Col. Robert McKenzie Book obituary



Col. Robert McKenzie Book, USMCR (ret), 82, of Carmel died on the morning of Dec. 9. He was born in Indianapolis on Dec. 31, 1929, to Wm. H. and Margaret V. Book. A 1948 graduate of Arsenal Technical High School, Bob enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve that year and spent 31 years in both U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, retiring in 1983 with the rank of colonel.

After earning a degree in animal science from Purdue University in 1952, Bob earned a master’s degree from Indiana University and completed the Senior Executive Program at Columbia University. He became a driving force behind Elanco Products Co. when he joined as a sales representative in 1955. After retiring in 1983 as group vice president of agricultural marketing, Bob became the first president of The Indiana Institute of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition, Inc., serving until 1992. Bob and Dr. Bud Harmon established the Purdue University Book Harmon Leadership Program in Animal Sciences in 2005.

For 29 years, he was both an elected representative on the Clay Township Board in Hamilton County and President of Clay Township Regional Waste District.  He was Precinct Committeeman for Clay Center 2 for more than 30 years and served St. Vincent’s Carmel Hospital from ground breaking until he was named chairman of the board, that board membership continuing until June 2012.

“We are saddened by the loss of our longtime friend and supporter, Bob Book. For more than a decade, Bob served the St.Vincent ministry in an array of capacities including the Finance Committee, Advisory Board, and he was a member of the St.Vincent Carmel Hospital Board of Directors. Bob will not only be remembered for his service to the patients and families of our hospital, but also his commitment to the overall Carmel community,” Michael Chittenden, president of St.Vincent Carmel Hospital, said. “As he was a great mentor, I will personally miss Bob. Our ministry will mourn his passing, and our prayers are with his family and those who loved him.”

“Bob Book was a great citizen who loved the United States and Carmel. He served as a Marine colonel and for decades in local government. He was tireless in his pursuit of civic improvement. His service is appreciated and will be missed,” Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said.

Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Jeanne Book, and their children, Mary M. Klunder (Robert), Nancy Joanne Fletcher, William H. Book (Dede), and Bart J. Book (Sherri). Grandchildren include: Benjamin R. Klunder, Lauren E. Book Linos (Constantine), Hilary R. Book, Christine Hatfield Waldrip (Brad), Michael M. Hatfield, and great-granddaughter, Isabella Waldrip. Others include cousins Martha Powell and family, Kathryn Ann Hammons and daughter Kathy Hammons as well as many good friends and associates.

A funeral was held at East 91st Street Christian Church on Friday. Burial took place at Oaklawn Memorial Gardens immediately following the ceremony.

The family wishes to thank the St. Vincent New Hope Foundation staff for excellence in care and kindness toward Col. Book and his family and many friends.


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