Robert James Leibel, age 90, of Pine City, passed away on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, at Welia Health in Mora, surrounded by his loving family.
Bob was born in St. Paul on October 21, 1930, to Aloysius and Rose (Mottl) Leibel. They lived in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood of St. Paul, and Bob attended St. Columba Catholic School for Grades 1 through 8. He attended Wilson High School in St Paul until 1947, at which time his parents purchased their farm north of Rush City. While attending Rush City High School, he noticed a pretty girl named Caryl Neubauer. Bob had a book report coming due and, having seen Caryl’s name on the library checkout card, asked her if she would write his book report for him. She refused, telling him to write his own, but later agreed to go on a date with him, and they became high school sweethearts. Upon graduation from Rush City High School in 1949, Bob began his employment with East Central Electric in Braham, joined the National Guard, and also continued to work on the family farm.
Bob and Caryl got married on July 11, 1953, and they made their home in Pine City. Bob dearly loved his family and being involved in the community. He was a member of the Pine City Volunteer Fire Department and Knights of Columbus, and he served on the Pine City School Board and Pine County Fair Board. He retired from East Central Electric in 1994 after 45 years of service. After he retired, he spent more time volunteering at church at the fish fry and funeral lunches. His happiest times were at the cabin on Pokegama Lake, fishing trips to Canada, horseback riding out West, and spending time with family and friends at deer camp.
Bob was preceded in death by Caryl, his wife of 59 years; his parents, Aloysius and Rose Leibel; daughter Paula Jayne Gard; and infant son Jay Robert Leibel. He will be greatly missed by daughters Pamela (Bob) Nierengarten and Patricia (Tom) Beiring; son Peter (Wendy) Leibel; grandchildren Shawn Leibel, Holly (Steve) Halford, Heather (Charlie) Enselein, Jay (Sara) Nierengarten, Ethan and Kaia Leibel; five great-grandchildren; brother David Leibel; special friend Cecelia Lundin; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Monsignor Aleksander Suchan celebrated a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. A time of visitation was held Tuesday evening at Swanson Funeral Chapel. Interment with military honors was at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Pine City.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Funeral and Cremation Service of Pine City, Swanson Chapel. www.FuneralAndCremationService.com