Robert “Bob” Spangler

Robert (Bob) William Spangler, 83, of rural Bemidji, MN, died March 31, 2021 at Sanford Medical Center.Bob was born March 9, 1938 to his parents, William and Pauline (Steele) Spangler. He graduated from Bemidji High School in 1956 and married his sweetheart, Anita Christenson in 1957. They moved to St. Charles, Illinois where he worked at Davidson’s Motors. During his stay in Illinois, Bob also was a member of the St. Charles Auxiliary Police Force. They returned to Bemidji in 1963 to be close to their families shortly before their first daughter, Gina was born. Two other children were added to the Spangler household – Lisa in 1965 and Shane in 1969. For 32 years Bob was employed by Dibble Chevrolet and Dondelinger Chevrolet as a mechanic and later as service manager. He enjoyed visiting with the customers and though he had a difficult time remembering their names he could always remember what car they drove. In 1986 Bob was able to realize one of his dreams of being able to purchase the farm property that his grandparents owned. As a young boy, Bob loved to go to his grandparent’s farm and help milk the cows, drive the tractor for his grandpa, and help with all the other farm chores. Since 1918 the farm has been in the Spangler family for 100 years. After retirement he opened an upholstery business and restored many antique pieces of furniture. Bob enjoyed spending more time with his family and friends, caring for the farm property (mowing a huge lawn and taking care of a quarter mile long driveway), watching and feeding wildlife, traveling, bowling, golfing and always repairing something. He also enjoyed volunteering at the hospital, Meals on Wheels and the Bemidji Food Shelf. He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Pauline Spangler, sisters JoAnne LaLonde and Pat Carlson, brother Tom, granddaughter Megan, and son-in-law Tom Labernik. He is survived by his wife, Anita, daughters, Gina and Lisa, and son, Shane (Renee), 5 grandsons, one granddaughter-in-law, 3 step-grandchildren, one great granddaughter, one brother, Jerry, one sister Diane Soukkala, special niece, Edith Christenson, and many nieces and nephews. The family wishes to thank Dr. Will and the nurses on the second floor who took such good care of him in his last few days. A family celebration of life will be held in the Spring.

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