Robert E. Flansburg died on Jan. 15, 2013, at the age of 74 in the home he built on North Long Lake with his wife of 46 years, Kathryn, at his side.
Bob was born in Brainerd on Dec. 30, 1938, to Marie (Adair) and Ralph Flansburg.
Bob is survived by wife, Kathryn; mother, Marie Flansburg (Brainerd); two children and their spouses, Jeffrey and Jennifer Flansburg (Ramsey) and Sherrill and Lee Lindsey Jr. (Plymouth); Bob also has three grandsons who enjoyed fishing and camping with him, Jace Flansburg and Jaren and Jaxen Lindsey, along with a stepgranddaughter, Jenaya Lindsey; brother and wife, Gary and Donna Flansburg (Arizona); sister and husband, Debra and Greg Miles (Andover).
He was preceded in death by father, Ralph in 1986; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Elizabeth and Joseph Sypnieski in 1976.
Bob was in the graduating class of 1956 from Brainerd High School and graduated from Central Lakes College (formerly known as Brainerd Junior College). Bob’s size 14 feet worked well on the court, as he played basketball in high school and college.
He started his career working in engineering in 1959 on a survey crew with the Crow Wing County Highway Department. He left for the Army and returned to work for Crow Wing County for 35 years. Bob was active in the Army from 1961-1963 in Fort Sill, Okla., in a missile detachment and in the Reserves until 1967.
A secretary in the historic Crow Wing County courthouse caught his eye as she worked across the hall from the highway department, resulting in Bob leaving love notes and delivering flowers. Eventually his flirting resulted in a marriage on Dec. 3, 1966, to the love of his life, Kathryn Mary Sypnieski.
Appointed Assistant County Engineer in 1974 and retired in 1999. During his career, Bob was involved in many county highway projects including major grading for new rural roads such as Highways 18 and 48, city streets with municipal services such as 13th Street Northeast and 3rd Street in Crosby, and bridge construction such as the Pine River Bridge. His main responsibilities as assistant county engineer were in the areas of preliminary design and construction engineering. He played a key role in automating the engineering capabilities of Crow Wing County.
His children know him to be a man who can do and make anything. From designing and constructing the addition to their lake home on North Long to beautiful woodworking projects he enjoyed tinkering with in his retirement to being able to problem solve anything broken and be able to fix it.
Bob enjoyed being with his wife most in this world. He loved his family, spending time creating memories with his grandsons, camping, hunting, and fishing. Bob was unable to go deer hunting the past two hunting seasons, which he deeply missed.
Bob also helped run a family-owned business, Flansburg Greenhouse, for 19 years. Even when the greenhouse closed, his green thumb was relentlessly planting everything from annuals, perennials, pumpkin patches to provide jack-o-lanterns for his grandchildren on Halloween, and gardens full of vegetables. Just days prior to his passing, he was constructing an indoor space to grow the hundreds of seeds he had ordered.
His grandsons will miss so many things he wanted to teach them, but will have the blessing of learning how to fish (including just the right way to hold your mouth open), how to start a fire (even though Bob was notorious for building bonfires that a fire marshal would not approve of), how to show humility and strength. A lesson he taught his grandsons when they were very little was in answer to a question, “What does ‘amen’ mean? Gramps told the boys, “It means ‘I believe.’” And he did.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, at St. Francis Catholic Church in Brainerd with Father Tony Wroblewski officiating. Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday with a Rosary service at 7 p.m. at the Nelson-Doran Funeral Home in Brainerd. Visitation will continue the hour before services at the church on Friday. Burial will be in St. Mathias Catholic Cemetery in St. Mathias Township, Minn.
Nelson-Doran Funeral Home and Crematory, Brainerd, MN