Robert Earl Jorstad, 86
Robert "Bob" Earl Jorstad, 86, of Bemidji, died Tuesday, March 20, 2008, at North Country Regional Hospital in Bemidji. The funeral will be held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Cease Family Funeral Home in Bemidji with the Rev. Eric Hucke officiating.
Robert "Bob" Earl Jorstad, 86, of Bemidji, died Tuesday, March 20, 2008, at North Country Regional Hospital in Bemidji.
The funeral will be held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Cease Family Funeral Home in Bemidji with the Rev. Eric Hucke officiating. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home and one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Burial will be at the Greenwood Cemetery in Bemidji.
He was born Feb. 4, 1922, in Cass Lake. He was adopted by Adolph and Wealthy (Pierce) Jorstad of Bemidji. As a teenager, he received his pilot's license before his driver's license. He graduated from Bemidji High School in 1940. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the U.S. Army-Air Corps in December 1941. He served in the African campaign, where he earned four battle stars and the Presidential Unit Citation. Through the desert battles, he corresponded with Bernadette Given of Bemidji. They were married May 11, 1945, in Walla Walla, Wash. Following his discharge, he returned to Bemidji. He was hired to work by the founder and owner of the Bemidji Gas Company now the Bemidji Coop Association. He drove more than a million miles delivering gas and propane without a single incident over the course of 40 and a half years. He retired in March of 1985 with enough sick pay days to pay cash for a new car.
He parlayed his passion for flying into the founding with friends of the Bemidji Civil Air Patrol Squadron. He served as commandant of cadets, squadron commander and Minnesota Group II commander. He and the CAP maintained excellent relationships with local law enforcement; they collaborated on many searches and rescues in the north woods and lakes of Minnesota during his tenure from the 1950s to the 1980s. He served as president of the J.W. Smith Parent Teacher Association, and supported his sons in Cub Scouts as a den leader. He was a lifetime member of the Ralph Gracie Post No. 14 of the American Legion in Bemidji. He was honored on the 50th anniversary of his membership. Besides flying, he was a champion boat racer and go-cart racer. He enjoyed snowmobiling, dancing and drinking coffee.
He is survived by his wife of Bemidji; children, Bob (Mary) Jorstad of Charleston, Ill., Anita (the late Douglas) Sundstrom of Biwabik, Minn., Jennifer Jorstad of Brownsville, Texas, Pamela Jorstad of Bemidji, Jon Jorstad of Bemidji, Marilyn (G.B.) Hallmark of Buda, Texas, Kate Smothers of Grand Forks, N.D., and James (Susan) of Roseville, Minn.; 13 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; brother, Richard (Audrey) Jorstad of Bemidji; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Ida Jorstad.