Stillwater News Press


June 11, 2014

Robert “Bob” Totusek

Robert “Bob” Totusek, 87, died peacefully in his sleep June 6 in Oklahoma City. There will be a visitation from 5-8 p.m. Sunday at the Strode Funeral Home. A Christian memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at the First United Methodist Church in Stillwater following a private graveside service. A public Celebration of Life will be held at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum at 2:30 p.m. June 23 in Oklahoma City. Strode Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Born on a farm between Kingfisher and Garber, he was the son of Aloise Karbusicky Totusek and Emil Totusek. Both of his parents’ families immigrated from Czechoslovakia and were active in the local Czech communities. Growing up during the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, he recalled that his parents were poor but had a large garden and plenty of milk, meat and eggs, and delivered food to a number of families in need in Garber every Saturday. These early experiences impacted his life’s direction to become an advocate for the power of agriculture.

Bob attended Oklahoma A&M College and was actively involved in the A&M meats and livestock judging teams. He then obtained his Ph.D. at Purdue University, before joining the animal husbandry faculty at Oklahoma A&M College in 1952.

He married his Garber High School sweetheart and the love of his life, Nellie Lieu Maynard, on Dec. 21, 1947, and they had three children, Don, Diane and Darla. Bob and Nell celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary last December. One of the highlights of their marriage had been celebrating their anniversary with three other couples from Stillwater that were married at the same time of year. Bob and Nell celebrated over 50 anniversaries with Jim and Louise Bellatti, Richard and Marilyn Heath, and Owen and Ann Thomas.

While at Oklahoma State University, Bob, affectionately known as “Dr. Tot,” enjoyed teaching, research, coaching livestock judging teams, administration and mentoring students and colleagues. He served as animal science department head from 1976 until retiring in 1990. He was passionate about his work, and was often referred to as “Mr. Animal Science.” While he achieved many honors and accomplishments, nothing surpassed the rewarding relationships he developed with students, farmers and ranchers across the state. As he once said, “It’s a privilege for every faculty member to work for the people in Oklahoma, and to know what the problems are ... and have a hand in solving those problems.”

Bob was an exemplary family man. He was a loving husband and father, and he valued his heritage and his relationships with extended family. In the last decade of his life, he prioritized bringing happiness to his wife, Nell, and teaching all generations the importance of familial relationships and patriotism.

He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, Emilie Carter and Betty Sonnenfeld, and a brother, George Totusek.

In addition to his wife, Nell, he is survived by his son, Don Totusek and wife, Patsy, of Richardson, Texas; daughter Diane Stearman and husband, David, of Simpsonville, Ken.; and daughter, Darla Flanagan and husband, Patrick, of Kentfield, Calif. He is also survived by eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, Sommer Stearman Liste and husband, Luis, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and their sons Jackson and Wyatt; Ryan Stearman of Portland, Ore.; Nathan Totusek, Joseph Totusek, and Samuel Totusek of Dallas and Denton, Texas; and Mackenzie Flanagan, Kylie Flanagan, and Delaney Flanagan of Kentfield, Calif.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made in memory of Bob to Oklahoma State University, c/o OSU Foundation, P.O. Box 1749, Stillwater, OK, 74076.

Condolences may be emailed to the family and an online obituary may be viewed by visiting

Favorite song: Home on the Range

Favorite vacation: Trail riding in the Kiamichi Mountains in southeastern Oklahoma or judging a livestock show

Favorite pastime: Helping family, friends, students, colleagues and ranchers solve problems

Words on his tombstone: “God Bless our family, the USA, Oklahoma, and OSU”

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