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Robert J. Walstrom - Brookings: April 24, 1922 – Dec. 25, 2012

Posted: Thursday, Dec 27th, 2012

Robert J. Walstrom, 90, died Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012, in the Golden Living Center at Arlington.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Bible Baptist Church in Brookings, with a reception to follow.

Robert was born April 24, 1922, to Robert H. and Sadie (Christiansen) Walstrom in Omaha, Neb. He graduated from Benson High School in Omaha. Robert earned his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and his doctorate from Iowa State University.

Amid his studies, Robert served his country faithfully during World War II in the U.S. Army. He was honorably discharged in 1946 as a second lieutenant.

Robert married Mary Lou Wade on Jan. 1, 1946. Together, they raised two sons, Robert W. "Wade" Walstrom and James W. Walstrom. Following a divorce, he married Erma J. Vandall. Robert worked for SDSU as the head of the Entomology-Zoology Department. He was also a past president of the South Dakota Beekeepers Association, and a member of Phi Kappa Phi educational fraternity at SDSU.

Robert had a true love for the outdoors. He enjoyed raising honeybees, hunting, camping, fishing and canoeing. He was the NRA rifle instructor for the Brookings Rifle and Pistol Club Junior Division for 38 years. He was also a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Masonic Lodge and a strong supporter of the Boy Scouts.

He is survived by his son, James W. Walstrom of Rapid City; brother, Clifford J. Walstrom; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Erma J. Walstrom; son, Robert W. Walstrom and sister, Marilyn Beck.

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