Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 18, 2010
Mr. Waltman, 76, of Grand Meadow died Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at his home.
Bobby Joe Waltman was born Aug. 12, 1923 in Ceylon, Minn. to Roy Waltman and Lila (Trainer) Waltman. He graduated from Ceylon High School in 1951 and joined the United States Air Force Later that same year. He was stationed in Phoenix, Ariz. during the Korean Conflict and was discharged in 1955. On Feb. 14, 1956, he was united in marriage to Jeri Stade in Fairmont, Minn. and they had three children, Vicky, Lori and Chris. They lived in Phoenix where Bob worked at the Luke Air Base as an aircraft mechanic until 1958 when they moved to St Louis, Mo. where he worked at McDonnell Douglas as an aircraft mechanic. In 1961, they moved to Rochester, Minn. where he worked at Gopher Aviation as the lead mechanic. His love of airplanes was shown by his many jobs in the airplane industries, his FAA aircraft mechanic license, commercial pilot license, and the ownership of his own airplane.
They moved to Elgin, Minn. in 1963 when they purchased a grocery store there. In their 18 years in the grocery business, they acquired two more stores, one in Millville and one in Plainview. He was a board member of the Associated Grocers, where he served as the president and was also a board member of the Minnesota Food Retailers Association and the Supermarket Research Council.
Bob became very involved in Elgin organizations. He helped organize the Elgin Lions where he was an officer. He also belonged to the Elgin American Legion. He drove a school bus for many years and was instrumental in the building of the Plainview Golf course. His leadership abilities led to his next occupation in the Minnesota Legislature after retiring from the grocery business in 1981.
In 1982, Bob ran for the open seat in District 26B for the Minnesota House of Representatives. He took office in 1983 and remained until 1994 when he retired. He served on many committees during his tenure in the legislature including Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources, Government Operations, Regulated Industries and Energy, Capital Investment, Economic Development, Infrastructure and Regulation Finance, General Legislation and Veterans Affairs and Elections.
After his retirement from the legislature, they bought an acreage in Grand Meadow where he resided until his death. Bob and Jeri loved to traveling. They were fortunate to have traveled to all the U.S. States, England, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Mexico, China, Japan, Scotland, Chile, and to have taken several cruises. The love of travel was instilled in their children and they were able to travel with children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren many times.
Bob also found time to become an auctioneer, work on old cars, enjoy woodworking, painting, carving, tinkering in his shop and most importantly spending time with his friends and family.
Bob’s love of God was a strength for him throughout his illness. Bob started a bible study while in the Legislature.He was also chairman of the board for the ministry of Discovery Leadership. He witnessed to others through his illness and knew his final destination.
He is survived by his wife Jeri of Grand Meadow; children, Vicky (Gary) Vogt of Spring Valley, Lori (Tim) Glover of Lexington, Minn. and Chris (Lori) Waltman of Seattle, Wash.; 13 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren (with two on the way); and a sister, Norma Jean Thiesse of Rochester, Minn.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and siblings, Ralph, Ruth, Terry, Kenny and Buddy.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, March 19, 2010 at Grace Evangelical Free Church in Stewartville, Minn. with the Rev. John Grams officiating. Burial will be in the Grand Meadow Cemetery. Friends may call at the Hindt Funeral Home in Grand Meadow from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday and one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the family or to the Ministry of Discovery Leadership P.O. Box 91 Monroe, WA 98272.
Hindt Funeral Homes is in charge of arrangements.
Condolences may be left at www.hindtfuneralhomes.com.