Robert “Bob” Witte Sr., 99, of St. Cloud, formerly of Edina and Clearwater
April 16, 1922 – February 4, 2022
Robert “Bob” Witte Sr. of St. Cloud, formerly of Edina and Clearwater, was born on April 16, 1922, in Minneapolis to George and Myrtle (Johnson) Witte. Bob died February 4, 2022 in St. Cloud at the age 99 of natural causes. He is preceded in death by his beloved wife and dearest best friend of 64+ years, Patricia Kelly Witte, and son Richard. Bob is survived by his son Robert Jr. (Nancy); four grandchildren, Nathan, Derek, and Kristin Witte, and Parker Carlson; and five great-grandchildren, Coleman, Theo, Rosalie, and Emily Witte, and Lacey Kollmann.
Bob attended Greeley Grade School, Phillips Junior High, South High in Minneapolis, and the University of Minnesota, majoring in journalism.
He was a member of the Minneapolis Star and Tribune organization for 35 years. Bob started as an ad salesman, advancing to business manager and director of development, heading the Company’s Affiliate Division, and serving as president or chairman for KTVH, Wichita, KS; Sentinel Newspapers, Denver, CO; Great Falls MT Tribune; Rapid City SD Journal; Stromberg Publications, Baltimore, MD; Quayle Plesser Research Corp. and Sohmer Marketing Corp., both New York, NY. Bob was Vice President and member of the Board of Directors of the Star and Tribune Co. He served as president of the Assn. of Newspaper Class, Adv. Managers, and the National Newspaper Action Organization.
Bob was active in many civic and charitable organizations. He served as the first lay chairman for the Board of Trustees at the College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph, MN; Chairman or President of the Downtown Council of Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Downtown Development Corp., the Minneapolis Aquatennial, the Braille Center for the Blind and Vice Chair of the Hennepin County Red Cross Chapter and the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce.
Commissioned by the Minneapolis City Council, Bob served as Chairman of City Coordinator Evaluation Commission, and as Vice Chairman of the City of Minneapolis Industrial Development Commission. He was President of the Metropolitan Plans for Progress Affirmative Action Employment Council and was a member of the HHH Metrodome Development Task Force. Club memberships included the Minneapolis Club, Interlachen Country Club, FiveFiftyFive Club, U of M Alumni Club, Minneapolis Ad Club, and Minnesota Press Club.
As retirement neared, Bob and Pat began building their country home, Stokeswood, perched on a large hill overlooking the Clearwater River, south of the city of Clearwater. With his various duties in Minneapolis concluded, the downtown condo was sold, and Bob and Pat lived full time in the woods. The fifty acres of oak woods and Savanah and the river winding around, afforded years of hiking, canoeing, and gardening. Miles of paths were cleared through the woods, which Bob, of course, had mapped. Large parties and gatherings were frequent and memorable. Stokeswood served as the home base for Bob and Pat’s extensive travels around and in the United States.
The Wittes moved from Clearwater to St. Cloud in 1986. There, Bob was a member of the Boards of Catholic Charities, United Arts of Central Minnesota, Granite Fund Division of Bankers Systems, Stearns History Museum, County Stearns Theatrical Company, Theatre L’homme Dieu in Alexandria, and the Minnesota Orchestra at Saint Benedict’s. He was a member of Exchange Club of St. Cloud and, formerly, St. Cloud Country Club. Previously, Bob was a member of St. Marcus Church in Clear Lake and became a member of St. Mary’s Cathedral in St. Cloud where he participated in many activities.
Bob was a beloved parent, grandparent, friend, host, and benefactor to all who knew him. A special thank you to Dr. Thomas Nardi, Dr. Tim Schuchard, and their nurse associates for their excellent and thoughtful care over the years, and special thanks to the CentraCare Hospice staff at St. Benedicts Senior Community.
A Celebration of Life will be scheduled later in the spring. Memorials, if desired, would be appreciated by the College of St. Benedict or the Cathedral of St. Mary. Arrangements are being made by the Miller-Carlin Funeral Homes.