Robert (Bob) Holmgren Ahlbeck was born in Omaha, Nebraska on March 7, 1923 to parents, Mabel (Holmgren) and Harry Ahlbeck. He lived next door to his grandparents for most of his childhood. He attended Monroe grade school and graduated from Benson High school in 1941. He participated in the high school orchestra playing flute and piccolo and he served as the Drum Major in the marching band. Bob also enjoyed playing flute and piccolo in Omaha's All City Band.
Bob knew the importance of diligent work from an early age. As a young boy, Bob earned spending money by delivering newspapers for 3 separate routes and selling the tomatoes and potatoes he grew in the vacant lot across from his home to local grocers. In his teen years he was hired to landscape yards, mow lawns, and help contractors mix and haul concrete. Following his high school graduation, Bob loaded boxcars for the Union Pacific Railroad, installed telephone poles for Western Electric and was a security guard for the World Herald Newspaper.
In 1942 Bob enrolled at Iowa State University where he joined the Navy's ROTC program and attended Midshipman's school. Bob continued dating his hometown sweetheart, Jeanette Schmadlewsky, and they were married January 20, 1945 at Dundee Presbyterian Church in Omaha, Nebraska. Bob and Jeanette relocated to Boston, Massachusetts, where Bob received additional Naval training as well as earning his Public Relations degree from Boston University.
Bob served in active duty from 1942 to 1954 and was retired from the Naval Reserve in 1983 as Lt. Commander. The majority of his active service was devoted to underwater demolition which included preparing, managing, and installing mines. One of Bob's more memorable duty stations was a stint in Yokosuka, Japan.
Bob's career with the Boeing Company spanned nearly 30 years and included moving his family to Germany and travels to South Africa. He was proud to serve as a Program Manager and the Chairman for the 747 Airplane Warranty Committee. After his retirement in 1985, Bob enjoyed an active life of volunteering in civic and community organizations such as the VFW, Edmonds Senior Kiwanis Club (serving as the President in 1991-1992) and the Boeing golf league. He and Jeanette enjoyed travelling, attending musicals, gardening and entertaining family and friends. Jeanette passed away May 19, 1995.
Bob is survived by his 3 sons Stevan (Lynne), Jay (Mary), and Leland; Grandsons Paul (Miriam), Matthew (Elisa), and Samuel and Granddaughter Elizabeth (Tim); 4 great grandchildren as well as many friends and family.
The Ahlbeck family wishes to thank Fairwinds Retirement community, Evergreen Hospice and caregiver, Gabriel Pivoda, for the kindness and support they gave to our dad as his health declined.
In Lieu of flowers, Bob's family suggests donations to Kiwanis Club of Edmonds Charitable Foundation at P.O. Box 221, Edmonds, Wa 98020.