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Craven, Dr. Bobby E.

Craven, Dr. Bobby E.

July 26, 1939 — July 20, 2020

* Service Live-stream Link:  https://vimeo.com/443441260/291e5c8fbc

Dr. Bobby (Bob) Ern Craven, age 80, of Liberty, MO, formerly of Excelsior Springs, MO, went home to be with his Lord and Savior Monday, July 20, 2020.

Bob was born on July 26, 1939, to Mose and Fern (Martin) Craven in Excelsior Springs. After graduating from Excelsior Springs High School, Bob attended the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He married Judith (Kulowski) “Ski” Craven in 1964.

After graduating from UMKC Dental School in 1965, he spent the next three years serving in the United States Army as a dentist. Bob and Ski resided in Gelnhausen, Germany, where he was stationed for three years. After completing orthodontic training in 1971, Bob began his 40-year career as a passionate orthodontist with offices in Excelsior Springs and Liberty. Bob loved improving the lives of the thousands of patients he served.

Dr. Craven was a distinguished professional who lectured throughout the country on various aspects of clinical orthodontics for many years. He also served as a faculty member of UMKC’s Graduate Orthodontic department from 1999-2011, receiving the Dan Blackwell Excellence in Teaching Award in 2009. Dr. Craven received the Orthodontic Alumnus of the Year Award in 2003 and was the Orthodontic Alumni Association’s Orthodontist of the Year recipient in 2013.

Bob was an intelligent, dynamic man known for his witty humor, great story-telling, and vibrant personality. Bob and Ski raised their family in Excelsior Springs where he enjoyed staying connected and giving back to his hometown. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Excelsior Springs. Bob was a devoted family man and enriched the lives of the many family, friends, and colleagues who knew him.

Bob is preceded in death by his wife, Judith “Ski” Craven and his parents, Mose and Fern Craven. He is survived by Rosemary Craven of the home; his three children, Brett Craven (Lori) of Kansas City, MO, Scott Craven (Lindsay) of Prairie Village, KS, and Michelle Rohlf (Jason) of Kansas City, MO; six grandchildren, Quin and Kati Craven, Mason and Millie Craven, and Brooks and Ski Rohlf; his brother, Martin Craven (Debbie) of San Luis Obispo, CA; his sister, Gay Russell (A.K.) of Liberty, MO; and several nieces and nephews. He also leaves Rosemary's family, including her children, Eric Elliott (Jamie) and Lauren Wood, all of Los Angeles, CA; and grandchildren, Aiden and Luke Elliott.

Visitation for friends and family will be Saturday, August 1, from 9-11 am, at Park Lawn Northland Chapel, 1640 N. State Route 291, Liberty, MO. Due to current COVID circumstances, services following the visitation will be private. Burial service for family will be at Hillcrest Cemetery, Excelsior Springs. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the UMKC Dental School Orthodontic department, 650 E. 25th St., Kansas City, MO 64108.

Service Information

Visitation for friends and family will be Saturday, August 1, from 9-11 am, at Park Lawn Northland Chapel, 1640 N. State Route 291, Liberty, MO. Due to current COVID circumstances, services following the visitation will be private. Burial service for family will be at Hillcrest Cemetery, Excelsior Springs. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the UMKC Dental School Orthodontic department, 650 E. 25th St., Kansas City, MO 64108.

Craven, Dr. Bobby E.'s Guestbook

Dear Craven family, We loved getting to view Bob’s service, yesterday, and the wonderful memories of fun times spent with Ski and Bob Came flooding back! We kept nodding our head in agreement with all that was said about him, and laughing at the classic “Bob storieS”! How fortunate he was to find you, Rosemary. I can’t believe how the family has grown. What a proud legacy He leaves! Thinking of all of you with love and prayers. Jan and Ken Mast

Ken and Jan Mady

Ken and I have many wonderful memories of Bob and Ski! It was heart warming to hear the stories of Bob’s rich life! We sat nodding our heads, wiping tears and remembering stories of our own. Rosemary, he was so fortunate to find you. You were just what he needed! And to his wonderful family that remains, live in the way your dear parents taught you, their beloved legacy! Jan and Ken Mast

Jan and ken Mast

My deepest sympathies to the Craven family. Your dad was a true gentleman. I always enjoyed spending time with him and his family. My prayers are with you all.

Marilyn Needham

What a great guy with a great personality. He became one of my best and long-term customers when I was getting our business going. He was one of the few people where I'd personally deliver his T-shirt orders simply because I looked forward to our quick but funny conversations. He was a true professional and an incredible asset to the Liberty/Excelsior area.

Daryn Ross

To Rosemary and family, you are in all our thoughts and prayers. Bob was a truly exceptional man and one of the finest orthodontists in our profession. He was generous and gracious to a fault. He could bring the house down with a single line from one of his many good-hearted observations about life. He was warm, clever and fabulously funny. As a professor, he maintained the highest standards and held us to them. But, more important than the lessons he taught, I'm forever grateful for the way he taught them, the role model he was to so many aspiring orthodontists like me and the fact that he truly cared about us as individuals. I'm so grateful Bob believed in me and so many others. His legacy will live on in the thousands of patients he treated, all the doctors he helped train and the countless lives he touched. With deepest sympathy and love to all of Bob's family. We've lost a titan.

Dustin Burleson – UMKC Orthodontics

We got to know Bob through Rosemary. The short time we had getting to know him, we were richly blessed. His smile was a winner! Our sympathy to Rosemary and rest of his family.

Robert, Sharon & Justin Ocker

I cherish the time I was able to know Bob Craven. He always lightened my day with his humor and insight. We traveled together, dined together and always laughed together. He was perfect as an orthodontist, always teasing the kids he loved and cared for. I will miss him greatly. He had too many medical challenges but through it all he rarely complained. He and Ski will now be together. In his last years no one could have taken better care of him or loved him more than Rosemary. Rest In Peace, my friend. We have lost a great human being.

David A. Cooley, M.D., F.A.C.P.

Dear Rosemary and Family, We have lost a dear friend and colleague. Bob was in dental school during my years there. He was such an optimistic and open person. He could light up your day just by saying “hello”. He will live on forever in our memories.

R. Wayne and Joyce Thompson

I have known Bob since he and Judy, my sister, became engaged. He straightened my teeth, as well as my daughter, Nicole's and her daughters', Alexis and Whitney. We had such a good time playing yahtze and having dinner together with Bob and Rosemary. Bob always attended Mother's birthday parties and there were many. Rosemary was kind to Mother who loved her. With deepest sympathy to Rosemary and the family.

Cheryl and Dave Hendricks

First he is too young, too nice, too great of an orthodontist to leave this world so soon. One of the many memories I have (and a true story) that shows what an incredible man Bob was.. When Bob left the St. Joe orthodontic practice with me, he was in the middle of treatment for an older lady (60+ years old). When I told her where he was now working she cried in the dental office. She then asked for her records and headed for Liberty. She made that trip from St. Joe to Liberty for 3 years so that Bob could finish his work. She loved the man as so many others did too! Thanks for being the Bob we all knew, loved and appreciated. Sincerely, Dr. Steve Cain (entered by Steve's daughter from a handwritten letter which will be mailed to the funeral home)

Steve Cain

To Rosemary (and family)- Thank you for loving Bob and letting me get to know him through you. He was a kind and precious man, and I know he impacted many lives positively. He will be missed.

Robin Hogan

Lost not only a great friend but a classmate all the way through school. We shared many memories together through the years and the many reunions that we have had. Your family and friends are in my thoughts and prayers. Rest in peace my dear friend.

Wanda (Pointer) Mills

Bob and Ski moved across the street from us in King's Edition years ago. Bob also became my orthodontist, my first visit to his office in Liberty I sat in a lawn chair because he hadn't gotten his office furniture in yet. Anytime I had a wire that bothered me mom would call to him across the street and he would back his car up in our driveway and he would pop his trunk and adjust me standing in the driveway. He was a wonderful man and raised a great family. My prayers are with his family.

Kelly Love

Dear Rosemary and family, Patti and I were so sad at the news of Bob’s passing. We enjoyed our small family dinners with you and Bob, while playing dominos and Yahtzee, laughing at Bob’s beginners luck. We found him to be a funny, open and honest gentlemen whom we will miss very much.

Mike & Patti Biondi

The world has lost a special person. His laughter and his love for life will resonate with me always.

Sharon Klein

Very sorry to hear this. Dr. Craven was the orthodontist for our children and years later my orthodontist. We talked about the TV show "law and order" because we were both big fans. He was a gentleman and a scholar.

Joyce Coonis

Dr. Craven was such a good man! He straightened my teeth, gave me a job, and inspired me to go into the medical field. I owe much to his generosity and kind heart. Thank you so much Dr Craven! Your memory and generosity will continue to live on!

Todd Nielsen

To Bob’s family, I am sorry for your loss. He was always so kind to me as a “transplant” to Excelsior and such a delightful person.

Carolyn Vogler

So Sorry for your loss. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

Doreena Jackson (Shea)

Dear Rosemary and family, We were so saddened to hear of Bob's passing. He was such a good and loyal friend to my parents, and they always enjoyed being with him. We know he will be missed by so many. Sarah and Art Blackman

Sarah Blackman

I’m so sorry to hear this. What a great man. So much love to the Cravens. ❤️

CaraSue (Lawrence) Hall

We are so sad of Bob’s passing. Frank and Bob hit it off the first time they met. Judy and Bob had known each other much longer. We loved seeing him when we came to Kansas City to visit. He will be missed by us and will always be in our hearts.

Frank & Judy

We were so lucky to meet Bob through Rosemary. He had a special light in him. He told the best jokes and stories. We went out to the Buffalo Club in Los Angeles and he danced all night. He wore a captain's hat on Catalina Island. He played Pictionary with the most precise, tiny drawings. He loved to eat through the night and keep a clean kitchen. He welcomed us into his home and into his life through Rosemary. It was clear to see the love they had for each other. We are sending love to the family during this difficult time and we are thankful for the memories we made with Bob. With deepest sympathy, Eric, Jamie, Aiden and Luke Elliott

Jamie Elliott

We have lost a good friend. So many wonderful memories over 50 years. Lots of laughs, travels and many golf games. Rest In Peace our friend.

Chuck and Betty Anderson

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