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ROBERT STEPHEN TOMLINSON was born on December 7, 1946 to Robert and Hazel (Larson) Tomlinson in Luverne, Minnesota. He was baptized at First Presbyterian Church in Luverne. As a youth, Robert played the coronet in band. For spending money, he sold nightcrawlers and mowed lawns. He always enjoyed visiting relatives. He graduated from Luverne High School in 1964 and then went to work at Jordan Millwork in Sioux Falls, South Dakota making cabinets and windows. In May 1967, Robert enlisted in the Navy during the Vietnam War. Following his honorable discharge in March 1969, he returned to Jordan Millwork where he would work for many years. On December 12, 1970, Robert married Dianna DeZeeuw at the Methodist Church in Lake Benton, Minnesota and began their life together in Luverne. During a strike, Robert began working for A.R. Woods as a welder and in the Brooder Department. When the company closed down he went to work for Land O’ Lakes as a bagger. In 1987, Robert had knee surgery and a short time later, health issues forced him into early retirement. He then went into full-time service helping others. On Sunday, September 12, 2021, Robert died peacefully at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne at the age of 74 years, nine months, and five days.
Robert was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Luverne. He was a member of the Luverne Lions Club, Woodcarvers, VFW, American Legion Honor Guard, and a church greeter at the Vet’s Home. In his spare time, he enjoyed woodworking, scroll work, driving all the grandkids to pre-school, taking scenic drives and visiting. Robert could find anyone to talk to, even if he didn’t know them. People always enjoyed a good conversation with him and he will be remembered for his booming voice. He loved raising calves and helping the grandkids show animals through 4-H at the fair.
Robert is lovingly remembered by his wife, Dianna Tomlinson of Luverne; daughter, Laura (Rodney) Richters of Luverne; four grandchildren, Brittney (Kurtis) Van Gent, Brenton (Aimee) Richters, Brian (significant other, Courtney Kruger), and Breanna (significant other, Andy Wolters) Richters; three great-grandchildren, Korey Van Gent, Hayden Richters, and Adalyn Van Gent. He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Hazel Tomlinson; and a sister, Donna Loud.