Robert Stephen Herman

© Aaron Lindberg Photography

Robert Stephen Herman

Robert “Bobby” Stephen Herman (Baruch ben Yisrael), 67, of Lake of the Forest, Kansas, passed away peacefully at home on June 8th, 2022.

Bobby was born on August 1st, 1954, to Earl and Lena “Lakie” Herman in Pittsburgh, PA. When he was 15, the family moved to Hattiesburg, MS. After graduating high school in 1972, he attended both Tulane University (New Orleans, LA) and the University of Florida (Gainesville, FL). In 1976, he graduated with honors from the University of Florida with a B.A. in English Literature, and in 1981 went on to obtain a law degree from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.

In addition to running his family’s multi-generation beverage distributorship in Hattiesburg from afar for decades, Bobby practiced law for more than 40 years, focusing on business law, real estate and real estate finance law, and estate planning. After working at a few law firms in Kansas City and managing his own firm for several years, he joined Rouse Frets White Goss Gentile Rhodes, PC, where he enjoyed the last decade of his career and worked up until just weeks before his passing. After closing thousands of commercial loans representing various lending institutions over the years, he especially enjoyed working with Whataburger’s corporate office in recent years to help bring Whataburger to Kansas City. 

After meeting in New Orleans, Bobby married Joan Optican, from St. Joseph, MO, in 1982 and eventually settled in Kansas City in 1986. They raised their three children in Leawood, Kansas: Kelsey Lauren, (1986), Brian Edward (1989), and Kaley Rebecca (1992).

In 2018, after eight years together, Bobby married Karen L. Kipp at their home at Lake of the Forest, KS. They shared many happy evenings there entertaining family and friends and enjoying countless sunsets over the lake.

Bobby was preceded in death by his mother, Lena (Kelsey) Herman; his father, Earl Herman; and his dear sister, Carol Herman. He is survived by his wife, Karen L. Kipp; his children, Kelsey, Brian (Jessica), and Kaley (David); his step-daughter, Talia V. Baker (Alex); his nephew Eli Sinai (Meaghan) and niece Rebecca Sinai;, and his especially beloved dog, Kaya. 

May his memory be a blessing.


A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, July 2nd, 2022, from 1-4pm at the Lake of the Forest Clubhouse, 100 Lake Forest Drive, Bonner Springs, KS 66012. Upon arrival, please tell the security guard at the gate that you are there for the Celebration of Life and they will direct you to the parking area.

Memorial Contributions

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to Vitas Hospice Healthcare local branch in Kansas City, KS.


  1. Juanita Stude on July 6, 2022 at 3:12 pm

    Karen I am so sorry to learn of your precious husbands passing. I remember so well when you and Bob had your Wedding Ceremony at the patio area in the evening at lakeside. So many of us were in attendance and it was a beautiful cool evening. Wonderful and memorable day for everyone. Bob is now in the loving arms of our heavenly father. Love and hugs. Juanita Stude

  2. Mrs Norman E. Gaar on July 5, 2022 at 9:32 pm

    My husband Norman and I knew Bob both personally and professionally. Personally, he was a gentleman and a man of great warmth, humor, and delight in life and in the lives of his friends. Professionally, he was a man of honor, integrity, and professionalism. The sun has set on the life of a very special person, and our lives are all blessed for having walked by his side.

  3. Juanita Stude on July 5, 2022 at 6:46 pm

    Karen I am so sorry to learn of the passing of your precious Bob. I remember so well when the two of you married near the patio swim area. It was a delightful and special wedding for all of those who attended. My prayers for you and all your family. With love and hugs. Juanita Stude.

  4. Robin Goff on July 2, 2022 at 10:17 am

    Sometimes there is relief at the end of a long illness and that mixes with the sadness at saying Goodbye. I wish you all laughter and tears as we celebrate a life lived well. Sending love to all who have been graced by Bobby’s beautiful presence in their life.

  5. LaShonda Janae on June 30, 2022 at 1:51 pm

    Grace, peace and compassion to your hearts and minds!

  6. Marsha N Shaad on June 27, 2022 at 8:39 am

    Bob was such a gentleman!! I didn’t know him well, but he, Karen and I shared an inside joke. I was once introducing him to someone and I didn’t know quite how to do so. I volunteered “this is Karen’s person” and from that point forward whenever I met up with Bob and Karen I referred to him as “person”. I always sensed he was a gentle soul and after reading his obituary, he was obviously a very accomplished individual. I am so deeply sorry for your loss. He will be missed.

  7. Jane Rosenthal on June 24, 2022 at 5:57 pm

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Sending hugs and strength in this difficult time. Wishing we could hug you all. Jane and Dave

  8. Michelle Robin on June 22, 2022 at 9:09 pm

    Bobby’s warm smile welcomed strangers and friends into his circle. Much love to Karen and family

  9. Carri Mersky Golden on June 20, 2022 at 12:57 pm

    Unlike Bobby’s many admirers, I knew him as a best bud, ‘garage’ musician, and cool friend of my brother, long ago, in Stanton Heights, Pittsburgh. His later distinguished gray hair (great pic) was brown and curly. Our contacts were few over the years, but were always enjoyed and as if no time had passed. I treasure our emails from last year; his praise for Karen was deeply felt and touching. Please accept my condolences to Karen, his children, and Bobby’s extended family. May we have the good fortune to model ourselves after his fine character. May you be comforted by your memories and your loved ones.

  10. Chuck Rouse on June 18, 2022 at 3:05 pm

    Occasionally a law firm loses one of its warriors. This June our firm sadly lost one. Rouse Frets White Goss Gentile Rhodes, P.C. will miss Bob.

  11. Zoe Herrington on June 18, 2022 at 1:41 pm

    Without a doubt, the most kind, unassuming person I have had the pleasure of knowing. Bob handled all of my estate needs and spoke to me in a fashion I could understand. Bob could talk to anyone putting them at ease. One day I went into his conference room and it radiated white light….. I knew he had found his true love and after inquiring about that grin, he confessed he had found his true Love ❤️, Karen. My sadness is profound as we all will miss Bob in our own way.

    • Carole. Rodman on June 20, 2022 at 7:58 pm

      I didn’t know Bobby well, but I knew he loved my niece Karen, that made him SPECIAL. Love you , Uncle Vic&Aunt Carole

  12. John Reinhart on June 18, 2022 at 9:04 am

    I got to know Bob through his work with our legal/real estate team at Whataburger. I wish I’d known that we both grew up together in Pittsburgh during the same timeframe. I will miss working with him tremendously. He was a very fine attorney, but one of the kinder, gentler people I’ve encountered in business. His example in facing adversity will never be forgotten. My condolences to his family.

  13. Jeff Wagner on June 17, 2022 at 9:57 am

    I enjoyed many KU basketball games with Bob over the years and built a great friendship with him. My fondest memory is when Bob and Karen got married and he sang to her. There was not a dry eye anywhere. Bob will be missed greatly but is now in a better place without pain.

  14. Yeshe Chodron on June 16, 2022 at 6:35 pm

    Karen, I love you dearly and am so sorry for your loss.

  15. Cora Blackwell on June 16, 2022 at 6:09 pm

    My heart and prayers are with all of you. So blessed to have shared the kindness of a long friendship with amazing Bobby. He will be in my heart forever.

  16. Bill Herman on June 16, 2022 at 5:15 pm

    Bobby was one of the wonderful group of (9?) cousins I grew up with so many years ago in the Pittsburgh area. Though our lives had grown apart as we followed our dreams and ambitions, we were only a phone call away. I will miss him greatly.

  17. Scott Kipp on June 16, 2022 at 5:08 pm

    Bobby was a great addition to our family. He was always up for a good time and he will be missed.

    Goodbye brother!

  18. Martin and Irina Price on June 16, 2022 at 4:55 pm

    Bobby and I met over business, and became dear friends for the last 20 years. I was honored to have Bobby officiate my wedding to Irina and for us to share many good times with Karen and their expansive family. He will be missed, but his memory will live with us forever.

  19. DiAnne Berning on June 16, 2022 at 4:53 pm

    What a nice looking man:). His life was cut short, but he accomplished so much & was very successful. His birthday is the same day as my mom’s:). Thinking of you Karen & how much fun you had dancing barefoot at the June dances. My heart goes out to your family & sending prayers & hugs to you girlfriend:)

  20. Rachel westfall on June 16, 2022 at 4:49 pm

    So very sorry for your loss Karen. I know exactly what your are going through. I pray Bob is resting peacefully in the arms of our Lord. So sorry I won’t be able to come to the service but my thoughts will be with you.

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