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Robert Jean Towne

Robert Jean Towne

ROBERT JEAN TOWNE, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend to many, died peacefully on Wednesday, Sept 6, 2017 at the age of 94.

Bob was born October 2, 1922, in Sibley, Iowa. Raised during the Great Depression, he attended 13 schools before graduating from high school in 1941. After graduation, Bob went to Long Beach, California to help with the war effort and built ships. He returned home and continued in the ship-building industry, worked road construction and was an electrician's assistant. In 1949 he found his calling after earning his bachelor's degree in education at St. Cloud State University. Bob loved being an educator. He taught in Raymond and Rosholt, SD, Jasper, MN, and eventually took a job in Isle, MN where he met and married Betsy, whom he spent 57 loving and adventurous years.

Bob continued his education at the University of Minnesota and the University of North Dakota, where he earned his master's degree in education in 1959. Bob was a principal in Goodrich and Willow River, before becoming the high school principal in Esko, where he spent 15 years before retiring in 1982. Bob embraced the Esko community, and was active in and a charter member of the Esko Area Lion's Club. He was also active in St. Matthews Lutheran Church and Esko Senior Citizens.

Bob loved life, and enjoyed being with his family and many friends. He was an avid reader, and will be fondly remembered for his great sense of humor. Bob and Betsy always stayed busy fishing, camping, traveling, and watching the kids and grandkids activities. They enjoyed the many winters spent in Arizona, the annual family reunions, and their weekly breakfasts and lunches with friends. But their favorite activities were going to their cabin on Lake Vermilion, and watching the Twins and Timberwolves.

Robert was preceded in death by his parents, Anna and Elbert; his wife of 57 years, Betsy; and his brother, Murray.

He is survived by his son, Gary (Linda) of Cloquet; daughters, Annette (Steve) Cohen of The Woodlands, TX, Melani Towne and Jennifer Mann of Rochester;

grandchildren, Logan and Bijou Towne; sisters, Lois (John) Robson of Glencoe, MN and Bethel (Billie) Blankenfeld of Grygla, MN.; and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation: 4 - 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 16, 2017 in the Atkins Northland Funeral Home, 801 14th St. in Cloquet. Visitation will continue from 2 until the 3:00 p.m. funeral service Sunday, September 17th in St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Esko. A time of lunch and fellowship will follow in the Family Life Center. To sign the guest book and offer an online tribute, see