Robert (Bob) Dahlberg Obituary

Robert (Bob) W. Dahlberg
Robert (Bob) W. Dahlberg
Robert (Bob) W. Dahlberg

May 23, 1927 - May 30, 2005
Born in Mankato, MN
Resided in Des Moines, IA
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Robert (Bob) W. Dahlberg, 78, passed away at home on May 30, 2005 from complications of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Visitation will be on Thursday, June 2, from 4 to 7p.m. at Dunn's Funeral Home in Des Moines, Iowa. A memorial service will be held on Friday June 3, 2005 at 1:30 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church followed by a reception for all his family and friends. A private family burial will be held at a later date.

Bob was born May 23, 1927 in Mankato, Minnesota to Robert Chester and Olive Mae Dahlberg. He was raised on a farm near Springfield, Minnesota. At age 11 when his father died, the family moved off the farm and his mother worked as a writer and cook to support the family. He graduated from Muscatine High School and following military service in the U.S. Navy in WW II, went on to graduate from Iowa State University in Agricultural Engineering. Bob's life long love of Iowa State has much to do with his ongoing involvement with Farmhouse Fraternity. He married Gwendolyn Eileen Henderson, of West Branch, Iowa October 15, 1950. They were blessed with four children, Juliann, Jean, Robert, and Barbara, and have made a great team in everything they do.

From 1956 when they moved to Des Moines from Lincoln, NE until retiring in 1991, Bob devoted his considerable talents to the betterment of Pioneer HiBred International Inc. managing the engineering and construction of seed production facilities, including the initial construction of plants in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Jamaica. He served as President of Central Division, a production and sales unit for much of the United States west of the Mississippi. The many opportunities that accompanied his work for Pioneer fostered a love of travel to many locations around the world.

During his life, Bob's church and civic volunteer service has been exemplary. He was a devoted servant, quietly leading by setting an example for others. He has served the Westminster United Presbyterian Church as an Elder, choir member, and Chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee. His considerable record of service to the Boy Scouts of America includes serving as Cub Master, District Chairman, counselor at Philmont Scout Ranch, Scoutmaster of Troop I (BSA Endowment), recipient of the Silver Beaver Award, and membership in the Founders Circle Endowment Level. For Iowa Sate University he has served as President and Director of the ISU Research Foundation, served on the Dean of Agriculture Advisory Panel, was a member of the Letterman's Club from his years on the ISU men's swimming and diving team, and served on the ISU Board of Governors. Bob and Gwen are members of the ISU Order of the Knoll. Farmhouse Fraternity benefited from his service on the International Board of Trustees. Bob served as Director and President of the Iowa Farm House Association and was instrumental in the fundraising for construction of a new chapter house at Iowa State. He used his woodworking skills to craft and install the black walnut cabinets and wainscoting in the Founders Room, and helped install the Builder of Men brick patio to honor donors to the new chapter house. In 2002 he was awarded the Master Builder Award, Farmhouse Fraternity's highest honor.

Other organizations and memberships include the American Society of Agricultural Engineers, the American Seed Trade Association, the Iowa Seed Association, serving as President and Director, the Iowa Farm Safety Council, the Harvard Business School AMP Program, and VOCA (Volunteer Overseas Cooperative Assistance) consulting on a seed project in Lithuania. Bob and Gwen spent much time during their retirement at the West Branch Prairie Dale Century Farm. They have been true stewards of the land. In keeping with a tradition begun by Bob's grandfather, a grove of trees was planted at the farm with an evergreen for each grandchild and great grand child.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 54 years, Gwen and their four children; Juliann, of Iowa City, IA, Jean Elizabeth and husband Steve Spikes of Leawood, KS, Robert Charles and wife Dr. Lisa Veach of Des Moines, IA, and Barbara Joyce and husband Jeff Engelmann, of Tempe, AZ. Bob's grandchildren include Graham and Tammy Page, Gwen and Jason Schlepphorst, John Page, Leslie and Emily Spikes, Ben and Greta Dahlberg, and Nichole and Connor Engelmann. He has one Great- Grandchild, Mary Gwendolyn Page. Sisters Betty and her husband Gene Halverson of Duluth, MN and Ruth Smith of Ames, IA also survive him. He has numerous much loved nieces and nephews. Bob was preceded in death by his parents, sister Helen Wilson and brothers in law Gaylord Wilson and Emerson Smith. The entire family extends our gratitude to Hospice of Central Iowa.

Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to the Westminster Presbyterian Church or to the Mid Iowa Council Foundation Boy Scouts of America.





Dunn's Funeral Home
2121 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50312
Thursday, June 2, 2005
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Westminster Presbyterian Church
4114 Allison Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50310
Friday, June 3, 2005
1:30 PM


Mid Iowa Council of the Boy Scouts of America
1659 East Euclid
Des Moines, IA 50313