Robert Henry Niederkorn, age 90, passed away peacefully Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, surrounded by his family.
Robert (Bob) was born March 30, 1930, in Wabasha, MN, to Edward and Marguerite Niederkorn. He graduated from Red Wing High School in 1948, and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota. He later obtained his master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, as well as his doctorate in education from the University of Montana.
Bob proudly served his country in both active duty military service and as a reservist in the Air National Guard from 1953 until 1975, when he retired as a major.
Bob married Jean Marie Rhoades, June 21, 1958. The couple went on to have seven children. As a true testament to fatherhood, Bob and Jean would often take family road trips with all seven children, and sometimes the dog, in the family station wagon, camping along the way. He faithfully attended the many concerts, plays, and sporting events his children participated in.
Bob enjoyed a long career in education, starting as an elementary teacher in White Bear Lake. He then taught at the University of Wisconsin River Falls before becoming a school principal, first in Kalispell, MT, and later in Lester Prairie, MN, where he retired in 1995.
Bob was a man of many talents and a modern-day Renaissance man. Although he spent many scholarly years in the classroom, he also nourished his creative side, by playing piano and composing music. He also painted with watercolors, right up to his last days of life. Bob was known to bake a mean Amaretto cake for special occasions.
A self-proclaimed train enthusiast, he especially loved traveling across the country by rail whenever he could. Bob often took the longer, scenic route in his travels, and he enjoyed stopping at any antique stores along the way so he could add to his stamp, coin, and Red Wing Pottery collections.
He had a soft spot for dogs, and he jumped at the chance to dog-sit for friends. Once retired, he was able to whole-heartedly enjoy all his hobbies, along with spending time with his seven children and many grandchildren. Bob was especially happy to host family reunions every five years, in the peaceful Northwoods of Minnesota or Wisconsin. He was immensely proud of his family.
In addition to his many hobbies, Bob was an active member of many organizations. He was a founding member of the Lester Prairie Lions Club, where he was awarded the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award, the highest honor of the Lions Club.
After moving to Roseville, Bob was an active member of the Roseville chapter. He was an enthusiastic participant, fundraiser, and organizer of the Roseville Lions Club annual golf tournament. He was also a member of the American Legion, Roseville Historical Society, his beloved Twin Cities Model Railroad Museum, and the Knights of Columbus.
‘Doc Bob’ will be missed by his seven children: Ann (Esther Leidolf) of Jamaica Plain, MA; Jim (Marcela Lattin) of Buckley, WA; Judy (Troy) Davison of Minneapolis; Tom (Kathy) of Apple Valley, MN; Dan (Anne) of Naples, FL; David (Diane) of Buffalo, MN; and Steve (Cora) of Rifle, CO; 14 grandchildren: Jacob Leidolf; Desiree Niederkorn and Jessica Knez; Emily and Molly Davison; Nick, Danielle, and Rachel Niederkorn; Chase Niederkorn and Karissa Niederkorn; Katelyn Niederkorn and Nicole Welle; and Michael and Jean Niederkorn; along with one great-granddaughter, Bria Welle. Bob was also blessed to have a very special longtime friend and companion in his life, Joyce Dufresne.
Bob was preceded in death by parents, his brothers, Ed and John; and his wife, Jean Niederkorn.
A celebration of Bob’s life will take place in summer 2021.