in her college chemistry class but was told by the teacher that chemistry was not a field for women and accordingly she would receive a B instead of an A. That did not sit well with her, nor did the segregation in Parsons at the time. She remembered with disgust how some of her friends and classmates were forced to march at the back of the line in their class’s high school graduation ceremony.
During World War II, she worked as a secretary in the Katy Railroad payroll department. She corresponded with Lee while he served in Europe during the war. When Lee first saw Lorene after returning from the war, he was overcome by her beauty and blurted out a profanity. Later, Lee courted her in the family home, dressed in his military uniform. Not realizing that Lorene’s mother was fluent in German, he showed off some of his recently acquired language skills and, in front of her parents, proclaimed, “Ich liebe dich” (“I love you”), much to the amusement of Lorene’s mother, who, of course, knew exactly what Lee had said.
Lee and Lorene married soon after. He nicknamed her “Rog” from the military expression “Roger,” a term of endearment that also accurately captured her spunk. She was bright, opinionated and at times quick to jump to conclusions. She commanded respect as well as love and knew how to establish a chain of command.
During their early married life, Lorene and Lee lived on Kennedy Street before they moved to 1310 Appleton. A dedicated homemaker, Lorene raised two sons, Stephen and Paul. She also worked for several years at the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant as a secretary. She continued to live alone after the death of her husband in 2000, determined to remain independent as long as possible. She rarely complained about her health problems or the vicissitudes of life. Lorene would often say to those turns of fate that all experience, “That’s just life, honey.”
A member of the Parsons Iris Society, Lorene enjoyed gardening and flowers, reading and watching birds from the back porch. She enjoyed her coffee hot, please, having learned to love it at the age of 4. She loved dogs and had many beloved pets over the course of her life, including two noisy dachshunds, Chauncey and Carl Joe. She was a member of the Wesley Methodist Church, for which she served as state treasurer of United Methodist Women. She was a Cub Scout den mother and a member of N.A.R.V.R.E. and the Athenaeum Woman’s Club. She took much pride in the accomplishments of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A Daughter of the American Revolution, Lorene was also very proud of her French and German heritage and the fact that her French great-great-grandfather joined the American Navy during the American Revolution to fight against the British.
She is survived by her brother, Ray Dantic of Arlington, Texas; her son, Stephen Robbins and his wife, Susie, of Warrensburg, Missouri; her grandson, Andy Robbins his wife, Amber; and great-grandchildren, Zia and Lincoln of Ranchester, Wyoming; her granddaughter, Allison Robbins and her husband, John Check, of Warrensburg, Missouri; and many nephews and nieces.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Lee; two brothers, Cecil and Francis Dantic; a sister, Ann Cummickel; and her son, Paul.
She deeply appreciated the care and attention given to her by her neighbors and friends in Parsons; the staff of the Warrensburg Manor; the Western Missouri Medical Center and her doctors, Dr. Jacob Smeltzer and Dr. Stewart Smith; her caregiver, Amy Johnson; and the staff of Crossroads Hospice.
Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home of Parsons is in charge of funeral arrangements.
Burial and a private graveside service will be at Oakwood Cemetery in Parsons. The time and place of a memorial service for friends and family will be announced at a later date. Those wishing to remember Lorene may wish to make a donation to a charity of their choice.
Online condolences may be left at www.forbeshoffman.com.