World-Herald colleagues knew Bob Maffitt as a thorough, conscientious copy editor.

His family knew him as gardener extraordinaire and a man capable of major home remodeling projects.

His church knew him as a volunteer handyman.

All will say their goodbyes Monday when Maffitt's funeral is held at 11 a.m. at Underwood Hills Presbyterian Church, 851 N. 74th St.

He died unexpectedly Thursday, three days shy of his 77th birthday, of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Bob Maffitt

Maffitt joined The World-Herald in 1974. For the next 25 years, he worked as a copy editor, pioneering the paper's Motor News section. He occasionally wrote, too, often about his own do-it-yourself projects.

The challenge in copy editing, he once said, “is in seeing how appealing and readable you can make a story. A dull story or headline may say the same things, but few will read them.”

Maffitt retired in 1999.

In retirement, he and his wife traveled through much of Europe, the Caribbean, Canada, Alaska and Hawaii.

“One of his first passions was gardening,” said son Robert Joseph “Joe” Maffitt of Fremont, Neb. “He always had beautiful plant displays.”

Bob Maffitt grew up in Stanberry, Mo., and graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism and history from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Before joining The World-Herald, he worked at the Centralia (Ill.) Sentinel and the Lancaster (Pa.) Intelligencer Journal.

Besides his son, other survivors include his wife of 53 years, Patricia L. Burton Maffitt of Omaha; daughters Meri Lynn Ogle of Omaha and Kerry Beth Hrbek of Linden, Mich.; and five grandchildren.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1165, sue.truax@owh.com

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