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Funeral mass for Romaine F. Kocer, 89, was Thursday, September 13 at St John’s Catholic Church in Wagner followed by burial in St John’s Catholic Cemetery, in Wagner. Crosby-Jaeger Funeral Home in Wagner was in charge of arrangements.

Romaine F. Kocer, passed away on Sunday, September 9, 2018 at the Good Samaritan Society in Wagner.

Romaine was the oldest of four children born to Thomas and Clara Kocer on April 5, 1929, in Wagner. On June 5, 1950, Romaine married the love of his life, Helen M Schoch in Hosmer. She was a beautiful young lady who came to the Wagner area to teach. To this union, six boys were born.

In 1959, Romaine and Helen built their own home on the farm. In 1961, he purchased the International Harvester (now Case-IH) dealership in Wagner. At the same time he purchased the local junkyard on the north end of town. After tirelessly working to clear the junkyard out, he moved the house from the farm to this location.

Romaine owned and operated Kocer Implement for 30 years. After he sold the dealership he returned to his love of farming and fixing his vintage tractors and farm equipment. He spent years perfecting his watermelon crop, and soon became known as the “watermelon king” because he grew the best melons in the State. Every Labor Day, after the parade, a stream of cars would head to the north end of town to pick up a watermelon. He continued this up until just a few years ago, when his health would no longer allow it.

Romainewasproudof hisCzech heritage and he was fluent in the Czech language. He was active in the local Rotary club, Chamber of Commerce, Knight of Columbus, Fire Department, KDs and Wagner Labor Day Celebration, which he was instrumental in starting the tractor pulls. In 2007 Romaine and Helen were honored to be chosen as Wagner’s Labor Day parade marshals.

Romaine enjoyed traveling. He had a pilot’s license and flew to Costa Rica several times. Romaine and Helen traveled to every state in the US, and made trips to Czechoslovakia and Germany, to visit family and friends. They also enjoyed severalwintertrips to California and down South.

Those left to mourn are his sons: Bill of Wagner, Paul (Susan) of Fort Morgan, Co, Steve (Donna) of Chamberlain, Chuck of Wagner, Leonard of Wagner, and Romaine (Barb) of Sturgis; Romaine’s 18 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren. He also leaves behind his one and only sister, Mary Ann (Ken) Loxtercamp of Waconia, MN; sisters-in-law Rita Kocer and Karol Kocer of Wagner, and brothers-in-law Henry Schoch and Louie Schoch, Lodi, CA.

He was preceded in death by his wife Helen, parents Tom and Clara Kocer, brothers Albert and Thomas, and three grandchildren.