Robert Gerald “Papa” Wallentine, fought with typical Type A stubbornness, strong will and determination throughout the last year to keep his feet firmly planted and get one last round of golf in. God won the battle on April 11, 2022, gaining one of the best for his links in Heaven. (Do you get strokes in heaven??)
Born March 11, 1936, Bob grew up on the family farm in Lakota Iowa, the oldest of six kids of Ted & Martha (Holcomb) Wallentine. Bob honed his management skills early in life, supervising his sibling’s chores and picking field rock, from the seat of the tractor. Papa Holcomb decided that if Bob was not going to farm, he should work for the cooperative system, and took him into the local coop and told them “This kid needs a job”. Little did he know what he started.
He wed his high school sweetheart, and love of his life, Ann, in 1957, and would have celebrated 65 wonderful years in August of 2022. Bob and Ann have three children, Bob (Lorrie) Wallentine, Wichita, KS, Jeff Wallentine, Rimrock AZ and Lisa (Dean) Wendell, Johnston IA, who are eternally grateful for the example he set, to live each day with integrity and character, work ethic was of utmost importance, be a giver, be kind, be grateful and family always comes first.
Bob attended Gustavus Adolphus in St. Peter MN, and was a member of the first Felco Management Training class for farmers coops. Bob dedicated his life’s work to the care and growth of agriculture and the farmers the cooperatives served. His humble beginnings in Swea City, Matlock and Sutherland cooperatives, scooping and hauling grain, loading feed bags, cleaning bins and grain cars, driving truck, served him well in learning the workings of a coop from the ground up. He eventually landed in Vincent, IA and in 1973, the NEW Coop was established with the merger of Vincent and Badger elevators.
Bob proudly served as the General Manager of the NEW Coop until his retirement in 1996, at that time serving 14 locations. He was passionate about the NEW and its employees. He cared deeply for those he served in the farm community, as well as the employees (and their families) he served with. He was active in his community, his church, and his profession, serving on many boards and community organizations. He was honored to be inducted into the Iowa Cooperative Hall of Fame in 2006. Bob and Ann have enjoyed their home and all the close friendships made in Sun City West over the last 30 years.
A source of great joy was his four grandsons, Jacob (Kylee) Wallentine and great-grandson, Milo, Josh (Maddie) Wallentine and great-granddaughter, Rosie, Alex (Kristin) Wendell and Sam Wendell. He was infinitely proud of who they had become and so very gratefully to have many wonderful memories made, tractor rides, golf cart rides, family trips, sporting events, watching them grow. He will be remembered as THE best husband, father, Papa, friend, mentor, advocate you could ask for.
Bob absolutely did not want a funeral; a private family gathering will be held at a later date. But please, celebrate Bob by playing a round of golf, play a mean game of dominoes, take good care of your friendships (he absolutely treasured all of you), take that trip you’ve been waiting to take, have a 5 pm toddy.
Bob will be missed greatly by his wife Ann, kids, grandkids, siblings, many relatives and friends. Meeting him at Heaven’s gates, parents Ted & Martha, sister Marty, beloved daughter-in-law Lorrie, and many cherished others.
Memorials may be directed to the Olive Branch, 4430 E. Aztec Rd, Rimrock, AZ 86335. Please join Robert’s family in sharing memories, pictures or videos on his tribute wall at www.caminodelsol.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert Gerald Wallentine, please visit our floral store.
4430 E. Aztec Road, Rimrock AZ 86335