1998 Meritorious Service Award

Robert L. Bixler, Overland Park, Kansas

Bob Bixler says he has seen many changes in the 51 years he has been associated with the dairy industry and that he has enjoyed the challenges and the new developments he has encountered.

A native of Morgan County, Bob was born Sept. 15, 1927 and was reared on a farm between Versailles and Latham. The Bixler farm included milking cows and milk was sold to the Humphrey Dairy at Versailles.

After graduating from Versailles High School, Bob joined the U.S. Navy in 1944 when he was 17. He married his wife Betty in 1947. Their one son, Robert Bixler, Jr., and his wife Mary Ann have two children. Bob enjoys keeping busy with the grandchildren when not at work.

He started his career in the dairy industry as a route salesman for Chapman Dairy and Sealtest Foods in 1947, later being promoted to route supervisor and distribution sales manager. Still later with Fairmont Dairy he progressed from ice cream manager to general sales manager, to vice president for sales. He is currently assistant general manager of Roberts Dairy.

During his career in the dairy industry Bob served as president of the Missouri Ice Cream and Milk Institute in 1982 and 1983. He has been the representative of the Missouri Dairy Products Association to the Missouri Dairy Hall of Honors since 1983.

In addition, Bob has played important roles in the dairy world serving on the board of the Dairy Council of Kansas City and as president and secretary of Local 207, Health and Welfare of Dairy Union-Allied Food Club of Kansas City.

Activities outside his professional world include service as a member of the advisory board of St. Joseph Hospital. He enjoys playing golf, traveling, and supporting his grandchildren in their school activities.

Bob was nominated for the Meritorious Service Award by Robert T. Marshall, MU professor of food science and nutrition, to recognize his valuable service to dairy organizations of Missouri as well as his outstanding work in dairy processing and sales for more than 50 years.