Robert Ahlman, 94

Robert Ahlman, 94, of Colome, South Dakota, passed away on Sunday, Sept. 3, 2023 at the Winner Regional Long Term Care Facility in Winner, South Dakota. 

Funeral service was  held on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023 at 10 a.m. at the Winner Methodist Church in Winner, SD.  Burial followed in the Colome City Cemetery. 

Robert (Bob) Eldon Ahlman, born on Sept. 8, 1928, to Albert and Roberta (Wygal) Ahlman and surrounded by the love of his family entered his eternal heavenly home on Sept. 3, 2023. He was reunited in glory with his parents, Albert and Roberta Ahlman, his brother, Eugene (Gene) Ahlman, and his beloved wife, JoAnn (Harter) Ahlman, alongside numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins who had gone before him.

Bob’s life was one marked by gentleness, love, and unwavering commitment to his family and community. He spent his formative years on the family ranch, alongside his older brother, Gene. He received his education at Clairmont Country School and graduated from Colome High School in 1948. Following graduation, Bob answered the call to serve his country and joined the National Guard, actively contributing for several years.

In March of 1950, Bob married the love of his life, JoAnn Harter, and together they embarked on a 72-year journey filled with love and togetherness. To this beautiful union, they were blessed with four daughters: Peggy Ann, Glenda Lee, Susan Jean, and Lori Jane.

Bob was not just a model family man; he was also a brilliant fabricator. There was no piece of machinery that he couldn’t fix, earning him the trust and respect of countless farmers and ranchers throughout south-central South Dakota. In 1973, he and JoAnn decided to start a new chapter in their lives, selling their acreage to open Bob’s Machine Shop in Colome. However, even with their move to town, Bob never strayed too far from his roots, traveling each weekend back to the family farm to help his brother, Gene.

Bob was a dedicated member of the South Dakota Welders Association, demonstrating his commitment to his craft. He served his community as the mayor of Colome, contributed as a volunteer firefighter, and faithfully attended and served at the United Methodist Church. His life was a testament to the values of faith, hard work, humility, and family.

In his spare time, Bob found joy in reading, hunting, solving puzzles, and teaching his grandkids to play checkers. He relished Sunday drives on dirt roads and the simple pleasure of a hearty meal, with meat and potatoes, followed by sweet tea and dessert. Bob had a passion for sharing his knowledge of machines and interests in history and geography with those around him. He lovingly shared in the joys and sorrows of his family, making his days truly rich in love and work.

Bob leaves behind a legacy of love and dedication that will forever be cherished by his family. While he will be greatly missed, his gentleness, his loving eyes, his mischievous raised eyebrow, and his endearing wink will live on in our memories.

Those fortunate enough to have shared their lives with Bob are his daughters: Peggy Soper, Glenda Simer, Susan (Rob) Saunders, and Lori Haukaas. Thirteen grandchildren including:  Eric Brown, Danta (Barry) Simonson, Crystal Allen, Allissa (Alex) Gurnsey, Chris (Michelle) Sachtjen, Connor (Cassie) Sachtjen, Beth Larsen, Bonnie (Ken Harkins) Saunders, Erica (Ivan) Beck, Jacque Haukaas, Lacey Brubaker, Paige Haukaas and Peter (Cheyenne) Haukaas.  Twenty-six great-grandchildren including:  Taylor (Cody) Ratz, Devon Simonsen, Ciara Allen, Jordyne Hoffman, Lacy Sachtjen, Layton Sachtjen, Laila Sachtjen, Boyd Sachtjen, Bo Sachtjen, Harley Hall, David Hall, Frankie Harkins, Grace Harkins, Ethan (Angela) Beck, Aidan Beck, Ayla Beck, Amir Hariri, Javon Haukaas, Korbin Miller, Mila Johnson, Isabelle Brubaker, Landon Brubaker, Ace Brubaker, Paxtyn Miller, Whitlee Haukaas, Bodee Haukaas.  Three great-great grandchildren, including:  Cash Wheeler, Reagan Kahler and Nora Beck.               

In celebrating the life of Robert Eldon Ahlman, we remember a man who lived with purpose, integrity, and an abundance of love. The significance of his life will continue to shine brightly through the lives of those he touched. Rest in peace, Papa Bob, until we meet again.

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