Robert “Bob” Bale

Bob Bale, 93, Mandan, passed away July 18, 2022.

With heavy hearts we announce the passing of our dad, Bob Bale. He left us in the early morning hours of July 18, 2022, at a local care center after declining health. A man much loved – a life well lived.

Funeral services will be held 11:30 a.m. Monday, July 25, at Mandan United Methodist Church, 610 12th St NW, Mandan.

Visitation will be held 1-3 p.m. Sunday, July 24, at Parkway Funeral Service, 2330 Tyler Parkway, Bismarck.

Burial will be held at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery.

            Robert Bruce Bale was born September 24, 1928, to Kirk and Agnes (Johnson) Bale and lived in Wahpeton, North Dakota. The family later moved to Velva, ND where Bob grew up and graduated from high school in 1946. The family moved back to Wahpeton that year. He was a WWII veteran, joining the army; he was processed at Ft. Snelling, MN, took bootcamp at Ft. Lewis, WA, and served in occupied Japan for one year in 1947. There he helped furnish equipment for Japanese contractors to build roads, bridges and airfields. He was the company and parts clerk and did bookkeeping. He attained the rank of Tec 5 and was honorably discharged December 1947. Upon his return he graduated from the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce (Accounting) June 1951. The GI Bill of Rights allowed him to attend 3 years of college.

            He met his future wife, Beatrice (Bea) Grabau, at UND in a “Marriage and Courtship” class. They were married August 8, 1952, at Pleasant View Evangelical United Brethren Church in rural Grand Forks County. This year would have been their 70th wedding anniversary.

            They briefly lived in Fargo, ND where Bob worked with Northwestern Bell Telephone Company from 1951-1956. He then started his career with the Department of Agriculture, working as a Field Accountant with the Rural Electrification Administration, auditing rural telephone cooperatives across North Dakota and South Dakota. They moved to Bismarck, then permanently to Mandan. He retired in 1989.

            Bob was a lifelong church member, baptized by a minister who lived across the street from them. In 1957 he and Bea became charter members of Church of the Good Shepherd EUB in Mandan, now known as Mandan United Methodist Church, where he served in numerous activities including choir. He was an Elks and Masonic Lodge member for over 50 years and belonged to the Independent Telephone Pioneers Association. He enjoyed reading, traveling, bird hunting, fishing, music (especially classical and opera whose history he enjoyed learning), cribbage and bridge, stamp collecting, family country drives, and wildlife. Most important to him were his family and God.

            He was a man with a twinkle in his beautiful blue eyes, a song in his heart, knowledge to share and a good joke to enjoy. He did not see a glass half full or half empty; he was thrilled to have a glass. He loved to tell a good story about fishing and history. He held his faith and beliefs close to his heart. He loved people and enjoyed living – he never knew a stranger. A successful day of hunting included good food (sandwiches) and a piece of homemade pie at a small-town café. Family vacations were important, usually including camping, fishing and hiking. We will remember him for his gentle but witty disposition, positive attitude, sense of humor and kind, giving heart eager to help others. He loved music from an early age and played tuba in the school band. He was caring, selfless and always honest.

            Those left to cherish his memory include his son Bruce Bale, daughter Kris (Joel) Winckler, granddaughter Lauren Bale and her mother Deb Bale. Also surviving are two sisters-in-law, Mavis Bale and Joanne Bale, and several nieces and nephews.

            He was preceded in death by his wife, Bea; parents, Kirk and Agnes Bale; siblings, Betty Hall Dzuber, Kirk Jr., George (Sonia), Gregg, and Doratha; and many furry companions.

            Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure – you are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure. God has you in His arms. We’ll have you forever in our hearts. No matter how much time we have, it’s never enough. Dad you were like sunshine – only huggable. We are grateful for the joy and love you brought to our lives. We will miss you – the twinkle in your eyes, the laughter in your smile, and the love for us in your heart.


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