Robert S. Rekedal, age 94, of Peoria, AZ, formerly of Howard Lake, died Monday, Sept. 19, 2011, at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, NJ.
He was born Jan. 2, 1917, in Cooperstown, ND, the son of Samuel and Nora Pederson Rekedal. In 1931, when the Depression and drought hit North Dakota, Robert moved with his family to Elbow Lake, MN.
He attended Macalester College in 1934, on a one-year scholarship, but there was little money to continue so he returned home to work in his father’s car dealership. He then transferred to North Dakota Agricultural College (now North Dakota State University), and chose pharmacy as his profession because the sciences came easily for him.
When World War II broke out, Robert enlisted in the Army, eventually rising to the rank of major in the Army Air Corps.
Robert’s talent in music was evident at a young age, and in his college years, he occasionally performed with the touring big bands of the day.
Robert married Ruth I. Jorstad in 1943, and after the war, they moved to North Dakota, where Robert completed his pharmacy degree. In 1948, they moved to Howard Lake, where he bought the drug store and became a community pillar as pharmacist, and church council president at St. John’s Lutheran Church.
He pursued many interests including boating, hunting, traveling, and family life. Bob earned his private pilot’s license and in 1969, became a charter member of the International 170 Cessna Association. He and Ruth attended many fly-ins over the years in various parts of the country.
A devoted son, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, church and community leader, and friend, Robert supported and took leadership roles in many community and church organizations, including Sons of Norway, Military Officer’s Association of America, Mason’s Lodge, Shriners, and the American Legion. He also served as congregation president in every church in which he was a member.
In 1980, Ruth and Bob retired to Bella Vista, AR, fulfilling active roles in that community, where Bob again served as congregation president, this time of United Lutheran Church.
Ruth and Bob loved traveling, and for many years, they traveled both internationally and around the country visiting friends and family and widening their network of relationships.
In 1995, Ruth and Bob relocated to Sun City, AZ, and later, Peoria, AZ, where they continued their life of service and leadership at the American Lutheran Church of Sun City, and through active involvement with various community organizations, providing direct help to those less fortunate.
They often spoke of someday collecting their memoirs in a book, a remarkable project that was completed in 1999, and published to their family in a 425-page volume entitled, “Living the Dream.”
Bob was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth; and their son, Brian.
He is survived by his daughter, Jane Rekedal and husband Seth Capron of Aromas, CA; his son, Steven and wife Mary Jo of Austin, TX; and his son, Kirby and wife Susan of Little Silver, NJ; seven grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will take place Saturday, Oct. 29 at 10 a.m. at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 150 River Road, Red Bank, NJ.
A memorial fund has been established through the Alzheimer’s Association at 225 North Michigan Avenue, 17th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601; or online at www.alz.org.