Robert Dean Billman, 85, of Chatfield, passed away Monday, July 31, 2017. He was a resident of the Chosen Valley Care Center in Chatfield, Minn.
Bob was born August 22, 1931, in Spring Valley, Minn., to Elmer and Ann (King) Billman. He grew up in the Spring Valley area farming with his family. During this time he became a Golden Gloves boxing champion. Bob joined the U.S. Navy and served aboard the USS Monterey stationed out of Pensacola, Fla., during the Korean War. Upon his discharge he returned to farm with his father. He met Geraldine Zwart, fell in love, and on December 11, 1954, they were married. She taught him how to balance work and play. Bob worked for 25 years at the TradeMart where he honed his furniture repair and woodsmithing skills. During this time he purchased a farm in rural Chatfield. He always described himself as a farmer first.
Bob was a role model for compassion in the care of his livestock and counselor at large and a trusted confidant for his family and friends. He enjoyed Hank Williams, John Deere tractors, poker, horseshoes, fishing, poetry, turning a good joke and family get togethers.
He was a member of the Saint Paul Lutheran Church in Chatfield and served as an elder.
Survivors include his children: Linda (Jim), Bob (Kris), Terry (Deb) and Tom (Julie); his brothers Don and Larry (Janice), sisters Doris (Ernie) and Betty (Harold), nine grandchildren: Joe (Amy), Tim (Jeana), Bethany, Benjamin, Rachel (Nick), Charlie, Moss, Tyler and Alyssa, and his great-grandchild Nova. He is preceded in death by his wife Geraldine, parents, sister Shirley, and two brothers, Gary and Bill. The family wishes to thank the Chosen Valley Care Center for their outstanding care of our brother, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather during his time there.
Visitation will be held at the Saint Paul Lutheran Church in Chatfield, Minn., from 12:30-1:30 p.m., followed by a funeral service at 1:30 p.m., Thursday, August 3. Burial will take place in Orion Center cemetery with military honors by the Chatfield VFW. A celebration of Bob’s life will follow at the family farm.
Riley Funeral Home is assisting the Billman family with arrangements. To share a condolence with the family, please visit rileyfuneralhome.com.