John Robert "Bob" Theile was born in Centerville, Iowa on September 22, 1936. He attended Iowa State for Business Administration, and the University of Missouri for a masters in Accounting. He worked in Kansas City, Dallas, Beltsville, Witchita, LaCrosse, Shakopee, and finally, Winona, where he lived most of his life. While we could list his work accomplishments here, that's not what his life was about. For anyone who knew Bob, you'd know he loved football (he got to watch one last Superbowl before he died), fishing, and family. And travel--he and his wife of 44 years, Karen, traveled to 24 countries and 40 states over a 20-year time period. When the kids were home, he loved to have a nice dinner, drink wine, laugh, and tell stories. Bob was a great story-teller, and he had so many fascinating ones--from "accidentally" stabbing his older brother, Harry, in the hand with a knife while playing mumbly peg, to meeting the infamous Jack Ruby and being present in Dallas when JFK was shot. Every summer at our family reunion, Bob would manage a washer tournament, and he was almost impossible to beat! He played softball until he was 45, after which he switched to golf, loved Trivia, and spent his summers fishing the tendrils of the Mississippi River. He loved to give us kids the shivers by reciting "The Cremation of Sam McGee" around the campfire, and we loved to hear him sing Kingston Trio songs in his beautiful bass voice. He had a rather dark sense of humor sometimes, and would probably want us to write something on his Facebook page about "finally kicking the can"--but we couldn't do it. Like most of us, Bob could be a "cantankerous old poop" on the outside sometimes, but inwardly, he was the best teddy bear ever, as those who worked with him and called him husband and Dad, brother, uncle, and friend, can attest.
Bob is survived by his family and friends who loved him: his wife, Karen Theile, his six children: Libby (Raymore, MO) , J.T. (Charleston, SC), Allison (Witchita, KS), Michelle (Bemidji, MN), Christine (Denver, CO), and Kelly (Sturgeon Bay, WI), his thirteen grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, his deceased brother Harry's wife Fran, and his four nieces.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on Thursday, February 24 at 4 pm. at the Elk's Club in Winona, MN. We'd love to see you; come with your favorite story about Bob. Hoff Celebration of Life Center - Goodview, is assisting the family with arrangements.