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October 2, 1927 - May 15, 2009


Robert Arden Underbakke was born on October 2, 1927 near Burr Oak, Iowa, to Louie and Violet (Wilbur-Ward) Underbakke. He was baptized and confirmed at Burr Oak United Methodist Church. Robert attended Pierce-Underbakke School #6 and graduated from Canton High School in 1945. After high school, he attended Upper Iowa University at Fayette, IA.  He returned to the family farm to work, until he was called to serve in the U. S. Army.

Robert married Donna (Smith) on June 4, 1955 at Henrytown Lutheran Church.
They lived near Fountain, MN, for a short time. In 1956, they moved to the Jesse & Amelia Smith (Donna's parents) farm near Amherst where they farmed and raised their family. In 1979, they moved to their new home in Lenora.

Robert was very involved in his community. Besides being a full-time farmer, he served as clerk on the Amherst Township Board for 22 years and served as substitute rural mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service until he became injured in a farming accident in 1980.

Robert was an active member of Henrytown Lutheran Church. He served in all positions on the Church Council and also taught Sunday School, as well as being Sunday School Superintendent. His constant faith inspired the way he lived his life.

Robert was elected to the position of Fillmore County Commissioner for the 5th District for 15 years. He also served on the Ace Telephone Association, where he was on the Board of Directors for many years. Robert also held the title of  State Fire Warden for Amherst and Canton Townships for 44 years.
He was involved with 4-H as an adult and project leader and was also given the FFA Honorary Member award.

Family, faith, and farming were the cornerstones of Robert's life. He loved spending time with his family. His faith carried him through many challenges he faced. Robert had a passion for farming. He also enjoyed gardening and reading. He continued to farm until the summer of 2008 when health conditions no longer enabled him to do so. Even though he was not physically able to farm, his heart and mind remained involved in the day-to-day farming operations.

Cancer ended Robert's journey of life on Friday, May 15, 2009 at his home in Lenora. He was surrounded by his family and their love for him.

Robert is survived by his wife, Donna; three children; Dean (Judi) Underbakke of Canton, MN; Debbie (Donnie) Bergey of Canton, MN; and Dawn
(Stan) Dull of Monona, IA; 14 grandchildren: Jessie (Torrie) Moses, Jen Dull, Brock Bergey, Abbey (Chris) O'Reilly, Jesse (Leah) Underbakke, Brandon Bergey, Erin Underbakke, Josh (Samantha) Grant, Emily (Eric) Sinn, Brady Bergey, Jacob Grant, Andrew Scheevel, Benjamin Grant, and Christian Grant; 8
great-grandchildren: Alexis Welsh, Colin Moses, Jeremiah O'Reilly, Cody Moses, Jenna O'Reilly, Elizabeth Grant, Helena Underbakke, and Kylie Sinn;
brother: Dale (Eleanor) Underbakke; three sisters: Opal Underbakke, twin sister Roberta (Frank) Sever, Shyrlee (Craig) Hill; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Robert was preceded in death by his parents, a brother Maynard Underbakke, and a daughter-in-law Doreen Underbakke.

Funeral Services will be 11 AM Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at the Henrytown Lutheran Church in rural Canton with the Rev. Roger Knudson officiating.

Burial will be in the church cemetery.  Visitation will be 3 -8 pm Monday, May 18 at the Mengis Funeral Home in Mabel and one hour prior to services at the church.

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