Robert James Mjelstad, 81, was called home suddenly on Jan. 30, 2019. He was surrounded by his family and the love of his life of 59 years, Muriel. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 1108 N. 24th St. West, Billings, followed by interment at Yellowstone Valley Memorial Park. Reception to follow at Elks Lodge, 934 Lewis Ave.
Robert, known to many as Bob, was born on the 19th of January, 1938, in Arnegard, North Dakota, to Bernice and Olai Mjelstad. Bob’s entrance into the world was anything but boring. After traveling by horse-drawn sled through a blustery snowstorm, he was born at 10 lbs., 4 oz. Growing up, he worked many tireless days at the family farm, packing bales, harvesting, milking cows, and working for other farmers. Bob attended school and graduated from Arnegard High School. He continued his education in Minot. He met his future wife at the Fireman’s Dance in Watford City. From that time on, he kept the road hot from Minot to Watford City every weekend.
Following a 10-month courtship, Bob married Muriel on Sept. 3, 1960. They resided in Watford City and then Arnegard, where they welcomed children Mike, Jodi and Jeff into their family.Seeking better opportunities, Bob and Muriel followed close friends and relocated their growing family to Billings. While residing in Billings, their youngest daughter, Staci, was born. A man of many talents, Bob worked for the U.S. Forest Service, Continental Oil, Leo Kerkove, Chrysler, Hanser’s Automotive, and his last job of 26 years, Brown’s Automotive. He was known for his superb work ethic and kind treatment to his customers. Following retirement, Bob and Muriel moved to their cabin on the Boulder River and then to Spearfish, South Dakota, before returning to Billings in 2012, where they could enjoy their family.
Bob was most well-known for his big heart, work ethic, community involvement in Little League baseball, Optimist Club, and Good Shepherd Church. Bob never met a stranger. He was a devoted husband, loving father and a proud grandfather/great-grandfather. He was the rock of his family and was so loved. During the last couple years he enjoyed playing solitaire, spending time with family, watching the stock market, RFD and Fox News.
He is survived by his wife and longtime sweetheart of 59 years, Muriel; and his children, Mike Mjelstad (Paula Gilbert), Jodi Matchett (Tom), Jeff Mjelstad (Paula) and Staci Howard (Chad). He will also be fondly remembered by his 11 grandchildren, Marty Mjeslstad (Victoria), Katie Riddle (Drake), Alecia Sandmeier (Andy), Preston Matchett, Chris Mjelstad (Anna), Nick Mjelstad, Maddie Mjelstad (Carsen), Megan Strickland (Jared), Ashley Galt (John), Haley Watts and Morgan Howard, in addition to nine great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his siblings Orville Mjelstad (Carol), Jan Pedersen (Larry) and Marlin Mjelstad (Judy). Robert is preceded in death by his parents; sister Corene Stevens; brother Arden Mjelstad; mother and father-in-law Palmer and Effie Enderud; and brother-in-law Rick Enderud.
Memorials can be made to Montana Diabetes Children’s Camp through the American Diabetes Association, the Elks Scholarship Fund or a charity of one’s choice.