Say the name “Mr. Bob” around State Fair Community College, and everyone knows who you are talking about.  He was probably the biggest Lady Roadrunner basketball fan ever.  Bob Oehrke lost his battle with cancer late Monday night.

Bob went years without missing a game, home or away.  If you went to a regional game, the people there knew him as well as they did the Roadrunner coaches or players.  Bob drove the vans, took money at the gate, worked concessions and did whatever needed to be done.  He was at almost every practice.  He knew the kids and their families, and they all knew Mr. Bob.

If you asked the girls, he was the man with the gum.  Bob probably spent hundreds of dollars a year on gum.  You would see him on the floor before every game handing out gum to the players, and occasionally he’d drop a piece off up at the announcers booth and we would discuss the nights upcoming games.

Bob and I traveled a gazillion miles together over the years, all over the country from one gym to the next.  We talked about everything. At 1 a.m. coming back from a trip from Three Rivers, it gets kinda boring, but Bob always made it fun.  He took a loss almost as hard as the coaches, but he always had a uplifting word for the kids.

SFCC has a program called “adopt-a-kid,” where the booster club members adops a player and helps them through the year.  In my opinion, Bob made most of us look bad.  He was a great parent to those players.

I will miss Bob very much, he was a wonderful guy and a great friend.  It will be a strange year without him.

I am very proud to announce that after each ballgame this year, we will be giving out the “Bob Oehrke KSIS Radio Player of the Game” for both the men and women’s’ games.  A wonderful tribute to a wonderful fan.