Robert (Bob) Welvaert
April 5, 2020
Robert Arthur Welvaert, “Bob” age 76 of Loretto, Minnesota passed away on Sunday, April 5, 2020. He was born June 19, 1943 to Victor and Anne (Nuytten) Welvaert in Marshall, Minnesota.
He was raised on a farm and helped the family work the fields and tend to pigs and cows. He attended Catholic schools and graduated from Marshall Central Catholic High School in 1961, where he was a 4-year letter winner and All-Conference football player, as well as a member of the school chorus. Upon graduation he moved to Minneapolis to attend the Minnesota School of Business for Accounting, and took a job with Northwestern National Life Insurance Company (NWNL). While working there, he met Linda while running an errand to a nearby office his company had contracts with. Their relationship grew, but then he was called into Military service. Bob enlisted in the U.S. Navy in September of 1963, and served on active duty in the Vietnam conflict. He served on the Aircraft Carrier “Midway” where he worked in the air traffic control tower. After his discharge in 1965, he returned to Minnesota, and to Linda, and they were wed on April 30, 1966. He continued with NWNL, where he moved up the ranks over a 40-year career, moving from the mail room, to the Underwriting department, and into management. The company was bought out several times, becoming Reliastar, ING, and Voya, and he continued to climb the ranks. He retired in 2003 as Senior Vice President of Underwriting.
Bob was very active in the community. He was a coach and umpire for youth baseball and softball, and also served as the Treasurer of the Loretto Athletic Association for many years. He was instrumental in helping to expand the althetic complex on the north end of town. He played softball himself for many years, competing for the St. Louis Park VFW team, and locally in recreational leagues. He was active in St. Peter and Paul Church in Loretto, serving as Usher and helping with collections, and also singing in the church choir with Linda. He was also an avid golfer, and took every opportunity to get out on the course with friends, co-workers, and family. He had earned a bit of a reputation as a “Yard Master” and he liked to keep his lawn looking just as good or better than any golf course.
Bob was the 2nd youngest of 9 children, 6 of which have now passed. He was a beloved brother, husband, father, and grandfather. He is survived by wife Linda, son Michael (Kimberly), and grandchildren Brady and Seth Welvaert, granddaughter Kara Kotilinek, and step-granddaughter Britney Kotilinek. He was preceded in death by daughter Melissa Kotilinek.
Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11 AM on Monday, June 29, 2020 at Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Loretto with Gathering of family and friends from 10-11 AM. Inurnment was in the church cemetery with Military honors.