Robert “Bob” Duane Roen: 1935-2013
Robert Duane Roen, 77, of Spearfish, SD, passed away peacefully at his home on Jan. 16, 2013.
Bob was born Jan. 19, 1935, to Henry and Elizabeth (Kradvil) Roen. Bob was raised on the family ranch near Bowman, ND, helping with the ranching duties. Bob graduated from Bowman High School and in 1953 he began raising Hereford breeding stock on the ranch homesteaded by his father in 1906. He worked side-by-side with his brothers, Leland, Chris and Glen, raising quality, registered Hereford cattle. A pretty, young school teacher with a passion for horses moved into the area and a short time later, Virginia Sorlie and Bob were married. To this union, three children were born, Jonathan, Bobby Junior and Julie. Bob could be proud of his role as a good father and husband. Bob and Gin were married over 50 years at the time of his passing.
His faith, his family, music, the cattle industry, farming and progression of the Hereford breed were all top priorities to Bob. His father, Henry, started a herd of Hereford cattle that developed into one of the top herds in the U.S. Bob and his brothers also had cows of their own, with many of Bob’s herd based on the original Roen seedstock. After going out on his own, Bob enrolled in the Hereford Association for selling yearlings. The family sold yearlings for many years and Bob was continually looking for the best genetics and top notch herd bull that would promulgate the Roen herd. Their primary focus was progression of the Hereford breed as a whole, in addition to raising registered herd sires for area seedstock producers. The basis of Bob’s breeding program was his commitment to producing cattle that gain fast, are efficient and pass a rigid test for eye appeal.
Bob and Gin remained on the family ranch for many years. He was a very talented mechanic that could fix almost anything that broke down on the ranch. Bob also was in charge of a great deal of the farming duties. By utilizing the newest machinery and farming aids, and by doing his work carefully and well, Bob obtained results that any man could be proud of.
Bob was very active in the American Hereford Association and put a lot of time and effort into the progression of the Hereford breed. He was also an active member of the community, a member of the school board, the elevator board, treasurer of the Lutheran Church, member of the Huntley Project Threshing Bee, life-time member of the Cowboy Hall of Fame and active in various farm organizations.
Bob was very passionate about music. As a young man, he played the trumpet in the school band – a skill he learned from his older brother Chriss. The Roen children certainly were talented singers as well. Bob and his brothers entertained many throughout the years, singing as a quartet at bull sales and local events. Bob was the bass of the group, and in the church choir and most recently the Northern Hills Barbershop Chorus.
After the cattle business turned sour, Bob decided to have his final production sale on Sept. 19, 1981. Bob was in pursuit of other opportunities and purchased a saddlery near Bozeman, MT. Bob, Gin and Julie ran the saddlery together up until Julie’s passing from complications of her diabetes. After selling the saddlery, Bob and Gin moved to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Bob spent time selling insurance and helping folks plan for their financial future before retiring. Bob and Gin moved to Arizona for a while, then back to Montana, living outside of Billings, so they could be nearer to family. Bob and Gin again decided to return to the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota and settled in Spearfish where they were residing at the time of Bob’s passing.
Bob is survived by his wife Virginia, Spearfish; sister Ethel (Bernard) Johnson, Reeder, ND; son-in-law Russ (Lauri) Olsen and their daughters Emily, Hailee and Lynsie.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Elizabeth Roen; brothers Chriss, Glen, and Leland; sister Edith; sisters-in-law Alice and Pearl; brothers-in-law Melvin Holmquist and Bernard Johnson; and his three children, Jonathan, Robert and Julie.
Funeral Services were held in Belle Fourche, SD, on Bob’s 78th birthday, Jan. 19, 2013, at the St. James Lutheran Church. A Memorial Service is planned for this summer in Bowman, ND – further details to be announced.