Robert James McClatchey, age 80 of Knoxville, passed away Saturday morning, July 5, 2014, at the Knoxville Hospital.
Robert was born at home on May 10, 1934, in Mapleton, Iowa, the son of Christy William and Mary (Carroll) McClatchey. He was raised in Mapleton and graduated from Mapleton High School, Class of 1952. After graduation Robert began his undergraduate degree at Westmar College before being drafted into the United States Army. Robert served for three years and was stationed in Germany. After his service Robert worked with his father at the family business, McClatchey & Son Well Drilling before finishing his undergraduate degree in history. After graduating from Westmar College Robert obtained his Masters of Social Work at the University of Iowa.
On Sept. 2, 1956, in Le Mars, Iowa, Robert and Mary Gay Collins were united in marriage. Robert aand Mary Gay shared 57 years of marriage together before Robert’s passing and were blessed with three children: Brian, Julie and Christy.
Robert was a social worker at the V.A. Hospital in Knoxville for 28 years. He retired in 1994. He was also a member of the First United Methodist Church and he had many enjoyments including: woodworking, Western movies, birds, dogs, boating, music, (especially guitar and piano). Robert was an excellent storyteller, a lifelong Hawkeye fan and loved spending time with his grandchildren.
Robert is survived by his wife Mary Gay McClatchey of Knoxville; his children, Brian (Heather) McClatchey of Iowa City, Julie McClatchey and husband Jay Sohn of Clive, and Christy McClatchey and wife Diane Rizzo of Kansas City, Mo.; seven grandchildren: Abby, Emma, and Sophie McClatchey, Emily and Andy Sohn, and Ian and Mirabel McClatchey. Robert is also survived by his sister Mary Ann (Martin) Christensen of Illinois and two brothers, Russell (Ramona) McClatchey of West Virginia and Richard (Lois) McClatchey of Washington. He is preceded in death by his parents, Christy and Mary McClatchey and two sisters, June Wodtke and Audria Hamilton.
Robert’s wishes were to be cremated. Memorial services were held Wednesday, July 9, at the First United Methodist Church of Knoxville. A private family burial was held at Graceland Cemetery.
A memorial has been established in Robert’s name to the Diabetes Research Department at the University of Iowa. Condolences may be sent to www.winfieldfh.com. The Winfield Funeral Home of Knoxville is helping Robert’s family with arrangements.