Feed mill safety expert Robert Schoeff dies at age 98

Was recognized as an expert in grain elevator and feed mill safety and explosion prevention

Robert Wayne “Bob” Schoeff, 98, a well-known feed mill safety expert, died February 28, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio.

Schoeff was a professor and extension specialist at Kansas State University specializing in marketing, management and safety in the feed and grain industry. He created a dust explosion safety video series that was widely used by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Over the years, he received recognition for his outstanding contributions to the feed and grain industry from the American Feed Industry Association, the Grain Elevators and Processing Society and the American Feed Manufacturers Association. He was recognized around the world as an expert in grain elevator and feed mill safety and explosion prevention and was a respected consultant in the field even after his retirement from Kansas State.

Schoeff was born September 15, 1921, in Huntington County, Indiana, the son of Christy L. and Isabel (Rice) Schoeff, and he grew up on a farm near Huntington.

He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees and his Ph.D. from Purdue University.

Schoeff was commissioned in the United States Marine Corp in January 1943, and served in the South Pacific during World War II as an artillery officer. He received an honorable discharge from the Marine Corp Reserves in 1957 at the rank of captain.

On December 23, 1945, he married Evelyn Erickson in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He worked for several agri-businesses in Indiana and Illinois before moving to Manhattan, Kansas, in 1960 when he joined the faculty at Kansas State University.

Schoeff was preceded in death by his wife, brother Richard Schoeff, son-in-law Gary Hawkes and great-granddaughter Emmeline Schoeff.

He is survived by two children, Marcia Hawkes and Eric (Kristin) Schoeff; sister, Marjorie Brown; eight grandchildren, Sara (Tim) McGovern, Jeffrey Hawkes, Jerry (Melissa) Hawkes, David (Bethany) Schoeff, Jonathan (Candace) Schoeff, Michael Schoeff, Daniel (Sarah Niedergall) Schoeff, and Stephen (Aparna Baheti) Schoeff; and nine great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 14 at the First Lutheran Church, 930 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas, with Rev. Elizabeth Kocher officiating. Private interment will be in the Kansas Veterans’ Cemetery at Fort Riley.

The family will receive visitors from noon to 12:45 p.m. at the church on March 14.

Online condolences may be left for the family through the funeral home website at www.ymlfuneralhome.com.

Memorial contributions may be made to either the Kansas State University Foundation for the Robert and Evelyn Schoeff Scholarship in Grain Science or the First Lutheran Church. Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502.