Robert Ronald Burger obituary

Robert Ronald Burger Obituary

Las vegas, New Mexico, United States

March 21, 1927 - January 27, 2016

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Robert Ronald Burger obituary

Robert Ronald Burger Obituary

Mar 21, 1927 - Jan 27, 2016

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Robert Ronald "Bob" Burger, 89, passed away in Las Vegas, New Mexico on May 27, 2016. He was born on the family farm in Milford, Illinois on March 21, 1927 to Harry Elbert Burger and Virginia Mowery Burger. He is preceded in death by his parents; his four older siblings - Lois, Edna, Glendon, and Cromer whose surviving spouse, Matha, resides in Watseka, Illinois; his wife Betty Jane Humphrey Burger of Crawfordsville, Indiana who succumbed to breast cancer on April 4, 1986. He is survived by his three children, Michael Dean Burger (Juli), Tony J. Burger (Nina), Janie Denise Bustos (Ruben Aragon) and wife Teresa Baca Burger of Watrous, New Mexico whom he married in 1987; six grandchildren, Kristen, Kayla, Zachary, Melinda, Wesley and Robert; three great-grandchildren Anthony, Marissa and Harley; three nephews, Gene Burger, Terry Burger and Thomas Burger (Robin) and three nieces, Linda Brazel, Glenda Barragree Wilson (Winston) and Suzie Barragree (Ken); several great-nieces and great-nephews. Teresa's children and grandchildren loved Bob as he loved them and they include her two daughters; Janet Maes and her two children Miguel and Micaela and Annette Lucero (Dennis) and their three children Sarah Philip (Robert), Danette and Leah. Bob, affectionately known as "Bozie" to his classmates, graduated from Watseka Community High School in 1945 although he left before graduation to enlist in the US Navy. Bob was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in August 1946. After his service in the U.S. Navy, Bob became an amateur middleweight boxer. We all knew Bob was tough, but we rarely saw it - his kindness and generosity made him admirable and approachable. Prior to moving to Las Vegas with his wife and two sons in 1961 from Clovis, New Mexico, Bob was the Assistant Administrator at Clovis Memorial Hospital from 1953 to 1956. From 1957 to 1959 he was Controller at First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Clovis. He then became a Federal Examiner for the Federal Home Loan Bank Board examining saving & loan institutions in a five-state district. Bob next assumed the position of Assistant Controller at First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Las Vegas (FFS&L). He rapidly rose through the ranks to become Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer. During his 30-year tenure, he doubled the assets of FFS&L to over $60 million and expanded the lending capability to five New Mexico branches; two in Las Vegas, one each in Raton, Clayton and Angel Fire, New Mexico. He was beloved by (most of) his employees but respected by all for his personal approach to making loans to his fellow citizens. Many New Mexicans received their first home or business loan from FFS&L. He valued personal character as much as, and often more than, the borrowers' creditworthiness. He worked hard to grow Las Vegas but not once did he ever not take a phone call from a family member. Mr. Burger touched hundreds of young people's lives in Las Vegas through his hands-on and executive leadership of The Boy Scouts of America as a Scout Leader and Board Member; Las Vegas Little League as a Coach, Team Sponsor, Board Member and as President; District Girl Scout Council as a Board Member; President of Paul D. Henry Parent Teacher Association; and served as a Member of the Memorial Middle School Parent-Teacher Coordinating Committee. He would often buy baseball gloves for those players whose families were unable to afford the equipment and often scouted and recruited kids who would likely only find trouble but for baseball. He would give kids a ride home after practice and pick them up if they had no way to make it to the ballpark. He encouraged all who came in contact with him and never sought a thank you or took credit for those who succeeded with his help. As part of his commitment to local civic involvement, Mr. Burger served the Las Vegas/San Miguel Chamber of Commerce as a Board Member; served the Northeastern Regional Hospital as a Board of Trustees Member from 1982 to 1988 and as its President in 1984 and 1985; served The New Mexico League of Financial Institutions for over 30 years; served The League of Insured Savings and Loan Associations of New Mexico for over 25 years; served on the Las Vegas Natural Gas Utility as a Board Member; served as a member on the Health Facilities Committee of the Northern New Mexico Health Care and Planning Board; served as President and Board Member of the Charles Ilfeld Memorial Foundation, and many others. After his professional career, Bob worked as a Customer Service "Greeter" for over five years at the Las Vegas Walmart where he dispensed advice on marriage, troubled children, knee pain and hip replacement alternatives. He was a Brother of the B.P.O.E. lodge #0402 for 50 years and spoke often of how much he missed his friends and the camaraderie of the Lodge when had was no longer able to visit the last few months of his life. If you served him as a waiter or server in a local restaurant or tavern, forgive him if he berated you for toasting his bread too long at breakfast or mixing his drink too weak, it wasn't personal – he was preparing you for the real world. Bob Burger was a giver, not a taker. He cherished his family, friends, employees, colleagues and community deeply. If he impacted your life positively please let us know. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 12:00 noon at Rogers Chapel in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Arrangements are under the direction of Rogers Mortuary, 600 Reynolds Avenue, Las Vegas, New Mexico, 87701. Flowers arrangements can be sent to Rogers Mortuary, 1-800-479-3511 or 505-425-3511. Should you be unable to attend the services, please sign the guest book at www.rogersmortuarynm.com. He will be interned at Santa Fe National Cemetery in a private ceremony at a later date.
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