Robert “Bob” Schlinkert

Monday, March 28, 2016 5:30 pm

Robert “Bob” Schlinkert, 93, passed away Feb. 29, 2016. Funeral services were at 11 a.m. Monday, March 7, at Zion Ev. Lutheran Church in Mobridge. Burial was in the Norway Lutheran Cemetery, rural Glenham, under the direction of Kesling Funeral Home of Mobridge. Military honors were provided by American Legion Post No. 4 of Mobridge. In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to Zion Lutheran Church, or the Great Plains Lutheran High School, 1200 Luther Lane NE, Watertown, SD 57201.

Farmer. Printer. Preacher. Teacher. With these words a newspaper publisher friend summed up Bob Schlinkert’s life in a letter to the editor of his paper following Bob’s resignation from the Bowdle School System. Bob was all of these and more during his lifetime.

Robert (Bob) Schlinkert, the son of Elsie (Lee) Schlinkert and stepfather Frederick Schlinkert, was born in Minneapolis, Minn., Oct. 1, 1922. He was baptized into the Christian faith Oct. 28, 1922. He confirmed his Baptismal Covenant June 13, 1937, at the First English Lutheran Church, Little Falls, Minn. He grew up on farms and attended rural schools around Little Falls, Minn., graduating from Little Falls, Minn., high school May 29, 1941. During his high school days, he worked in a print shop as a printer’s apprentice. Upon graduation from high school, Bob enrolled at Luther College, Decorah, where he met the young lady who was destined to be his wife. His college career was interrupted when he enlisted in the United States Army Reserve in Oct. 1942. He was called into active service in March 1943, the day after the family had received word from the military that his brother was missing in action in the North African campaign. His brother was later reported to be a Prisoner of War in Germany. Bob spent his basic training at Fort LeonardWood, Mo. He joined the 120th Combat Engineer Bt., a unit of the 45th (Thunderbird) Inf. Div., in Venafro, Italy, Dec. 1, 1943. Bob was involved, with his Division, in the invasion of the Anzio Beachhead, Italy, in Jan. 1944. In Aug. 1944 he was in on the southern France invasion and served with the 45th Inf. Division to the end of the European conflict in May 1945. He was discharged from the Army in Nov. 1945. Jan. 1946 found Bob back in Luther College to continue his education. Robert Schlinkert and Arlene Schmidt, Lewiston, Minn., were married in Lake Nokomis Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, Minn., May 25, 1946. Six children were born to that union. He graduated from Luther College June 2, 1947. Sept. 1947 found Bob a student at Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. He spent the third year of his Seminary education as a vicar at Sherwood Lutheran Church, Sherwood, N.D. Bob graduated from Luther Theological Seminary in May 1951. He was ordained into the Sacred ministry July 22, 1951, a pastor in the Norwegian Lutheran Church in America at the First English Lutheran Church, Little Falls, Minn. The first parish Bob served was a two-point parish: Bethel Lutheran Church at Rogers, N.D., and Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church at Dazey, N.D. His second parish was a three-point parish: Woodworth Lutheran Church, Woodworth, N.D., Pingree Lutheran Church, Pingree, N.D. and Pettibone Lutheran Church, Pettibone, N.D. On New Year’s Day, 1958, the family moved to rural Selby, S.D., to serve Bethany Lutheran Church, rural Selby, S.D., and Norway Lutheran Church, rural Glenham, S.D. While serving the Bethany Norway parish, Bob began teaching in the South Dakota public school system. He resigned from the parish at the end of Aug. 1970. He taught at Selby 1966-1968; Bowdle 1968-1971, Gregory 1971-1976, Wakpala 1976-1979 and Pollock 1979-1980. Bob received his M.S. Ed from Northern State College Aug. 13, 1971. On his return to the Mobridge area in 1976, Bob entered private business with the opening of the WheelInCycle Shop. In 1978 he added the Walco Security Services, which he operated until July 2007. Bob was the pulpit supply pastor at Christ Lutheran Church, Lebanon, S.D., during a vacancy from Oct. 1979 through Aug. 1980. He returned to serve Bethany Lutheran Church, rural Selby, on a part time basis from March 1980 through March 1991. On resigning from Bethany Lutheran Church, Bob became a member of Zion Ev. Lutheran Church, Mobridge, S.D., and became a member of the Dakota-Montana District pastoral roster of the Wisconsin Ev. Lutheran Synod and served as pulpit supply pastor in the district for a number of years. Due to eye and health problems, Bob fully retired in 2007.

Bob is survived by one son, David Schlinkert of Rapid City, S.D.; five daughters: Eunice, Mrs. William Hanson of Oceanside, Calif.., Junia, Mrs. Doug Meyer of Willow Lake, S.D., Marcia, Mrs. Kim Kempton of Rosholt, S.D., Naomi, Mrs. Roy Deegan of Austin, Texas; Paula, Mrs. Eugene Holzer of Mobridge; two sisters-in-law, Gladys, Mrs. Eldon Steuernagel of Inver Grove Heights, Minn. and Sheila, Mrs. Kenneth Mueller of Lewiston, Minn.; 14 grandchildren; 12 great grandchildren; six step-great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Arlene, in 2008; his parents; his brother and wife Eugene and Loraine Lee; nephew Dennis Lee, Ken Mueller and great-grandson, Levi Kempton.

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