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In Memoriam ~ Robert Obermiller

Robert Obermiller
Father of Richard Obermiller ’86  

Robert John Obermiller was born on September 9, 1929, in St. Cloud, Minnesota. He grew up in Avon, Minnesota. Bob passed away on March 3, 2023, at CentraCare Therapeutic Suites in Sartell.  

After attending grade school in Avon, Bob went to Tech High School in St. Cloud and graduated in 1947. He was the football co-captain of a team that never ceded a point. He also played on the first Minnesota High School Baseball championship team. Bob was elected to the National Honor Society at its first induction class of 1947. He is in the Tech Athletic Hall of Fame. Bob graduated from St. John’s University in 1951 with a degree in Economics and a minor in Education and Phy. Ed., while also serving as the captain of the baseball team.  

After playing professional baseball in the Northern League for the Duluth Dukes, Bob was drafted into military service. While serving in Korea, he was awarded the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service.   Once he returned home, Bob moved to Milwaukee where he spent 10 years in sales and selling banking supplies.

On November 9, 1957, Bob married Marilyn Gilbride. Together they had three children, Scott, Kerry, and Richard (Rick). Joining Baker’s System’s in 1964, Bob pioneered the Indiana territory, living there for eight years. As the company grew, Bob returned to St. Cloud as the National Sales Manager and Senior Vice President, a position he held until retiring. His advice to his salesmen was, “Don’t be afraid to attempt to succeed, you will never know if you don’t try.”   He believed in community involvement and served on many boards including the St. Cloud Hospital Board of Directors and the College of St. Benedict’s Board of Trustees.

As a couple, Bob and Marilyn received the March of Dimes Roast Award and the Alex Didier Award for Philanthropy. Bob’s volunteering continued as he worked to assist in restoring Clark Field, named after Tech’s 30-year principal, Elizabeth Clark. Bob’s class of 1947 named the field in her honor.   He was a member of the Exchange Club for years. Duck and goose hunting in Northern Saskatchewan with the same three friends was always special to Bob. As was walleye fishing up north.

He loved photography and took MANY pictures. But nothing topped SJU football season. Marilyn teased him that the verse in the Bible, “For everything there is a season”, to Bob, that meant baseball season and SJU football season.   Bob loved his hometown and delighted in taking friends on a tour of the surrounding Avon Hills. He loved his family and was always there for them, especially during his daughter’s long battle with leukemia.   93 years of life, most of them healthy and active, was a gift for which he was grateful for. It was a life well lived and full of love.  

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Ed and Juletta Obermiller, son, Scott, daughter, Kerry, brother, Leroy, and sister-in-law, Jane Erickson. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, son, Rick, sister and brother-in-law, Yvonne and Al Kremers. Sister-in-law, Patriacia Obermiller, brothers- in- law, Dennis (Carol) Gilbride, Kevin (Kathleen) Gilbride, and David Erickson, as well as many nieces and nephews.