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Norman R. Bottger Sr., 86 passed away at the Republic County Hospital surrounded by family and a caring hospital staff on Thursday, July 13, 2017. He was born on August 2, 1930 in Hollis, Kansas to Paul and Lucille (Moore) Bottger. He lived on farms near Concordia and Hollis, Kansas until 1938 when the family moved to a farm just southeast of Belleville, Kansas. Norman graduated from Belleville High School in 1948. One of his special memories from his high school years was working for a custom combine crew traveling from Oklahoma to North Dakota and crossing the Canadian Border ’just to say that they had.” He began working for the Rock Island Railroad in 1948. He married Mary Ellen Gillett on February 13, 1951. He joined the Air Force in 1951 and served until 1953 which included a tour of duty in South Korea during the Korean War. After that he returned to Belleville working for the Rock Island railroad and returned back to his family farm. He worked on the freight docks, as a ticket agent, and a clerk until the rail line went out of business in 1980. He worked for a short time for the OKT Railroad in Enid, OK. When he returned to Belleville he worked as a custodian at the Belleville High School and Belleville Junior High School. Upon retirement there he became a greeter at the Walmart in Concordia, KS (giving free hugs and handshakes to all he met) where he ended his working career.
He was a member of the Central Christian Church, VFW, American Legion, and Masons. He also was a Boy Scout Leader and coached girls’ softball. He was the VFW District Commander in 1968, 2002 Outstanding VFW Member for the State of Kansas, and worked with National and State politicians concerning veterans benefits. His hobbies included hunting, fishing, collecting coins, and tinkering around the farm. He enjoyed traveling with family and friends including a trip to Denmark where his grandparents were originally from. He loved kids and making them laugh. He will be remembered by many as a mentor and friend.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Lucille Bottger, infant son, Christopher, brothers, Herb and Dick, grandson Nolan Bottger, and granddaughter Kristin Bottger.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 66 years, Mary, of the home, sons Norm Jr. (Sheri) of Lincoln, NE, Alan (Julie) of Lincoln, NE, daughters Pam (Gary) Westhoff of Pratt, KS, and Patricia Robertson of St. George, KS, brother, Bob (Phillis) of Belleville, KS, 9 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.
Memorial Services will held at 2:00 PM Saturday, July 22, 2017 at the Central Christian Church in Belleville, KS with Pastor Jeremy Wittwer, officiating. Family will greet friends at a reception after the services.
Military rites will be conducted at the Church by the McConnell Air Force Base Honor Guard. Inurnment services will be held at a later date at the Belleville Cemetery.
Online condolences at
Memorials are suggested to the Norman R. Bottger Memorial to be designated at a later time.
Bachelor-Surber Funeral Home, Belleville, KS is in charge of the arrangements.


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