Bob Unger

Profile Updated: June 6, 2024
Bob Unger
Residing In: David City, NE USA
Spouse/Partner: Carole
Occupation: I am partially retired, having taken on substitute teaching at David City High School, coached in Middle School Track last spring and will be the High School cross country coach this fall.
Children: Kristine, born 1979; Jennifer, born 1981; Thomas, born 1984; Emily, born 1986; Matthew, born 1993; Wesley, More…born 1998; 4 children married and now have eight grandchildren. I have been honored to perform the wedding of two of our children.
Yes! Attending Reunion
Your email address (if you want to share it with classmates):

(new address)

School Story:

I suspect that very few classmates know the story of how distance running all began for me, and I always tell others with great joy through the years. In my junior year I began the basketball season on the varsity; then was put on the reserve team after two games. There I started for a while, but did poorly enough to not start later in the season. The reality of failing as an athlete was strongly setting in, and I entered into great despair. (I came from a broken home, which probably exacerbated the situation.) Late in that season, Coach Puelz gave the team an unusual lap workout in the girls' gym. We never had another workout like that before or after. Apparently, I must have done well enough to bring out a compliment from teammate Joe Harvey--"Ung, I think you'd make a good distance runner if you went out for track." I think those were his exact words. I heeded the advice, notified Coach Gordon that I would not return for baseball in the spring, and became one of Coach Churchill's Hanyacks! It lead to a state championship, UNL scholarship, Big 8 title and several event records. I'm so glad in retrospect that I ran--wonderful memories. And my kids have had track success also. Moreover, I reentered track coaching after 26 years away from it, at David City high school.

** Special Memories of LSE (i.e., favorite teacher, class, activity)

It was such a friendly and enthusiastic atmosphere all three years. The 67-68
basketball team may have been arguably the best ever at this school. Most of our teachers were top notch under our top notch principal, Dr. Lauterbach. The getting together with various ones outside of school was so fun and enriching. There was such wonderful variety of personalities. There was a lot of joy in those years. I was treated very well.

** Life lesson learned at LSE – not in the classroom

I read an essay after high school--"Keep Friendships in Constant Repair." I have not been the best about doing this, and better not make promises, but I want to do better on this with high school friends now that I'm retired.
But there was another life lesson right after graduation that I think few if any know about. I had been set to attend Wesleyan all spring, but UNL went after me to come there after State Track. I then changed my mind to go there. Well, word of this got around, and a very well-meaning friend from LSE approached me and said that I was going to make a terrible mistake to go to UNL. The coach there was poor and had ruined several distance runners that went there. Nevertheless, I stood firm on a word from the Lord that I could make it there. Though in hindsight, my coach could have been more creative in workouts, he did not ruin me as a runner, and I experienced many thrilling moments running for the Big Red. Lesson: We are not going to please everyone in life with our decisions. I have never forgotten this particular experience.

Any higher education or advanced degrees?

BA History from UNL 1974; teaching certificate and coaching recommendation UNL 1980; graduate courses to renew the teaching certificate 1985

** Comments:

lived in Christian community in northern Minnesota 1974-76, and 1979.
moved back to Nebraska in 1976 and 1979.
continued running seriously until about 1980.
married my bride Carole in Duluth in July of 1978.
moved to Seward and purchased our first home in August of 1981.
homeschooled some or all of our kids from 1986 to 2006 and started a basketball program for Seward county in 1994, which may still be going.
moved to David City in 2006 and started a cross country program at the high school; then also assisted in track for eight years.
worked full time at Tenneco Automotive of Seward 1983-2022.
preach and teach to small numbers of Christians from time to time.

What do you do now?

Having now retired, Carole and I are forming a new routine. Starting out, we traveled on five major trips between March and May of 2022. Five of the six kids now live out of state. We touch base with mother in Lincoln (still in her own house at 93+) to lend any help needed. Garden is important in the warm months. I would love to be able to jog again, as small injuries have hindered running in past decades.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I very much still like to read. I have studied material about distance running, having read very little about the subject before I resumed coaching. History continues to be a favorite subject. I have written two books, one called The Weapons of our American Christian Warfare, a study of how various Christians have tried to straighten out America in good and bad ways, The second I have titled Recognizing the Anointing, a devotional set of guidelines to hopefully help us discern between Holy Spirit activity and human efforts, in whatever we do.

What did you always want to do that you haven’t done yet?

I have always wanted to visit New England and Virginia, areas involved in early American history. I want to see some of the Civil War battlefields. I want to visit Graceland, having interest in the life of Elvis. I would even like to spend more time touring our state.

Places you want to go?

I would enjoy visiting all of the fifty states at least once. There's so much history in Europe, so I would enjoy a much more thorough visit there.

What's the farthest you've been from home?

On the direct flight, it's probably close between the Czech Republic and Nigeria, both of which were short missionary journeys in 1999 and 2006. It was a pleasant surprise to learn that it's not that difficult to arrange a foreign trip, even with train travel in Europe. Getting a visa is a little more difficult. I was also in Haiti in 2016, helping to get going as a business a great food called breadfruit. It's very nutritious. Keep a watch for it coming here.

Favorite Music:

I was pleasantly surprised to hear the entirety of Handel's Messiah for the first time in 1994. I had thought it might just be a boring piece of religious music, but discovered it to be quite the opposite. I also enjoy the favorite Christian hymns over the centuries, and a wide variety of present-day songs of the Christian faith. There is nothing quite like worship and praise that breaks through into magnificent liberty. I have not experienced it often, but long for it on a regular basis.

Favorite Movies:

Some of the great musicals top my movie list. Either "The Music Man" (Preston and Jones) or "The Sound of Music" would be the favorite. Others right up there would be "Mary Poppins", "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Sense and Sensibility"--to me, the most romantic movie I have ever seen. "Chariots of Fire" is always sentimental because of the track involvement. And I must add what I believe is a real classic in comedy, "George of the Jungle." I very highly recommend that. And add "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" too. A recent Hallmark movie, "A Royal Matchmaker" I also highly recommend.

Favorite TV Shows:

Hallmark movies and the Kansas City Chiefs, as well as the Big Red.

Favorite Quote:

The following is from John Wesley, his six rules of Methodism:
1. That we should not listen, or willingly enquire after any ill concerning each other;
2. That if we do hear any ill of each other, we will not be forward to believe it.
3. That as soon as possible we will communicate what we hear, by speaking or writing to the person concerned.
4. That until we have done this, we will not speak or write a syllable of it to any person whatsoever.
5. That neither will we mention it, after we have done this, to any person whatsoever.
6. That we will not make any exception to these rules, unless we feel absolutely obliged in conscience to do so
It says quote above, but I would sure like to add some more quotes if I may.
The roots of a man's virtue are inaccessible to us. No appearances whatever are infallible proofs of grace. Our practice is the only sure evidence, even to ourselves, that we are genuine Christians. William James
The popular notion that the first obligation of the Church is to spread the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth is false. Her first obligation is to be spiritually worthy to spread it. A.W. Tozer
Be carefully careless about everything except your relationship with Jesus.
Oswald Chambers

Anything else we should know?

. In college days I faced Steve Prefontaine in a race on three occasions and Dave Wottle one time. But before you would get even remotely impressed, remember the story of the tortoise and the hare as a good comparison, but with an opposite ending. Pre got in a full eight hour sleep during the race, and still blew me away!
On only one occasion, I came very close to breaking the four minute mile in college. It was a thrilling race.
I have a confession to my classmates. I have a bad ornery streak toward our Joe Adams. I was going to pull a loud prank on him at the reunion, but he did not make it. Pranks have cooked in my mind toward him since high school. Toward most of you I am reserved otherwise. 2014 was inducted into the LSE athletic Hall of Fame.

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1970 Classmates:

Bill attended most if not all of my indoor track meets at UNL.  We would usually talk together a bit after the meets.  But I don't know if I ever really thanked him for this kindness towards me.  Over several months I determined to send him a thankyou correspondence when we were 69, but then I was badly dismayed to find out that he had passed away.  I guess the lesson is to act upon such impulses we sense towards friends and loved ones in our high school class as soon as possible. 


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