Funeral services for retired 1st Sgt. Robert A. (Bob) Szczepanski, 77, of Killeen, will be at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at First United Methodist Church in Killeen. Interment with full military honors will follow at 3 p.m. at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. A celebration of life will follow interment from 4 to 6 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Killeen.

Mr. Szczepanski died March 8, 2014, in the early morning hours after battling 40 years of chronic heart disease. He was surrounded by his loving family and the prayers of hundreds of friends and family across the nation, as he peacefully went home in his sleep.

He was born Nov. 11, 1936, in Sloan, N.Y., to Casimer and Pearl E. (Spicka) Szczepanski. He married Betty Lou Nimsker on Dec. 27, 1958, at St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church in Buffalo, N.Y.

He traveled the world with his family and served two tours in Vietnam as an 11B Army sergeant, and earned several medals and honors during his 21 years of honorable service to our country.

He retired from Fort Hood in 1977, moved to South Florida and returned to Killeen in 2001, where he and Betty have lived on the same street as their two daughters and grandsons, Chad and Steven, since 2002.

Mr. Szczepanski was preceded in death by his wonderful parents, Casimer and Pearl Szczepanski; his older brother, Casimer Szczepanski Jr.; his older sister, Delores Hoppe; his loving daughter, Vicki Lingerfelt; and his grandson, J. Eric Woodburn.

Survivors include his adoring wife of 55 years, Betty Lou Szczepanski; loving daughters, Valerie and her husband, David Pierce, and Vanessa and her husband, Tony Austin; his beloved younger sister, Judith Alexander; his four cherished grandchildren, Chad R.A. Szczepanski, Steven I. Lewis, E. Wayne Lingerfelt and Elizabeth Rae Lingerfelt; and three beautiful great-grandsons, Lucian Lingerfelt, Elijah Lingerfelt and Lucas Woodburn.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the American Heart Association or the Disabled Veterans of America in Bob’s honor.

Visitation is from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home in Killeen. Offer condolences at

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