Robert Blomstrom, 91, of Winner, SD passed away on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019 at the Avera Rosebud Country Care Facility in Gregory, SD.
Funeral service will be held on Thursday, Dec. 26th, 2019 at 10 a.m. at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Winner, SD. Burial will follow in the Winner City Cemetery. A visitation will be held one hour prior to funeral service.
Robert Wayne Blomstrom was born April 1, 1928 in Winner, SD to George and Helen (Frohburg) Blomstrom. One of six children, he was raised on a farm a few miles southwest of Winner until his father died when he was nine. Soon after the family moved into town to find employment.
He helped out the family financially from a very young age and recalled his first job working at a soda fountain cleaning up. He continued to work throughout high school making gas deliveries for his cousin Lloyd Blomstrom.
He graduated from Winner High School in 1945 and worked at the Co-op until he entered the service. He trained as a half track driver and served during the Korean War in Germany as border patrol. Upon his return from the service he resumed work at the Co-op and there he met Elinor Walton, who worked in bookkeeping. They married Oct. 2, 1954. To this union six children were born.
Soon he purchased the Conoco service station and operated it for many years. His family remembers many late night and holiday phone calls from the police station requesting him to open up for some traveler passing through who needed fuel. He never turned anyone down.
In 1982 he began subbing as a rural mail carrier, and not long after sold the Conoco and carried mail full time. His dedication to his work earned him the honor of being named South Dakota rural mail carrier of the year, of which he was very proud.
He resided in Winner his entire life until May 2014 when it became necessary to move to an assisted living facility in Gregory, closer to his daughters. It wasn’t long before he and Elinor moved to Avera Rosebud Country Care Center in Gregory, where he resided until the time of his passing.
Robert was a faithful servant of his church and community and volunteered wherever he was able to help. He served as a council member to the Trinity Lutheran Church (WELS) for years. He was a member of the VFW and American Legion, spending many evenings calling bingo or assisting with steak night. He served on the draft board during the Vietnam war, a job that troubled him dearly, and also served as a city councilman.
He never missed volunteering putting up the flags at the cemetery for Memorial Day, or serving the free meal on Labor Day. He was a volunteer fireman for years as well as a volunteer deputy for a short time when needed. He served as an honor guard at numerous funerals and never missed carrying the flag in the Labor Day parade. He was named parade marshal of the Labor Day parade in 2007, for which he was very humbled. If a volunteer for church or community was needed, he was there as his community meant so much to him.
In later years his grandchildren were his passion and he rarely missed an event. He swapped the purple and gold colors of his alma mater for Cowboy green and Gorilla red and wore them proudly. “Papa” as called by his grandchildren was best known for his joking around and ability to make them laugh. His use of props such as goofy hats and googly eyeglasses were well received with smiles and laughter. An April 1st birthday suited him well.
He is survived by his children: David, Seattle, WA; Neil (Brena’) , Yankton, SD; Beverly (Rod) Graesser, Dallas, SD; Laurie (Mike) Spartz, New Hope, MN; Barbara (Steve) Nallick, Golden Valley, MN; Jeannie Fortuna, Gregory, SD. Also eleven grandchildren and four great grandchildren: Glenn (Kirsten) Graesser, Walter, Henry and Edward, Platte, SD; Jordan (Cassie) Graesser, Brisbane, Australia; Leah Graesser, Sacramento, CA; Emilee (Max) Hendricks, Rowan, Sacramento, CA; Nolan Fortuna, Gregory, SD; Josie Fortuna, Bismarck, ND; Alyssa Fortuna, Spearfish, SD; Nathan Fortuna, Gregory, SD. Allyson Spartz, New Hope, MN. Cierra Bordeaux and Lashya Farmer, Dallas, SD.