Cover photo for Robert Elmer Starburg's Obituary
Robert Elmer Starburg Profile Photo
2017 Robert 2017

Robert Elmer Starburg

October 18, 2017 — October 12, 2017

HERINGTON - Pastor Robert (Bob) Elmer Starburg   February 27, 1932 – October 12, 2017

Pastor Bob, as he was known to many people, peacefully went home to Christ Jesus on Thursday, October 12, 2017 while sleeping at his farm home in rural Dickinson County Kansas.  His pastoral ministry on this earth is complete.

He was born in a farm near Manhattan, KS on February 27, 1932.  They moved around several times during his youth, ending up in Abilene Kansas in 1942.  He graduated from Abilene High School in 1949.  He worked as a soda jerk at Simmers Rexall Drug Store in Abilene before graduating and as an assistant chemist at the Abilene flour mill after graduation.

He met his future wife, Jewell Jury, at a Baptist youth skating party at Abilene, KS in the fall of 1949.  She was instrumental in starting his faith walk as she encouraged him to attend her church.  His first step of faith was when he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior in the fall of 1950.  Not long after that, he dedicated his life in service to the Lord and began lifelong vocation of bringing others to Christ.

He attended Moody Bible Institute in Chicago enrolling in 1951 in the Missionary Course.  He graduated from Moody Bible Institute in the spring of 1953.  In the fall of 1954 he continued his education at the Northern Baptist Theological College where he graduated in the spring of 1957.  He then studied at Kansas Teachers College of Pittsburg (Now Pittsburg State) where he received his MS degree in American History with a minor in Social Science in 1958.  In the fall of 1958, he decided on a ministry career rather than teaching.  Subsequently he attended and graduated from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary where he received a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1960.  He later continued his education earning Clinical Pastoral Education so he could serve as a chaplain in Veterans Administration facilities.  Learning was of lifelong importance to him.

Bob and Jewell were wed at First Baptist Church in Abilene, KS on July 11, 1955.  Besides their endearing love for each other, their teamwork and passion for ministry and service led to their lifelong work in the Lord’s Mission field.

Bob believed and lived Christ’s great commission “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of The Father, and the Son and of the Holy Spirit”.  His fulltime ministry began at Second Baptist Church in Chicago, IL.  He subsequently served at the First Baptist church in Ipswich, SD beginning in 1961; First Baptist Church in Belle Fourche, SD in 1966; First Baptist Church in Herington, KS in 1973; First Baptist Church in Miles City, MT in 1977; and First Baptist Church in Missoula, MT in 1991.  He retired for the first time in 1994, but subsequently served as Pastor in Vida Baptist Church in Vida, MT in 1995; Blackfoot Community Church at Ovando, MT in 1996, Interim pastor at First Baptist Church in Columbus, KS and again at First Baptist Church, Herington, KS in 2004 and finally at Enterprise Baptist Church in 2007.  He and Jewell also served part time for seven years visiting retired American Baptist pastors and spouses for the Ministers and Missionaries Benefit board of the American Baptist Church.  Jewell and Bob organized and participated in several mission trips too.  They visited the Holy Land several times, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Okinawa, Hong Cong, Thailand, Burma, India, Philippines, and Puerto Rico.

The outdoors was a favorite place for Bob.  He enjoyed God’s creation in nature.  He and Jewell hunted big game and fished throughout Montana and South Dakota and camped in many states.  He loved their farm home and the outside tasks that came with it until his developing Myasthenia Gravis robbed him of his mobility.

Besides his Christian family, he took great pride in his personal family.  Besides his soulmate Jewell of the home, he leaves daughter Lynnette Boelling and husband Ross, of Junction City, and son Ben Starburg and wife Dianna, of McPherson, KS; Granddaughter Melissa (Boelling) Dannefer and husband Eric of Abilene, KS, Grandson Ben Boelling and wife Amy of Maxwell, NE, Granddaughter Rebecca Boelling of Garden City, KS, Grandson Jaden Starburg, McPherson, KS, and Granddaughter Kilynn Starburg of McPherson, KS; and great-granddaughters Naomi, Claira and Hope Dannefer of Abilene, KS, and Alexis Kearns of Maxwell, NE.

Family visitation will be held 7:00-8:30pm Tuesday, October 17, 2017, at Zeiner Funeral Home, 404 S Broadway, Herington Kansas.  A Celebration of Bob’s life will be observed at 10:30am Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at First Baptist Church, 1 South A St, Herington, KS with Pastor Darrell Geist officiating.  Cremation is planned with a future private family inurnment service at the Lyona United Methodist Church cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to American Baptist Missionaries in care of the funeral home.

Bob’s desire was “To stay at the farm until they take me away to the nursing home or the cemetery. That will be another important day as I make another move into the mansion of glory.  I am glad that the Lord called me to be a minister and I say, “It has been a good life!” He was successful.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Elmer Starburg, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

7:00 - 8:30 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

Sawyer Funeral Home & Crematory

137 N Union St, Council Grove, KS 66846

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