2020 Grand Marshals: Bob and Jeanne Petrik

The Klamath Basin Potato Festival is proud to announce the 2020 Grand Marshals: the Petrik Family. Robert (Bob) and Jeanne Petrik have a long history in the Basin and with the Klamath Basin Potato Festival. The Petriks have demonstrated their generosity and faithful community service throughout many years. Bob and Jeanne are real assets to the Merrill community and the Klamath Basin.

Bob’s grandfather, Frank Zumpfe, was one of three scouts sent from Czechoslovakia by the Czech Colonization Club to explore new territory for establishment of new colonies. The scouts agreed that the Malin area was the best suited choice due to the Klamath Irrigation Project, and thus settled in the Malin vicinity in 1909. Bob is the youngest of Robert, Sr. and Vlasta Petrik’s four children. His sister Evelyn Petrik Gasser and her husband Bill Gasser had seven children (Jane Palmer, Bob Gasser, Linda Moudry, Anita Beard, Nadine Gasser, Susan Belden, Bill Gasser, Larry Gasser) most of whom live in the Basin. Bob grew up on the family homestead where Jeanne and he currently reside, at the site of the old Gale Schoolhouse on the corner of Anderson and Malone Roads near Merrill, Oregon.

Bob and Jeanne Laney met at Merrill Elementary School as children. They were high school sweethearts while attending Merrill High School.  Bob graduated in 1962 and Jeanne in 1963. Bob attended Oregon Technical Institute (now OIT) and graduated with a BS in Office Machines in 1964. They married in 1965 and headed to the Portland area where Bob spent 12 years as a customer engineer for IBM products. Jeanne attended Linfield College for pre nursing while they were there. Shortly after settling in the Portland area, Bob and Jeanne started their family.

When Bob’s father became ill and passed, Bob and Jeanne moved back to Merrill to help with the farm and be closer to family. They opened their own business, L & P Office Products, with partners Mark & Connie Lepley. In the beginning L& P sold and serviced office machinery such as typewriters, copiers, and calculators. Later as technology changed, they shifted to selling office furniture. They co-owned and managed L& P Office Products for 30 years until selling the business and retiring in 2007.

Bob and Jeanne have two sons, Kevin and Kyle. Kevin has two children, McKenna and Brady. Kyle and his wife Radina’s four children are Bethany, Brielle, Wade, and Seth. The civic mindedness of the Petriks has been passed on to their sons Kyle and Kevin, both of whom have coached many Basin teams in multiple sports.

Bob has been a Lions Club member since 1976. He has served as club president four times. He was integral in getting the POW Memorial Flag and he helped build the Pavilion in which the KBPF free BBQ dinner is served each year. While Jeanne is not a member of Lions Club, she has attended most of the meetings and is always willing to help with club projects such as the Crab Feed and the Potato Festival.

Bob and Jeanne are faithful members of the Merrill Presbyterian Church and grace the church with beautiful flowers every Sunday. They also help pass out fresh produce every Thursday through the Produce Connection at the Merrill Presbyterian Church.

The Petrik family has been part of the Potato Festival tradition for decades. Bob has been involved in the festival since he was a young boy, helping his dad set up booths and hand-pick potatoes to enter. His sister, Mildred, was the 1948 Potato Festival Queen and Bob and Jeanne’s granddaughters, Brielle and Bethany, were Junior Princesses. Jeanne and Radina have both served as KBPF secretary. Bob and Jeanne help set up and run the Potato Festival every year.

Sports are the Petriks favorite pastime. Bob and Jeanne loved watching their sons play sports and would follow them around the state to watch their games. They have continued this tradition and now enjoy watching their grandkids play. They also love to watch sports on TV and still enjoy watching Lost River games. Bob was president of the Lost River Boosters Club and is in the ‘Ring of Honor’ at the Lost River Gym.

Bob and Jeanne want to share their thanks to Jesus Christ for all the guidance and blessings they have received.