Robert "Bob James” Thranert passed away after a long illness on his 83rd birthday 25 March, 2012 at Landmark Hospital in Joplin, Mo. He was born to Ella Armstrong Ferguson Thranert and Edwin Frank Thranert in Battle Creek, Michigan in 1929.
Bob James retired from Broadcasting in October 1993 after working as News Director for KSYN KQYX. His broadcasting career included working in Carthage Mo., Tulsa Ok., and Michigan.
Bob lived his life to the fullest and enjoyed many adventures along the way including careers in Law Enforcement, Flying, Rail yards, Photography, Ambulance Driving, performing in theatre and was a classically trained pianist. He also enjoyed his time with the Kiwanis and Lion Clubs. Bob prided himself on not only being one of the first on the scene of any breaking news story, but in assisting as one of the first responders.
Some of his favorite highlights in his broadcasting career included interviewing John F. Kennedy and Elvis Presley, covering the tragedy here in Joplin with the Connor Hotel, the Christine Craft Trial, and working remotes for Higdon’s open house. But he was most proud of his work with the Jim Nail Memorial Foundation.
Just when we thought we had heard all the stories from his past, he would speak of someone famous he was friends with or had interviewed. After Bob retired he lived life through his grandchildren and keeping in contact with anyone that would answer their phone.
Bob loved to tell stories and keep everyone entertained with his "Theatrics" even up until the end. He asked for one last red beer for his Birthday, told stories of his daughters and of his own childhood, telling everyone how he slept through the Tornado in May. He even asked if he was dead yet on a daily basis and requested a tombstone that stated, “I told you I was sick.”
He is survived by his wife Patricia of 45 years; his daughters Rebecca Pickering and her husband, Victor of Colorado Springs Co., Deborah Kelley and her husband Joseph of Joplin; his son Phillip Bicknell of Battle Creek MI.; his cherished grandchildren, Steven Pickering, Pheobe and Dominic Burke, and Audrey Kelley. He also leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews and loved ones.
Bob will always be remembered for loving his family and community, his voice, his love ofbroadcasting and his ability to make everyone laugh. Mike Pound said it best in his Article, Talk Stokes Memories of Radio News, and “…that former rich baritone of his is now a raspy whisper. But his illness has not robbed him of his sense of humor”. And as Judy Stills noted in her article for the media showcase day for MSSU 18 Oct 2006, "James is described by his peers as the last of the true broadcast journalists on local radio."
A celebration of his life will be held at Parker Mortuary Thursday March 29th at 2pm. The family will be at the home of a daughter, 2114 Empire in Joplin. Bob requested any memorial contributions be sent to the Joplin Humane Society in his name to help all those who cannot help themselves.