Gordon W. Stobb, of Little Falls, formerly of Ogilvie, died Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at the Little Falls Care Center after developing Lewy Body Syndrome in later years. He was 83 years old.
He was born Dec. 7, 1935 on the family dairy farm in Ogilvie to Roy and Eva Stobb. (His father drove horse and sleigh in a snow storm to get the mid-wife.)
He graduated from Ogilvie High School and went on to St. Cloud State University for two years, stopping to accept the foreman position in the milk drying plant at the Ogilvie Co-op Creamery. He met Mary Jean Rasmussen at a friend’s wedding in June, 1957. They were united in marriage on June 14, 1958 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Three children were born to this union: Barbara Jean at Fort Ord, David Gordon at Mora and William Eric at Little Falls.
When Uncle Sam beckoned a month after the wedding, he joined the U.S. Army. After basic training at Fort Carson, Colorado and aircraft mechanics training, he was assigned to the 17th Aviation Company at Fort Ord, California, where he was crew chief on a DeHavilland Otter, No. 81690.
In September 1960, he returned to Ogilvie and St. Cloud State University, graduating in 1966 with a major in biology and minor in business. He began his career in Little Falls as an area extension agent with the University of Minnesota, working throughout the state helping communities with their community development projects. In 1975, he completed work on his masters in agriculture with emphasis on applied social science at the University of Minnesota.
During his career, he worked with many Minnesota communities on valuable development projects. He also worked with communities in several other states, evaluating and consulting on development projects. In 1981, he traveled as part of a People to People delegation to China, before that nation was open to foreign visitors, in order to study the Chinese culture and economy. He presented his work to faculty and graduate students at the University of Minnesota, where he earned promotion to the rank of associate professor. He was a member of the McKnight group that established initiative funds around Minnesota and was a member of the incorporating board of directors for the Central Minnesota Initiative Fund.
After retirement in 1992, he became active with the Little Falls Ethanol Co-op, serving as secretary to the board for 10 years. He served in many capacities at First United Church, including lay leader, pastor-parish relations chair and choir member to name a few. From 1975-76, he was co-chair of finding volunteer labor for building the church. For a year, his wife knew that he would be at the church every Saturday and many evenings working on that project.
He dearly loved flying. As a crew chief in the Army, he learned to love flying. In civilian life, he took lessons and became licensed to fly visual flight rules and bought a share in a single engine Cessna. He and his wife liked to fly to Brainerd airport for breakfast occasionally and chat with the customers at the airport restaurant. He was active with the Young Eagles program, exposing children to flying and taking them on their first flight. He was a member of First United Church, University of Minnesota Alumni Association, Extension Retirees, Experimental Aircraft Association, Renewable Partners in Little Falls, Epsilon Sigma Phi and the Army Otter Caribou Association.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Eva (Strating) Stobb, brother Gene Stobb, brothers-in-law Ralph Rasmussen and Mel Rasmussen and one nephew.
He is survived by the love of his life Mary Jean, daughter Barbara Wollan, Webster City, Iowa; sons David (Jane), Cedar Rapids, Iowa and William (Kari), Onalaska, Wisconsin; grandchildren Katie and Emily Wollan, Bryan (Kelly), Matthew(Lauren), Jeffrey, Claire and Carter Stobb; brothers Larry(Deb), Cambridge, Russ (Sandy), Tracy, and sisters-in-law Joyce Stobb, Milaca and Shirley Rasmussen, Winnipeg, Manitoba, and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 20, 2019, at First United Church in Little Falls with Rev. Tony Romaine officiating. Burial will be at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery north of Little Falls. Visitation will be from 5-7:00 p.m. on Wednesday at the Shelley Funeral Chapel in Little Falls and one hour prior to the service on Thursday at the church. Military rites will be conducted by the Minnesota State Honor Guard.
Memorials preferred to First United Church Mission and Ministry Fund.