Dr. Robert R. Koefoot, 89, long time medical surgeon of Grand Island, died Thursday, March 22, 2012, at Riverside Lodge with his family at his side.
Services were March 26, 2012, at First Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Caroline Price-Gibson officiating. Burial was in Grand Island City Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the First Presbyterian Church, Grand Island. Apfel Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Dr. Robert R. Koefoot was born Jan. 12, 1923, at Broken Bow, the son of Dr. Theo. H. & Berenice (McComas) Koefoot. He grew up in Broken Bow, graduating from Broken Bow High School with the class of 1940.
He received his BS from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in 1945, his medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha in 1947, and completed his MS in surgery at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul from 1948-1950, 1951-1952.
He was united in marriage to Vera Greene March 28, 1946, at Broken Bow, (they started grade school together). The couple made their home in various locations due to his medical training. Mrs. Koefoot preceded him in death in 1990. He later was united in marriage to Maxine Noble, in 1991. She preceded him in death Jan. 7, 2008.
In June 1943, Dr. Koefoot enlisted in the Army and was sent, as a litter bearer, to Brooklyn Army Base, Brooklyn, NY, and unloaded hospital ships on Staten Island. In August 1943, he was re-assigned to Fitzsimmons Army Hospital, as an X-ray technician student. In January 1944, as an enlisted man, he started medical school at University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. He was discharged from the Army as a PFC in March of 1946, but continued his medical training at the Medical Center in Nebraska under the G.I. Bill, graduating in March 1947.
He enlisted in the Regular Army as a 1st Lt. in 1948, but continued his medical training at the University of Minnesota. One year later, he was promoted to Captain and was sent to Korea in late June 1950. He was a General Surgeon at the 171 Evacuation Hospital and 8076 MASH while in Korea. In January 1951, as a Major, he was on the surgical team at the Tokyo Army Hospital in Japan. In late June 1951, he returned to the University of Minnesota Hospitals to complete his surgical training. July 1, 1952, as a Medical Officer, he was assigned to Camp Rucker, Ala., as Chief of Surgical Services. In December 1953, he resigned his commission as a Major in the Regular Army Medical Corps and started a private practice in surgery in Grand Island.
Dr. Koefoot began his surgical practice in Grand Island in 1954. He was president and owner of Surgical Associates of Grand Island, P.C. and retired from active practice effective Jan. 1, 1992.
He was a member of First Presbyterian Church, Grand Island, Masonic Lodge 33, Shrinerâ€™s and Jester. He served on the Grand Island Board of Education from 1964-1970, Chairman in 1967, Grand Island Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors Lutheran Memorial Hospital, Grand Island from 1974-1981, and Riverside Golf Club-Board of Directors for three years.
He served as a Regent of University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 1970-1988, Chairman of the Board 1973/1979/1986 and served 3rd term, was a founding member of Voluntary Coordinating Council State of Nebraska, served on 1202 Commission on Higher Education State of Nebraska, served on Hiram Scott College Governance Committee, the Post Secondary Coordinating Commission, Chairman 1979, was a founding member of the Creighton-Nebraska Medical Foundation, 1970 - 1988, and served on the Medical Liaison Subcommittee of the University of Nebraska Medical Center establishing the Nursing Baccalaureate Program in Lincoln.
He was on the hospital staff of Lutheran Memorial Hospital, Grand Island, (merged with St. Francis 1987), St. Francis Medical Center, Veterans Administra-tion Hospital, Grand Island as a surgery consultant, Howard County Hospital, St. Paul, Litzenberg Memorial Hospital, Central City, Fullerton Memorial Hospital, Fullerton, Sacred Heart Hospital, Loup City, and Genoa Community Hospital, Genoa. He was also the company physician for Ford New Holland Industry in Grand Island and Monfort Meat Packing Industry, Grand Island.
His professional memberships included, Fellow, Southwestern Surgical Congress, American Medical Society and Hall County Medical Society.
In 1988, Dr. Koefoot was named â€śMan of the Yearâ€ť in Grand Island by the Grand Island Daily Independent and in 2000, he was awarded the Broken Bow High School Distinguished Alumni Award, Broken Bow.
Dr. Koefoot did not participate in golf or other sport activities during his years of practice. His main interest centered around family, the surgical practice and an interest in higher education and community
Survivors include one son, Robert Koefoot Jr. of Minneapolis, Minn.; three daughters and sons-in-law, Dr. (Phd) Bonnie and Stanley Wilson of Scottsdale, Ariz., Dr. (Phd) Ann and Gerald Snyder of The Woodlands, Texas, Adele Swihart and Tom Wagoner of Grand Island, Carol and Larry Seitz of Omaha; 11 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren, and special nephew R. Bruce Koefoot M.D. of Grand Island.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Vera Koefoot and wife, Maxine Koefoot; two brothers, T.H. Koefoot M.D. and Richard Koefoot, M.D.
Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.apfelfuneralhome.com
Published in Custer County Chief, March 29, 2012