Robert Nels (Bob) Blomstrand, age 89, formerly of Aurora, Nebraska went to be with our Lord and Savior on Tuesday morning, April 19, 2016, after a brief illness in Sierra Vista, Arizona.
Graveside Services and interment will be held at 10:00 A.M., Saturday, April 30, 2016 in the Aurora Cemetery, Aurora, Nebraska. Visitation will be from 5:00 to 7:00 PM, Friday evening, April 29, 2016 at Higby - McQuiston Mortuary. A memorial service will be held in Green Valley, Arizona at a later date. Condolences may be e-mailed to the family through the mortuary website at http://www.higbymortuary.com/ as well as Sierra Vista’s Hatfield Mortuary website at http://www.hatfieldfh.com/.
OBITUARY: ROBERT NELS BLOMSTRAND.
Robert Nels (Bob) Blomstrand, the son of Gregory R. and Laura (Weedin) Blomstrand, Sr., was born in Aurora, Nebraska on August 21, 1926 and died in Sierra Vista, Arizona on April 19, 2016, at the age of 89 years. Bob grew up in Aurora and graduated from Aurora High School in 1944. He enlisted in the Army in July 1944 for WW II and served with the 11th Airborne Division in the Pacific Theatre. Bob served with the 11th Airborne Division in the Philippines and during the post war occupation of Japan. He rose to the rank of Master Sergeant and served as Sergeant Major of the 1st Battalion, 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment. When the Korean Conflict began, he volunteered for Korean service, assisted in the evacuation of the American Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, and was assigned to an aerial Quartermaster company as a heavy drop parachute rigger and aircraft loadmaster. The company’s mission was to deliver supplies by parachute and free drops to isolated United States Marine Corps, United States X Corps, and United Nations units on the front lines during the Chosin Reservoir Campaign. Bob was a master parachutist with more than 65 jumps, when he was discharged in April 1952 after 7˝ years of service. In addition to being an airborne infantryman, Bob was also a parachute rigger, aircraft loadmaster, airborne school instructor, and glider qualified. When Bob returned from the war he went to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where he earned his degree of Business Administration in 1956. He was a member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity and was a cadet in the university’s Army Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC) program. Bob was the ROTC cadet battalion commander and Distinguished Military Graduate prior to his commissioning as an Infantry officer.
On August 14, 1955, Bob was united in marriage to Susan (Susie) Marie Sveska of Omaha, Nebraska. Two children came from this union: Nels Andrew (Andy) and Robert Frank (Bobby). Bob returned to active duty in 1956 and continued his Army career. His assignment locations included Fort Jackson, SC; Friedburg and Bad Toltz, Federal Republic of West Germany; Fort Benning, GA; United States Forces Korea; Fort Leavenworth, KS; Republic of South Vietnam; and Heidelberg, Germany. Throughout his career, Bob served in a variety of duty positions including infantry platoon leader, executive officer, company commander, armor battalion executive officer, and as an assistant United Nations Command Joint Staff S-1 (Republic of South Korea). Bob’s final duty position before retirement was as Deputy United States Army Europe and Seventh Army Inspector General. His twenty seven year career came to a close when Bob retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the Army at Fort Dix, NJ on May 31, 1973. The family returned to Omaha and Bob began working for the West Omaha National Bank and was a branch manager when the bank was renamed American National Bank. He was a bank vice president when Bob and Susie decided to permanently retire and relocate to southern Arizona in 1978. Bob and Susie enjoyed their retirement together in Green Valley, AZ and San Carlos, Mexico, as well as traveling throughout the United States, until Susie’s passing on November 22, 1998.
Bob remarried in September, 1999 to Mary Lou Hanson. They enjoyed their married life together in Green Valley until Mary Lou’s passing on November 11, 2010. Bob continued to live in Green Valley until he decided in March 2015 to relocate to Sierra Vista in order to be closer to Andy and his family.
Bob was a life member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Disabled American Veterans (DAV), 11th Airborne Association, 4th Infantry Division Association, 8th Infantry Regiment Society, as well as other numerous military service related organizations.
Throughout his life Bob loved traveling, photography, playing golf, reading, and watching Nebraska Cornhuskers football games. Above all, he enjoyed spending time with friends and family. He was well loved and respected by all who knew him. Bob loved the Lord and often remarked that he had lived a full and good life.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father, older brother Gregory, his first wife Susan, his second wife Mary Lou, one son Robert Frank, one grandson Robby, grandparents, and numerous aunts and uncles.
Bob is survived by his son Andy (Vicky) of Sierra Vista, AZ; granddaughters, Sarah and Emily. Other family survivors include Edson and Sally Bridges of Omaha, NE; Dorothy Sveska of Dallas, TX; Kathy Edds (David) of Green Valley, AZ; Nancy Hanson of Tubac, AZ; numerous nephews, nieces, and their families; many friends throughout the United States and overseas.
A memorial service will be held in Green Valley, Arizona at a later date.