Robert L. “Bob” Stephen – Manchester

Robert Leo “Bob” Stephen, 80, of Manchester, Iowa, passed away on Thursday, October 12, 2017, at the Good Neighbor Home in Manchester.  Bob was born on October 2, 1937, in Des Moines, the son of Dr. Paul and Leona (Taylor) Stephen.  He attended school in Manchester through the eighth grade when the family moved to Cedar Rapids.  Bob graduated from Franklin High School in 1955.  In 1959 he graduated from Coe College with his teaching degree and then went on to earn his M.A. from Michigan State University in Lansing.


On August 21, 1959, Bob was united in marriage to Karla Gearhart at the Methodist Church in Manchester. Bob taught and coached wrestling and football in Mount Vernon, Elkader, and at Cedar Rapids Jefferson and Kennedy High Schools. For 15 years, Bob taught driver’s education classes to many high school and adult students.  As a hobby Bob enjoyed buying and selling used cars. This interest led to him purchasing the former Bob Nall Chevy-Olds car dealership in Manchester in December 1972.  Bob owned and operated Bob Stephen Motors until his retirement in 2014.


Bob enjoyed fishing, boating, hunting, snowmobiling, and camping with his family.  He also liked watching sports on television and playing cards. One of his special joys was spending time with his dogs, Cheesie, Tuggles, and Pepsi.  Bob loved attending his kids and grandkids activities and spending time with his family and friends.


Survivors include his wife, Karla Stephen of Manchester; his two daughters, Heidi (Paul) Roussell of Delhi and Jamie (Doug) Carroll of Ryan; seven grandchildren, Tirzah, Coy, and Kinch Roussell, and Ashley (Lucas) Bybee, Blake, Brent, and Brady Carroll; one brother, Roger (Sandy) Stephen of Monticello; and two sisters, Karilyn (Steve) Sonka of Champaign, Illinois, and Marilyn Randall of Cedar Rapids.


Bob was preceded in death by his parents; and his identical triplet daughters.


A memorial fund has been established in Bob’s name.


Online condolences may be sent to


Funeral Service: 2:00 p.m., on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, at the United Methodist Church in Manchester, with Rev. Phil Rogers officiating.


Visitation:  4:00 to 8:00 p.m., on Monday, October 16, 2017, at Leonard-Muller Funeral Home, Manchester.


Inurnment:  At a later date