William “Bill” M. Robb, age 67, of Glenwood, Minnesota, passed away on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, at his home in Glenwood.
A Celebration of Bill’s Life will be held on Sunday September 25, 2022, at Carlos Creek Winery in Alexandria, MN from 11am –2pm.
William (Bill) Michael Robb, aka Begonia Bill, 67, of Glenwood, MN and formerly of Fairdale, ND passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, at his home in Glenwood, MN.
Our dad was born June 4, 1955, to Willard Alfred (Swede) and Alice Mae Robb in Langdon, ND. He grew up in Fairdale, ND where they had family farm. He graduated from Edmore High School in 1973. He then went to University of North Dakota where he graduated in 1977 with his bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism. After college he moved to Jamestown, ND where he worked at a radio station doing live broadcasting of sporting events before he became the general manager. After Jamestown he and his family moved a few times so he could pursue his radio broadcasting career before settling in Hutchinson, MN in 1993. The job he enjoyed most while in Hutchinson was making sure he could make it to all our sporting events where he would cheer us on (along with some polite critiquing after…which he was 99.9% right about).
In September 2008 our dad found his true calling when going to work for Jamestown College where he was the director of major gifts and planned giving. He was able to travel around the US meeting alumni and creating lasting friendships which was most important to him, work truly came second. After spending 6 and half years at Jamestown College he then took a position at the University of Minnesota Morris in March of 2015 where he continued his travels and meeting with alumni. He was senior development officer where he was a certified gift planning associate (CGPA) until his passing. Our dad cared so much for others and wanted what was best for them, he found that in his role as a development officer. He would talk fondly of all the donors he had met and their long list of achievements.
Our dad lived for all things outdoors; hiking, biking, playing golf, fishing (he was quite the bass wrangler with the occasional northern), and of course enjoying his time on his pontoon. Our dad had green thumb unlike anyone else we knew, his lawn was always immaculate, and he would grow the most beautiful flowers, hence the name Begonia Bill. During his younger years he had a passion for fast pitch softball, playing basketball with his Jamestown crew, and had a joy for running, including being one of the original runners in the annual St. Patty’s Day run in Jamestown, ND in 1979. Since he had run a few half marathons in Fargo, ND. He traveled a lot for work but made time for himself on his travels and would always find a new adventure at a hiking or walking path, and just exploring whatever city he was in. He was one of the smartest people you could possibly meet, he always had a thirst for knowledge which was evident by another one of his passions of reading. His family and friends meant the world to him and considered his many friends to be like family. He was always making people laugh with his quick wit and sarcastic comments. There aren’t enough words to describe how amazing our dad was and his ever-going list of life achievements. The void he left us all with will never be filled, he truly was one of a kind.
Bill is survived by his children, Dustin Robb (Hannah Hofmeister) and Kate Robb; his brothers Dick (Joy) Robb, West Jordan, UT; Russ Robb, Grand Forks, ND; Bob (Teri), Pequot Lakes, MN and sister, Jean (Matt) Altepeter, Euclid, MN; nieces and nephews, Matt (Lisa) Robb, Logan and Carson; Tony (Jeni) Robb; Lisa (Rob) Krebs, Peyton and Riley; Jared (Heather) Altepeter, Owen, Annika, and Emery; Brandon (Kayli) Altepeter, Avery and Josie; Jaden (Kyli) Altepeter and Brooks; Alex Robb; Lauren Robb.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Swede; father, Alice; mother, and a nephew, Connor Matthew Altepeter.
Memorials may be directed to The Nature Conservancy, Soper Presbyterian Cemetery Fund in Fairdale, ND, University of Minnesota Foundation, and University of North Dakota Foundation.
Lisa Bevevino and Aaron Wenzel says
We were always so happy when we saw Bill around. What a good colleague and a cordial human. We didn’t get to know him well and are sad to hear of his passing.
Mike and Peg Shea says
Bill was not only our next door neighbor for many years he was also a good friend. We could always count on Bill for an interesting story or a quick funny remark. Bill enjoyed life, he was always doing something….walking, biking, boating , gardening or sitting on his patio enjoying the lake. His greatest love were his children which he would talk about with such pride. There is such an emptiness looking out our window to Bill’s place now. You will be missed dear friend!
Mercedes Ballou says
I am very sorry to learn of Bill’s death. He visited me several times to discuss ways to support a scholarship that my husband and I funded and was helpful in determining how best to carry out additional wishes. He was personable and persuasive. My condolences to his family and friends.
Bob Gandrud says
Our community will miss Bill and his willingness to help. We could always count on our yearly visit and sharing our interest in the UofM Morris…RIP dear Bill. Bob and Nancy Gandrud
Stacey Parker Aronson says
Please accept my sincerest condolences on Bill Robb’s death. He was a consummate professional and so personable and friendly. Know that I am thinking of you and his family during this sad time. Take care.
Chad & Alison Christianson says
We are deeply saddened by the sudden loss of our dear friend. Our hearts go out to his kids who he talked about with such pride & love. We will miss seeing him on the pontoon, great conversations by the fire, even just the simple wave from his patio. We got to know him 4 years ago when we were comparing ND fastpitch softball stories and became fast friends. Bill was a great storyteller- always made us laugh, the neighborhood will not be the same without him . Wish we had more time with him.
Tom Gould says
Edi and I always enjoyed Bill’s arrival in Arizona. Always had an enjoyable dinner with great talks. Bill was one of the original basketball junkies in Jamestown. We played soooo many games vs. the JHS High Schoolers over the years. We were all on the court to set screens for Tom Heck but every so often we all got to shoot. He was a friend that we all will miss, he was a great father and always was a great guy to visit. RIP Bill and give our regards to Trapper while you guys are getting a hoops game together in heaven
Karen Cooper says
I met Bill a few times through a colleague of his and was always so impressed with genuine friendliness and sense of humor. He was a nice, nice, man. My deepest condolences to his family, friends and co-workers.
Pam Pulkrabek says
Dustin and Katie, I’m so very sorry to hear about your dad. He’s part of the fun memories of following our boys’ baseball games! He was always a friendly guy and easy to talk to. I think of him every time I’m in your old neighborhood 😉 Sending sincere condolences and hugs (they go a long way at times like these).
Theodore S Storck says
So sorry. Bill was such a great person. He and I were both involved with radio, and I worked with him with UMM scholarships, etc. Rest in Peace, my friend.
Alan Lindberg says
All my best to Bill’s children, family, and friends. Bill was a good friend back in his Jamestown days. We lived together for a year or two with our buddy, Tom Heck. Lots and lots of laughs and fun times!
But when we did see each other again off and on over the years his focus and passion and our visit was of course about his kids. Bill was a proud Dad!
Rest in Peace, Bill Robb. You left us early, but not without some great memories!
Dana L. Crosby says
Very sorry to learn of Bill’s passing. I enjoyed our visits while he was in Southern California and was looking forward to meeting up with him this summer in Minnesota. He was far too young.
Twyla G. Waller says
Katie and Family,
Our deepest sympathy to all. May you find peace with all your Memories of your Dad. Thoughts and prayers to you all.
Twyla & Chuck
Jim Winter says
To Bill Robb’s family. I am very sorry and shocked to hear about Bill’s passing. You have my deepest sympathy and best wishes. Bill was an outstanding person and friend. I got to know him through endowing scholarships for UMM students and we quickly became friends. We communicated regularly and I looked forward to having lunch and dinner with him every time I returned to Morris. Bill kept me informed about UMM. He had a deep passion for UMM and his job. We had wonderful conversations because he had many interests and passions. He will be missed greatly.
Wayne Barstad says
I had the pleasure of knowing Bill through his annual visits, going back several years. Over dinners at local restaurants, he and I exchanged personal stories and I learned much about his life before and during his tenure at UMM. He brought me news of the university, its growth and development, cultural changes, retirements, and new faculty hires. I would inquire about various faculty who had taught there and sometimes he had sad news. He kept me connected to that community; for that I am thankful. Bill was a friend and I miss him.
Maria Giannuli says
Grappling in disbelief with the shocking news of Bill Robb, a BRIGHT STAR, having departed into the universe!
I’ve known Bill to be a force of unparalleled, kindness, trustworthiness, sincerity, dedication and conviction. His endless energy, positivism, inquisitiveness, intellect, and great sense of humor brightened the day. Bill conducted and delivered his job as a service to honoring causes and respecting its significance. He was a proud father and a loyal caring friend. My sincere condolences, to his family, staff and friends.
Be profoundly missed!!!
Joyce koch says
Deepest sympathies to all of Bill’s family and friends. Bill lived his life as an example of how we all should live ours. Love your kids deeply, treat everyone with great respect, find humor in all things and find happiness in a simple life.
Bill left us all as better people and truly blessed to call him friend.
Rest In Peace Bill Robb
Gus Claymore says
It is with great sadness to hear recently of my friend Bills passing. I enjoyed working with him at UMM, he always was in good spirit and that will be missed. Rest In Peace Bill you will be missed.
Gus Claymore says
You will be miss my friend, I am so sorry that you had to leave the many many friends that you have. RIP Bill!!
Brian Williams says
What a shock to learn of Bill’s death this morning. Bill was so warm and accommodating when I approached UMM about having a fund established in my parents’ names, to ensure that our family would continue having a meaningful role with the institution. I didn’t talk to “Begonia Bill” often but it was always a pleasure. We talked about his “radio voice!” The obit portrays what a full life he had.
Linda and Alan Quarnstrom says
Alan and I are so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. He was such a good friend…going back over 35+ years. Living miles apart we still kept in touch and made sure he received our annual Christmas Letter so he knew we were thinking of him. He was a great man. God Bless. RIP Billie.
Tim Ost says
Very saddened to hear of Bill’s passing. I had the opportunity to work with Bill at KEYJ in Jamestown. Bill was a friend and awesome
talent. Not many play-by-play people like Bill. Our friendship started while competing in the Broadcasting category at 2 High School State
Speech contests. He will be missed!
Paul and Gwen Buran says
We didn’t know Bill for very long since we moved in only about two years ago. We always enjoyed visiting with him down at the beach and his smile and joking around left a great impression. We will definitely miss him. Prayers for comfort and strength for his family.
Kimberly Hiland Belding says
Sending love and hugs to you and your families. I enjoyed Bill’s visits to San Diego for UMM and getting to know him.
Matt and Kathy Bassler says
Just heard of his passing. So sorry to hear this Dustin and Kate, your dad was a good man. We loved spending time with your mom and dad when you kids were little.
Kristin Maija Peterson says
I just learned of Bill’s passing through the University of Minnesota Morris, Morris Matters Alumni newsletter. This is indeed sad news. Bill was instrumental in helping my family have a plaque commemorating my father’s contributions as a founding faculty member and professor of Studio Art and Art History at UMM. Bill made what felt like a daunting project come together with ease.
Since the plaque was installed in the HFA Building on the Morris campus, I continued to stay in touch with Bill, enjoying a few lunches together. Ultimately Bill purchased a watercolor of mine “Flight” of shorebirds that worked well with the decor of his then new home in Glenwood.
Bill’s passing is a reminder that life is fleeting. He lived life to the fullest and was a good friend with a generous spirit. Yes, he will be greatly missed.
Beth Aquilino says
I just heard today about this! My heart is broken! Bill is one of the greatest people I ever met and my husband who met him later then me agreed! I would call him from time to time to catch up and, of course Razz him;) He had that sense of humor that made it so fun as he gave as good as he got 😉 He was so proud of and always filled me in on what his kids were doing when I asked. I’ll miss LAUGH! (So sly and perfect I can still hear it in my head 😉 Once he came to our house on the Sauk River for 4th of July and brought his canoe. He and Rich went down the river in it and, well let’s just say, it wasn’t the greatest run? Our mutual friend Holly dubbed them “Clueless & Lark” and the name stuck forever 😉 As life brought us to other locations, I would still on random occasions call him just to hear his voice and laugh with him about life. I can’t believe I am unable to do that again and regret I didn’t reach out lately. I Pray I see my dear friend in Heaven, even if he was skeptical about that. I envision Bill leaving earth and God saying “HEY, I gotcha!!!”
Love you, Bill! Always & forever! And see you on the flip side!