Robert "Bob" Orange Gebhart

Navy Badge
  • Name: Robert "Bob" Orange Gebhart
  • Location of Birth: Dayton, Ohio
  • Date of Birth: March 16, 1923
  • Date of Death: September 6, 2010 (87 years old)
  • Parents: Oscar and Harriet Gebhart
  • High School and Class:
  • College:
  • Highest Rank: GM 1 (Gunner's Mate 1st Class Petty Officer)
  • Branch: Navy
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: 1942
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge:
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Military Awards:

  • Military Highlights:
    Bob enlisted in the United States Navy in 1942 at the age of 19 where he served for nearly 4 years.

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    Bob also lived in Lewisburg, Ohio before entering the United States Navy.

    Bob met his wife, Olivemae Black, in California and they were married there on September 8, 1946, while still on active duty.

    Bob and Olivemae moved back to Olivemae's native Minnesota and lived in several homes in the Grand Rapids, Minnesota area before finally making their current home on Pokegama Lake where they lived for the past 57 years.

    Bob held jobs with Black Masonry and Itasca Heating and Sheet Metal as well as working for United States Steel for 33 years.

    During his tenure at United States Steel, Bob started Gebhart Masonry and began doing cement work and stone masonry on his own. His children accompanied him on job sites and his son Sam eventually took over and expanded the business--now known as Gebhart Construction--to include home remodeling and timber frame construction.

    Bob was a member of the NRA and had subscriptions to Alaska and Country Life magazines which allowed him to read about two of his loves in life. Bob enjoyed fishing and hunting with family members when he got the chance to get away from work and often told stories of his outdoor adventures. Bob also loved woodworking and created deacon's benches and toy boxes for many family members and close friends.

    Bob had a lifelong passion for music and singing and when he started having health issues related to woodworking, he began to focus most of his attention on this pursuit, which his family lovingly referred to as "pickin" and "grinnin". He would never pass up an opportunity to sing for the Lord and profess his faith through music and song. He sang and played guitar with many local talents at local festivals and events. Bob loved playing for the residents at local nursing homes and assisted living centers. He played his last event only days before he died.

    Bob also loved children and in his younger years served as a church youth leader. His own children provided him with 18 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, but he loved children in general and was known for his pockets full of candy and "birthday dollars" which were highly anticipated by his adopted grandchildren.

    He was preceded in death by his parents, Oscar Orange Gebhart and Harriet Ethel Gebhart; sister, Opal Fetters; son, Timothy; and granddaughter, Candace Lee Gebhart.

    Surviving family includes his wife, Olivemae; seven children, Arlene (Glenn) Hyde, Rebecca Ahlstrand, Sam (Kathy) Gebhart, Patricia (Tom) Harrison, Ruth (Owen) Clarke; Rachel Gebhart; and Kristina (Brett) Crowe; 18 grandchildren; twelve great-grandchildren; and a brother, Willard (Martha) Gebhart.

    Bob is buried in Harris Cemetery at Harris Township in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

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