Robert Benjamin Schobert

Robert Benjamin Schobert

Robert Benjamin Schobert

Cedar Rapids

Bob Schobert passed away in the early hours of Oct. 9, 2022, at home, with his family watching over him. He was dearly loved by those who knew him, and he returned that love all his life. He was patient; he was kind; and we are all better for knowing him and being loved by him.

Born at Immanuel Hospital in Omaha, Neb., March 11, 1941, to Joseph Conrad Schobert and Donna Jeanne (Corby) Schobert. Bob lived in Springfield, Neb., until the age of two. The family then moved to Kent, Iowa, where his father and maternal grandfather shared in a farming operation. He graduated from Cromwell High School in 1959. Soon after, he, his parents and two younger sisters moved to Nevada, Iowa.

Bob was a 1964 graduate of Northwest Missouri State College, Maryville, and received his Master’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, in 1972.

While attending NWMSC, Bob was an active member of the Wesley Foundation. One Sunday, he was asked if he would participate, as the groom, in an upcoming mock wedding, to show the meaning of the various elements of the marriage ceremony in the Methodist Church. Another member, Jan Courtin was asked to be the bride. Neither knew the other. They were introduced on Friday, April 5, and “married” in a mock ceremony, on April 7, 1963. That was the beginning. They were (officially) married two years and two months later, on June 6, 1965, at Jan’s home church, Ashland Avenue Methodist Church, in St. Joseph, Mo. They immediately made their home in Emmetsburg, Iowa. Bob had been teaching since the previous year at nearby Mallard and Jan began teaching in Emmetsburg.

Two years later, they moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where Jan taught at Grant Wood Elementary and Bob taught at McKinley Junior High. He taught art in the same classroom in which artist Grant Wood had taught many years before. He also started a new program, called The World of Construction, fostering an interest in the building trades at the middle school level. Students, both male and female, built modules of a section of a house, and learned, hands-on, all the skills needed to complete each part of the module. He loved hearing from former students how this was beneficial to them in later life, including from some who actually went into the building trades.

Around 1974, he left teaching and began selling industrial supplies, eventually becoming a senior sales engineer with Ingersoll Cutting Tool Co., selling high-speed carbide cutting tools to manufacturers in eastern Iowa.

Bob loved nature and the outdoors, especially camping and hiking. Family camping trips, along with backpacking trips with friends to the Boundary Waters, the Cascades and through the Grand Canyon were highlights.

One of Bob’s passions was a 1947 IH cub tractor he brought home from his parents’ acreage. His dad had bought it for him to use on the farm when he was a teenager, and it had been sitting out in the Iowa weather for many years. He brought that heap of rust back to a beautiful, bright red, maybe better than ever prize-winning tractor. He and son Kirk enjoyed showing it at various venues throughout the years. He then found a 1948 IH pickup (to go with the tractor) and restored it also, although he became ill before it was totally completed.

Bob is survived by his wife, Jan of Cedar Rapids; sons, Kirk (and wife Sara) of Marion and Spencer of San Francisco, Calif.; granddaughters, Madeline “Maddie” of Cedar Falls, a student at UNI, Anastasia “Anya” of Marion, a student at Coe College, and Fiona of San Francisco, a fifth grader; sisters, Connie Schobert of Council Bluffs and Melody Schobert of Ames; nephews, Arlen Chase of Avoca and Ben Schobert of Riverside, Mo.; Julie Jasper, mother of Maddie; Jocelyn Porquez, mother of Fiona; and many beloved cousins, neighbors and friends.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents; Jan’s parents; his grandparents; and several dear aunts and uncles.

A gathering will be held at the Lodge of Usher’s Ferry, 5925 Seminole Valley Trail NE, on Sunday, Nov. 6, beginning with a Celebration of Life at 2:30 p.m. A jazz-inspired Celebration will immediately follow. No flowers, please. Memorials may be made in Bob’s name to the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, 410 Third Ave., SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401; or to the charity of your choice. Or extend an unexpected kindness to someone.

It is impossible to adequately express our gratitude to the many neighbors and friends whose kindness has gladdened our hearts. Thanks also to Dr.Susan Slycord, Dr. Amandeep Dhaliwal and Dr. Tricia Sheeley, affiliated with Mercy, Cedar Rapids; Dr. Randolph Marks of the Mayo Clinic; and Mercy Hospice.

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