Robert Timmins Obituary

Robert   Timmins
Bob Timmins
Robert Timmins

May 9, 1921 - January 9, 2021
Born in Des Moines, Iowa
Resided in Ocala, Fl formerly of Des Moines, Iowa
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May 9, 1921-January 9, 2021

Robert Charles Timmins was born May 9, 1921 in Des Moines, IA to William Foster Timmins and Irma Carmer Timmins. He passed from this life into the presence of his Lord and Savior on January 9, 2021.

In retrospect, Bob’s life was representative of those of the Greatest Generation. He was a child of the Depression, growing up at a time when there was always enough to eat, but material possessions and opportunities were few. Like many others, Bob, his brother and his sister didn’t realize they were poor because all of their relatives and friends were in similar circumstances. Bob’s childhood and young adulthood were spent in Urbandale, IA; he attended Urbandale schools for the 13 years of his public education. This was where his intelligence, ambition and leadership abilities were first shown. He excelled in academics and athletics. For several years before his passing, Bob was the oldest living graduate of Urbandale High School, having graduated in 1939. He caddied every summer at Hyperion Field Club. He learned carpentry, electrical skills and mechanics by helping his father in construction and by repairing a succession of old cars.

Money was scarce in the late 1930’s, so Bob’s manual skills led him to find employment at Boyt Harness Company, where he quickly rose to the position of factory foreman. It was during this time that Bob met Janet Joy Maynard and began a love affair that lasted for the rest of their long lives. Bob and Jan were married on April 17, 1942 at First Federated Church in Beaverdale; they had been married for 77 years when Jan died in 2019. Bob wasn’t drafted into the military during World War II because he was foreman of a defense factory; but his sense of personal responsibility and love of country led him to enlist in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943. He was an electrician on B-29 bombers until his honorable discharge as a Staff Sargent after the war ended. It was the GI Bill that enabled Bob to attend college; it was his hard work and ambition that enabled him to work full-time and attend Drake University full-time while supporting his wife and daughters. The family lived in married student housing at Fort Des Moines. Bob was a campus leader, serving on Drake’s Student-Faculty Council, Independent Students Council and honorary organizations including Omicron Delta Kappa. He graduated from Drake with a degree in accounting, the foundation of what would be his life-long career. He passed the CPA exam the first time he took it. His first professional employment was with McGladrey, Hansen, Dunn & Company; his specialties were mergers, acquisitions and public stock offerings. For several years he was CFO of Thermogas and Mid-America Pipeline; but he began and ended his career as a CPA with McGladrey. He retired three times: once from public accounting, once as co-owner of Emerson Flute Factory and finally as managing director of a few corporate boards of directors. He was a 32nd degree Mason and a Za-Ga-Zig Shriner for more than 50 years.

Although Bob was successful in his profession, he was even more outstanding as husband, father, grandfather and friend. He modeled devotion to his wife, daughters, granddaughters and great-grandchildren. He was the rock that everyone in the family leaned on and turned to.

Bob and Jan established a loving home wherever they lived, but no place is more meaningful to the whole family than “Reel Livin’” on Woman Lake in Minnesota. For more than 60 years, the cabin has been the place where the family gathers. The family events, laughs, memories, tall tales, mishaps and quiet moments at the lake fill our hearts with joy and gratitude. The lake community is a neighborhood of dear friends.

Bob and Jan enjoyed a long, active and happy retirement, following the sun between Florida and Minnesota and filling their days with simple pleasures. Bob didn’t have traditional hobbies, but he always had a project or something to fix. His greatest pleasure away from home was playing golf. His golfing buddies in Indiana, Florida and Minnesota were among his best friends. For years he and “the guys” took annual trips to Mexico to play 36 holes a day for a week. His 60th birthday was celebrated with three friends on a trip to Scotland with rounds on fabled courses. Bob was understandably proud that he “shot his age” every year from 72 to 97, and he had four holes-in-one.

As Jan’s health declined, Bob spent all day, every day with her at home, in the hospital or care facility. He never seemed to tire of just being with her and encouraging her. They were loving and affectionate, holding hands at every opportunity and saying “I love you” many times throughout the day.

Bob was a man of faith. He was blessed as an infant and baptized as a child in the Church of Latter Day Saints. He later joined the Presbyterian Church where he served as a trustee and treasurer. His church home in Florida was Ocala West United Methodist Church where he and Jan found inspiration and fellowship.

He was a man of personal integrity, quick wit, quiet intelligence, loving acceptance and faithful witness. He had many gifts and he used them well. He lived well, loved well and was greatly loved in return.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents; his son-in-law, John Coder; his brother, William Timmins; his beloved daughter, Leslie Timmins Campbell and his precious wife, Janet. He is survived by his daughter, Sydney Timmins Coder of Urbandale; four granddaughters and their families: Shannon and David Heupel, Owen, Ella and Lydia of Excelsior, MN; Melissa and Eric Dobbins, Will and Morgan Schipper of Cedar Rapids, IA; Kelsey Brandt, Sage and Calista Brandt, August Hancey of Salt Lake City, UT; Laura and Buck Olsen, Max, Charlie, Zoe, Tate, Mia and Finn of Johnston, IA. He is also survived by his son-in-law, John Hamman; his sister, Marilyn Argenta; his sister-in-law, Shirley Timmins; two nephews and four nieces.

There will be a brief, socially-distant visitation from 6:00-7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 15, 2021, at Iles Westover Chapel for those who are comfortable in that setting. A private funeral for family will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 16 at Iles, with burial immediately following at the Masonic Cemetery. The service will be live-streamed for those unable to attend. The link will appear at 12:45 p.m., Saturday (prior to the service) on Bob’s obituary page at, where you may also leave online condolences.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Ocala West United Methodist Church in Ocala, FL or the Longville Library in Longville, MN.





Iles Westover Chapel
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Friday, January 15, 2021
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Iles Westover Chapel
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Saturday, January 16, 2021
1:00 PM


Ocala West United Methodist Church
9330 SW 105th Street
Ocala, Florida 34481
Longville Library - Longville, MN
5051 MN-84
Longville, MN 56655