OBITUARY: Robert K. Wyman

Robert K. Wyman, 91, was born Oct. 26, 1932, in El Paso, Texas, to John Corbett Wyman and Mary Almeda (Wood) Wyman.

He has two older brothers, John Corbett Wyman Jr. and William Alan Wyman.

John and Mary divorced in 1935, and Mary and Robert moved to Los Angeles, California. In 1939, Mary married Edward George and later moved to Carteret, New Jersey. Robert graduated from Carteret High School in June 1951. In July 1951, he joined the U.S. Air Force and served in the Korean War, 1952-1953, stationed at Suwon Air Force Base and on a weather team on Cheju Island, Korea. His first three years were at McGuire Air Force Base in Trenton, New Jersey. He was discharged on July 1, 1959, after serving four years in the Inactive Air Force Reserves.

It may be noted that the three brothers, John, Alan and Robert, served in Korea at the same time. All returned home safely.

Robert began studying toward ordination for the Presbyterian ministry as a student at Maryville College, Maryville, Tennessee, from which he graduated in May 1959, majoring in philosophy and minoring in psychology. He was married to Joann Antes, a fellow student, in August 1958. They moved to Princeton, New Jersey, where Robert attended Princeton Theological Seminary for three years and graduated with a degree in master of divinity in June 1962.

Two children were born to the Rev. Wyman and Joann in 1962 and 1965, Jim and Sue Ellen, while the Rev. Wyman was pastor for the Presbyterian Church in Odessa, Missouri.

In June 1965, the Rev. Wyman was called to pastor a new church development in Pompano Beach, Florida, where he pastored for four years.

In November 1968, the Rev. Wyman joined the staff of Grace Presbyterian Church, Wichita, as associate pastor. Responsibilities in staffing community ministries as chairman of the steering committee for the Wichita Council on Drug Abuse, facilitating a Well Baby Clinic in the black community, and liaison to a local black organization. Other staff responsibilities included developing a large youth program with annual work trips to such ministries as the Sioux Indians in Montana and a Black Presbyterian college in Mississippi; working with six couple’s groups; adult education; Evangelism and Benevolence Ministries.

In June 1973, Rev. Wyman received a one-year fellowship to attend Clinical Pastoral Education at St. Elizabeths Psychiatric Hospital, Washington, D.C., during which he led weekly worship service; led an in-depth weekly discussion group with psychiatric patients and interviewed patients as Chaplain.

In the spring of 1974, Rev. Wyman joined the chaplain’s staff at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, as temporary chaplain. He led weekly worship for 520 patients; interviewed new patients and counseled families.

In February of 1975, Rev. Wyman was called to Trinity Presbyterian Church, Independence, Missouri. There were two stated goals by the congregation: find a meeting ground for liberals and conservatives and help the congregation decide about building a permanent sanctuary. The second goal was realized when 85 percent of the congregation voted in favor of the new sanctuary. The second goal was never fully realized due to polarization.

Rev. Wyman retired from full-time ministry in 1981, though he continued to pastor small churches in the area.

Rev. Wyman fulfilled the requirements for and was granted the degree of doctor of ministry at McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois, in 1981. He also began a study in financial investing, qualifying as a financial planner, registered investment advisor and financial principal. He was employed by WZW Financial Services, then by VSR Financial Services and lastly, Lincoln Financial Group.

In 1988, Rev. Wyman married Susan (Brawner) Wyman, and in 1988, Rev. Wyman retired from financial services and began a series of five interim pastorates in Missouri and Kansas. First Presbyterian Church, Gallatin, Missouri; Leawood Presbyterian Church, Leawood, Kansas; Covenant Presbyterian Church, Kansas City, Missouri; First Presbyterian Church, Clinton, Missouri, and St. Matthew Presbyterian Church, Grandview, Missouri. He retired again from ministry in 2012. He and Susan lived in Newton, Kansas.

Rev. Wyman was preceded in death by his parents, John Corbett Wyman and Mary Almeda Wyman George; stepfather, Edward George; and son, Robert James “Jim” Wyman.

He is survived by his wife, Susan; daughter, Sue Ellen Wyman Schaefer (Mark), Lee’s Summit, Mo.; stepdaughter, Elizabeth Bottiger Anderson (Kent), Sunrise Beach, Mo., and stepson, Michael Bottiger (Sonja), Newton. Together, Bob and Susan have six grandchildren: Alex Pearman Griffith (Preston); Ashley Bottiger; Michia Bottiger; Lauren Anderson Drake (Alex); Paige Anderson; and James Wyman and nine great-grandchildren: Vivian, Mira; Caden, Carter, Lilly, Shalayna; Andy, Violet and Rylee.

During 64 years of ordination, Rev. Wyman preached, taught and counseled the values of justice, peace, inclusiveness and mutual responsibility during this controversial and polarized era.

Bob’s Celebration of Life will be at noon Friday, Feb. 16, at First Presbyterian Church, 900 Columbus Ave, Newton, KS, 67114. There will be a luncheon following the service.

In lieu of flowers, suggested donations are to Caring Hands Humane Society, a no-kill shelter in Newton, and the Kansas Honor Flight. These can be left in care of Petersen Family Funeral Home.


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