October 3, 1931 to September 28, 2020
Robert Arnold Klicker passed away peacefully on Sept. 28, 2020, just days short of his 89th birthday.
Robert “Bob/Bobby” was born in North Branch, Minnesota, the only son of Effie and Arnold Klicker. Bob had one sister, Mary Leadholm, who was 12 years his senior.
Bob was in the ROTC and graduated from the University of Minnesota. At the university, he met his wife of 66 years, Elaine Lois Scheil while she was working for the Dean of the medical school. They married in 1954 and then moved west to Cheyenne, Wyoming, when Bob was stationed as an officer at the Francis E. Warren Air Force Base. He served two years in active duty and then the Reserves and later, the Wyoming National Guard. His only child, Lynn was born in 1958.
After his active military duty, he sold tires and insurance for a short time. Bob’s warm personality, storytelling abilities and optimism eventually led him to connections in the oil industry, where he became skilled at promoting drilling funds and wildcatting. Bob loved the risks and excitement of the oil industry. He started an independent oil company called E.L.K. Oil (named after his wife, Elaine’s initials) in Cheyenne and then moved it and his family to Billings in 1964. He built a second oil company, Centura, into a publicly traded company. Bob’s financial successes in the oil industry empowered him to invest and promote others in starting various businesses over the years. He was a true entrepreneur who invested in various ventures around the world, including gold mining, environmental remediation, cattle ranching, restaurants, nightclub/discos, prefab housing in Japan, a Broadway musical, a movie, hotel gift shops, an Alaskan flight service and the observatory on the top floor of the IDS Center in Minneapolis. Bob raised and made money not to accrue wealth but rather so he could afford his real love of travel and his hobbies of hunting and fishing around the world.
Bob is survived by his wife, Elaine; his daughter, Lynn, son-in-law, Michael, his grandson, Michael Robert, granddaughter, Kota; and nieces, Sandy Mueller, Wendy Swanson and Linda Borman; and many other extended family and friends.
A private family service will take place in Billings on Saturday, Oct. 3.