Robert H. Cerv, Sr.
Date of Birth
May 5, 1925
Weston, Nebraska
Entered into Rest
April 6, 2017
Blair, Nebraska
Mass of Christian Burial Directions

Monday, April 10, 2017 ~ 10:00 a.m.
St. John Nepomucene Catholic Church ~ Weston, Nebraska
Interment at St. John Cemetery ~ Weston, Nebraska
Military Honors by American Legion #308

Visitation & Rosary Directions

Sunday, April 9, 2017
Visitation ~ 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Rosary ~ 7:00 p.m.
St. John Nepomucene Catholic Church ~ Weston, Nebraska

Memorials – in lieu of flowers

Bob Cerv Monument in the Weston Park or
Endless Journey Hospice

Robert Henry Cerv, Sr., 91, better known as Bob passed on to his heavenly host on Thursday, April 6, 2017 in Blair, NE.

Bob was born to his parents Anton and Henrietta (Staska) Cerv on May 5, 1925 in Weston, Nebraska, a small town west of Wahoo, NE.  He served his country in the U.S. Navy during WWII until he was honorably discharged.  On June 5, 1948, Bob was united in marriage to Phyllis Pelton at St. John Nepomucene Church in Weston, NE.

Bob was an eight time letter winner at the University of Nebraska in both basketball and baseball and he was an All-American in baseball.  He signed with the New York Yankees in 1950.  He played with the Yankees until 1956, and then was traded to the Kansas City Athletics in 1957.  In 1958, Bob hit 38 home runs and was elected to the A.L. All-Star Team.

He went back to the Yankees in 1961 and roomed with Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, a great threesome.  He also teamed with Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra, Bobby Richardson, Elston Howard, and others.  In 1962, Bob’s playing career came to an end as he was released by the Houston Colts.

After baseball, Bob coached at John F. Kennedy College in Wahoo and later Sioux Empire College in Hawarden, Iowa.

He won the NBC Tournament one summer in Wichita, Kansas while managing the Liberal B.J.’s a semi-professional baseball team.  One player stated that Bob was a great coach while sitting on a five gallon pail.  Bob swung a bat that was very similar to a six foot post-unbelievably heavy.

Bob was really a quite modest man about his baseball background and he always said his greatest accomplishment in life was his ten children.

He is survived by children: Sandy Harrington of Lincoln, Karen Chambers of Laguna Beach, CA, Robert Jr. (Mary) Cerv of Alliance, Joseph (Mary) Cerv of Overland Park, KS, John (Maggie) Cerv of Gladstone, MO, Phyllis Willis of Basehor, KS, Dawn (Todd) Ericson of Hawarden, IA, and Melissa (Randy) Lock of Blair; 32 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren; sister Bonnie Nelson of Lincoln; brother-in-law Wade (Nancy) Pelton of Texas; many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by wife Phyllis Cerv; daughters: Sithay Ann Cerv and Denise Mahoney; sisters: Laverne Richardson and Joyce Kucera.

Condolences for Robert H. Cerv, Sr.
  1. Marv Razor
    • April 8, 2017 - 6 years ago

    Truly blessed to know him and call him both coach and friend.

  2. Cyndy Lammert
    • April 8, 2017 - 6 years ago

    RIP Coach. A great coach at JFK, proud to have met you and your family. There’s a ball field in Heaven for you.

  3. George Knittle
    • April 8, 2017 - 6 years ago

    I first remember Bob Cerv as a little kid growing up in Kansas City when he was with the Blues. In 1958, in the 8th grade, I had a pass to the A’s games that I received from a friend to pay off the $5 he owed me from playing pool. I was in the 8th grade and went to about 30 games that summer, and Bob Cerv was my baseball hero that summer. He would hit them high and far into the Sam’s Parking lot behind the left field fence. Even when he swung and missed it was exciting–never saw anyone swing harder at a baseball than he did. I also remember that he played with a broken nose and jaw that year, which I can relate to because I played basketball at Independence, KS Juco in 1963 with a broken jaw that was wired shut, just like Bob Cerv in 1958. We won the NJCAA National Championship that year, so I was involved in a memorable lifetime achievement enduring the liquid diet and lack of oxygen just as Bob had done in 1958. Bob Cerv was my first sports hero, RIP Mr. Cerv, you will never be forgotten by this kid.

  4. Denny O'Connell
    • April 8, 2017 - 6 years ago

    My deepest sympathies to rhe entire Cerv Family. Coach was an “original” in the entire sense of the word and was never short on sharing his laughter and smile with everyone around him. His “field of dreams” was also ours
    and everyone he touched at JFK. He will be remembered and missed. Probably no finer tribute than that!

  5. Rusty
    • April 8, 2017 - 6 years ago

    Thank you for giving me a chance to play for you and to know your family

  6. Sheryl and Tom Lonergan
    • April 8, 2017 - 6 years ago

    Will always remember Coach Cerv from JFK. A truly down to earth guy with a big heart. Can’t forget his bat “the war club” that hung in his office. RIP Coach.

  7. • April 8, 2017 - 6 years ago

    I grew up in NY state. Bob Cerv was one of my favorite Yankees when I was a kid.

  8. Richard Gelber
    • April 8, 2017 - 6 years ago

    Coach Cerv would always have time to talk to you.he truly cared about the kids at JFK.He will be missed by all he touched .May he rest in peace.

  9. Bill Travers
    • April 8, 2017 - 6 years ago

    My condolences to the Cerv family, and specifically to Joe. I worked with Joe at Kansas City Folgers near the turn to 2000. He often spoke of his Dad, and I could sense the pride he had in who his Dad was. After reading several newspaper articles about Mr. Cerv the last two days I understand why.

  10. Vince Machynski
    • April 9, 2017 - 6 years ago

    My condolences to the Cerv family for your loss. I tip my cap to the greatest coach I ever knew. He made made every player better no matter how big or small their talent was. It was truly an honor to have played for him.

  11. Laurie Maly Maestas
    • April 9, 2017 - 6 years ago

    Sorry for your loss prayers and thoughts to you and your family. Dad talked about playing baseball with Bob Cerv in Weston.

  12. Pat Budler
    • April 9, 2017 - 6 years ago

    We have certainly lost a great one in Coach Cerv. He was the embodiment of all good things at JFK College. You will be missed.

  13. Janeen (Rezac) Jindra
    • April 10, 2017 - 6 years ago

    I will never forget visiting with Bob at my brothers in Dwight, he came to sign some baseballs for a fundraiser. Even though he had a busy life, he made time for our family and shared kolaches.. I asked about his moms (my Aunt Curly) lemon tree.. He confirmed that it was heavy for uncle Hank to carry in and out of the house as the seasons changed.. It was an honor to be a part of his family and to know he made such an impact on many, I am requesting a polka for Bob, so listen at 10:30, Sunday April 23, am900.. very proud to have him in our life…

  14. Mark Glatter
    • April 10, 2017 - 6 years ago

    True gentlman. Tough as they get. RIP.

  15. Bob Sieck
    • April 11, 2017 - 6 years ago

    Will be missed always enjoyed visiting with him and discussing baseball our neighbor in Lincoln was and will be in our prayers.

    Bob and Paula Sieck

  16. Anonymous
    • April 11, 2017 - 6 years ago

    Life long Kansas City baseball fan and I got to see Bob Cerv play here in the late 50’s. Many Royals fans I’m sure are not aware the Bob Cerv hit 38 home runs in 1958,still a Kansas City baseball record. Condolences

  17. Athletic/Royal fan
    • April 12, 2017 - 6 years ago

    Prayers and thoughts to the Cerv family, from another KC baseball fan that has always remembered who the true KC homerun record belongs to!!!

  18. Frank Nedrow
    • April 12, 2017 - 6 years ago

    My Dad took me to see the Kansas City A’s starting in 1955. I always cheered on my A’s even though they didn’t win many games. My childhood hero was Bob Cerv when he came here to KC from the Yankees. It was such an inspiration to see him play and the good example he gave us kids from what he did on and off the field including playing with a broken jaw. Those wonderful memories of him remain with me all these years later. Thank you Mr. Cerv.

  19. Candy Troop
    • April 21, 2017 - 6 years ago

    My sympathies to your family. I have many fond memories when you lived on the hill at the end of Hunter road. We lost our Mom and Dad 23 days apart this year.

  20. Don Bartek, Capt. USMC Retired
    • July 29, 2017 - 6 years ago

    Bob was a good friend to my Dad, “Chuck” Bartek. Dad had the kindest words about Bob. Such a good Christian man, with a wonderful family. Bob was an example to all, and a model for good Christian life.

  21. Tom
    • July 17, 2021 - 2 years ago

    While in elementary school in Fremont, Bob’s mother had a hospital stay shortly after the World Series. My mom, a nurse, had helped care for her and with some sort of mother-to-mother chat, I got to skip school one afternoon to meet and visit with Bob. He autographed everything I could carry into the visitors room! I was sky high. A few decades later, mom, like probably so many others, discarded my baseball cards and autograph collection. A nephew, hauling newspapers in Lincoln, knew where Bob lived and approached him for “replacement” autographs. He very kindly obliged. Both the nephew and I share his gesture and kindness while trying to better protect this set of his autographs. A hero and idol to a little kid from the 50s. Thank you for such wonderful memories.

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