Robert Signor

B.S. Physical Education
M.S. Business Administration

Emporia State Teachers College

Basketball Coach
1949 - 1953



Robert M. Signor, age 85, died peacefully on Sunday, October 12, 2008, at St. Luke's Hospital North.

Bob was born in a farm house on June 1, 1923, in Atchison, Kan., to Joel Burt and Vivian Signor. Bob had two brothers, Jack and Bill, and a sister, Betty Jo.

At Atchison High School, Bob was a three sport letterman, and it was there that his competitive spirit and love of sports developed. After high school, Bob went to Emporia, Kan., to attend the college of Emporia, where he was also a letterman in both basketball and track, but more importantly, he met his future wife, Joan J. Williams of Sedan, Kan.

When WWII broke out, he interrupted his college education to join the U.S. Army. Bob and Joan were married before he was shipped to the South Pacific with the 583rd Engineer Battalion. For service in the Luzon Campaign, his decorations and citations included The Philippine Liberation ribbon with one Bronze Star, Asiatic Pacific Service Medal and WWII Victory Medal. At the end of the war he was honorably discharged at the rank of sergeant, and later received his discharge from the Reserves as a first lieutenant.

After the war Bob and Joan returned to Emporia where he earned a bachelor's degree in physical education and a master's degree in business administration. Bob started his career as a basketball coach at Emporia, which included coaching the young, future Hall of Fame coach Dean Smith, with whom he kept in touch for the rest of his life. Bob and Joan moved to Lawrence, Kan., via Osawatomie, Kan., where he also coached basketball. During their years in Lawrence, Bob counted the legendary Phog Allen as one of his many friends.

As a business executive, Bob worked for several Fortune 500 companies, most notably Xerox, before moving to Houston, Texas, to form his own company, R. M. Signor Enterprises, an executive placement service.

A one-handicap golfer for most of his life, Bob won many club championships and had numerous holes-in-one.

He will be dearly missed by all who knew him for his intelligent wit, his love of family, friends, sports, dogs and most of all his beloved wife and companion, Joan. Survivors include Joan J. Signor; son, Randy M. Signor and wife Jane Levine of Seattle, Wash., Randy's son, Robert M. Berry of Rochester, NY; son, Gary M. and wife Rose Ann Signor and their children and grandchildren of Kansas City, Mo.; brother, Bill and wife Janet Signor and family of Dunn, NC.

Memorial services will be 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, at Antioch Community Church, 4805 NE Antioch Rd, Kansas City, Mo. Cremation. Memorial contributions may be made to Animal Haven, 9800 W. 67th Street, Merriam, KS 66203. Arrangements: Cremation Society of KS & MO, 5561 NW Barry Rd. (816) 822-9888. Online condolences at

Published in the Kansas City Star on 10/14/2008

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