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October 17, 1944 - August 30, 2020

Robert G. (Bob) Coons, was born October 17, 1944 at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to D. Austin and Mary (Munier) Coons.  He passed into eternal life August 30, 2020 at Gunderson Lutheran Medical Center in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, after a prolonged struggle with Lewy body dementia.  He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend.

Bob attended rural elementary schools and graduated from LinnMar High School in Marion, Iowa in 1963.  He enjoyed playing basketball and running track, where he won 10 state medals.  He worked for the Marion Chamber of Commerce sampling grain from railroad cars before he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1966.  He served in Germany as a medic and was proud of his achievements – he was named Soldier of the Year from his battalion, earned the coveted Field Medical Badge, and achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant.  In 1969, he was honorably discharged, returned home to farm, and married Jean Marlow.  They welcomed two children, Bobbie and Travis, into their lives.  He and Jean later divorced.

Bob moved to a farm near Burr Oak, Iowa and began working for Northeast Farm Service.  He started by building grain bins, and later worked as an agronomist.  He managed co-ops in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.  His dedication to hard work and building relationships with the farmers he served earned him many lifelong friends.  He retired in 2008.

A mutual friend introduced him to Dorothy (Rice) Wilbur.  They married on May 30, 1981 and blended their two families into one.  Family life included much love and laughter. After retirement, Bob and Dorothy moved to a house they built on her family farm near Canton, Minnesota.

His pastimes included hunting, training hunting and field trial dogs, fishing, playing cards, and listening to country music.  He also enjoyed woodworking, planting apple trees, teaching grandkids to fish, weeding flower beds, and working in the yard.  Bob was well-known for his gift of gab and his great sense of humor.  He was a member of Mabel First Lutheran Church, the Canton Historical Society, and American Legion Post #40 of Lanesboro, Minnesota, as well as a past 4H and women's softball coach. 

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, sister Donna Timm, brother Randy Coons, and father-in-law Cyril Rice.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy, children Bobbie Coons of Baraboo WI, Travis (Heather) Coons of Rochester MN, step-children Russell (Pamela) Wilbur of Alexandria MN, Melissa (Paul) Steen of Edina MN, and Lynn Wilbur (Alan Schultz) of Minneapolis, grandchildren Austin, Joseph and William Boettcher, Avalynn and Avarey Coons, Adam and Timothy Wilbur, Maya and Bennett Steen, Greta Wilbur and Isaac Schultz.  Survivors also include sisters Patsy (Gerald) Gray, Jackie (Charles) Betzer and brothers Larry (Shirley) Coons, William (Sharon) Coons, brother-in-law Darrell Timm, sister-in-law Julia Coons, mother-in-law Irene Rice, brother and sister-in-law Dr. Henry and Harriet (Rice) Lawston, as well as many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Services will be held at Mabel First Lutheran Church on September 3, 2020 at 11:00 am with visitation at the church on September 2, 2020 from 4:00-7:00 pm and an hour before services.  Burial will be at the Elliota Cemetery with military rites by the Lanesboro American Legion. COVID-19 precautions will be observed and face coverings are required.

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