Gordon Stobb - obituary

Gordon W. Stobb, an 83-year-old resident of Little Falls, Minnesota, passed away Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at the Little Falls Care Center.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, June 20, at 11 a.m. 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 Wednesday, 5 to 7 p.m. 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.

Gordy 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, Wisc.; grandchildren, Katie and Emily Wollan, Bryan (Kelly), Matthew(Lauren), Jeffrey, Claire and Carter Stobb; brothers, Larry(Deb), Cambridge, Minn., Russ (Sandy), Tracy, Minn.; and sisters-in-law, Joyce Stobb, Milaca, Minn., and Shirley Rasmussen, Winnipeg, MB; and many nieces and nephews.

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.

Gordon was born December 7, 1935 on the family dairy farm at Ogilvie, Minn. to Roy and Eva Stobb (His father drove horse and sleigh in a snow storm to get the mid-wife). He died on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at the Little Falls Care Center, after developing Lewy Body Syndrome in later years.

Gordon 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. Gordy met Mary Jean Rasmussen at a friend’s wedding in June, 1957. They were married on June 14, 1958 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Three children were born to this union: Barbara Jean at Fort Ord, David Gordon, at Mora, Minn., 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, # 81690. In September, 1960, he returned to Ogilvie and SCSU, 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 ten years. He served in many capacities at First United Church, including lay leader, pastor parish relations chair and choir member, to name a few. In 1975-76, he was co-chair of finding volunteer labor for building the church. For a year, Mary Jean knew that he would be at the church every Saturday and many evenings working on that project.

Gordy dearly loved flying. As a crew chief in the army, he learned to love flying. ßIn civilian life, he took lessons and became licensed to fly visual flight rules and bought a share in a single engine Cessna. He and Mary Jean 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. Gordon 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.

Memorials preferred to First United Church Mission and Ministry Fund.