John Leo Robe, 83, died peacefully Saturday, June 12, 2010, in St. Luke's Hospital, surrounded by family after several months of loving care at Linn Manor Care nursing home.
John was born June 28, 1926, in Lamoure, N.D., to Nicholas "Nick" and Selma (Schmidt) Robe. His father was a harness maker and owned a candy store. In 1932, they moved to Shoreham, Minn. John attended grade school and high school in Detroit Lakes. His father ran a grocery store and liquor store, while John rented bicycles and helped in the store.
After graduating from high school in 1944, John went to work as a truck driver for Nash Finch and in 1946 became a traveling salesman covering the North Dakota district. In October 1950, John joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany during the Korean War as a sergeant in charge of ammunition distribution. He completed his service in October 1952, and return to work for Nash Finch as a salesman. After several positions and transfers within Nash Finch, he moved to Cedar Rapids in 1969. He retired from Nash Finch in 1982.
While serving in the army, John's friends, DeWayne and Nonie Mansager, urged him to begin writing to Joanne Brennan, then a first grade teacher in Williams, Minn. After many letters and several visits while on leave, the two felt they were meant to be a couple and were married on October 28, 1952, in Wilton, Minn.
John enjoyed playing tennis with his children, photographing his family and nature, and making wooden furniture and toys for family and friends. He also enjoyed camping and swimming with his family, never tiring of tossing them up to do somersaults into the water.
His loving family consists of his wife, Joanne; his sister, Bernice of Detroit Lakes; his children, Andrew (deceased), Joel Robe (Carol), Susan Murdock (Ronald), Bernard (Diane), Mary McAleer (Timothy), Matthew (Vanessa) and Monica Misenar, and grandchildren, Nicholas, Brian, Andrea, Adam, Brandon, Christopher, Kristian, Peter and Joseph.
Funeral mass is Wednesday, June 16, at 10:30 a.m. in All Saints Catholic Church.
A vigil service and visitation will be held on Tuesday from 5-7:30 p.m. in Cedar Memorial Funeral Home in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Visitation and rosary will also be available one hour preceding the funeral mass.
Entombment will be at Cedar Memorial Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Hospice of St. Luke's or Linn Manor Care.
Online condolences may be left at www.cedarmemorial.com.