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Robert “Bob” Allen Vandal

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Robert “Bob” Allen Vandal, age 69, of Bismarck, ND, passed away on April 12th, 2024, peacefully in his home from natural causes in his sleep, surrounded by family. The funeral will be held on Friday, June 14th, 2024, at 1:00 PM at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Bismarck, officiated by his dear friend and backgammon partner, Pastor Bob Caranicas. His remains will be spread in the fields he worked and buried in Forest Lake Cemetery in Mindanao General Santos City, Philippines.

Bob was born on March 27th, 1955, to Carris Joseph and Edna Marie (Tooke) Vandal in Bottineau, ND. He was baptized and confirmed at St Mark’s Catholic Church in Bottineau. After Bob graduated from Bottineau High School in 1973, he went on to earn his Associate in Science in Agriculture in 1975 from NDSU Bottineau Branch and Institute of Forestry, followed by a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1977 and a Master of Business Administration in 1991 from North Dakota State University.

Bob grew up on the Vandal family farm, where his love for the land and dedication to hard work blossomed. He cherished the sun on his face, the gentle breeze, and the rich soil under his fingertips. He loved driving grain trucks, plowing fields, and operating harvesting equipment in the fall. When the equipment was parked, he always returned home with a smile and an empty stomach, enjoying the food his mother, Edna, prepared. Regardless of the task, Bob approached with humility and purpose and consistently put forth his undivided effort. His quiet determination and unwavering work ethic were matched only by his kindness and generosity. He enjoyed time at the family cabin on Squaw Point at Lake Metigoshe during the summers and snowmobiling during the winter in the Turtle Mountains.

Bob met Becky Pladson at the Norway House in Bottineau, ND. Bob came in to get a drink, and Becky worked there. They married on June 28th, 1980, at the Metigoshe Ministries Christian Center in Bottineau, North Dakota. Their marriage was the foundation of a beautiful family that included their children, Christopher Allan Vandal, and Bobbi Jo Vandal. When asked what his greatest accomplishment in life was, Bob expressed that it was, “His kids.”  Bob was not just a father; he was a mentor, a teacher, and a friend. He instilled in his children a love for the outdoors, teaching them to fish, explore, and appreciate nature’s beauty. Bob also enjoyed sitting around the fire pit, listening to music, and enjoying nature.

Bob’s dedication to service extended beyond his family to his community and beyond. As a leader in the Boy Scouts of America, he inspired and mentored countless young men, leaving a lasting influence on their lives. He was a Den Leader, merit badge counselor, mentor, singer, cook, and friend. He encouraged his son Christopher to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, sharing countless unforgettable memories, including backpacking trips, bicycle treks, the high adventure program at Camp Buffalo Bill Cody, singing around the campfire, walking the bog at Camp Wilderness, and planting trees at Ashtabula Lake.

His extensive educational background, multiple leadership and teaching awards, going above and beyond, and positive attitude propelled him to a successful career. Although he didn’t continue farming, he always stayed close to agriculture. He was the Director of the North Dakota Department of Agriculture Registrations Division for the State of North Dakota Agricultural Department, working hard but meeting several lifelong friends. He served on councils he believed in, such as the Interagency Program for Assistive Technology Consumer Advisory Council (now ND Assistive).

Bob was a family-oriented man who enjoyed many hobbies involving his kids as much as possible. They enjoyed doing leatherwork, woodworking, and doing repairs around the house. He was an avid fisherman and enjoyed hunting with his son. Bob was very proud of his daughter who he always encouraged to pursue music.  He spent countless hours listening to her play piano, guitar, and sang with her often.  He even accompanied her on an across-country trip, auditioning to get into her dream college, Berklee College of Music.

His cooking skills were renowned among everyone who knew him. He enjoyed being the chef for pig roasts, feeding thousands of people. He was community-oriented and always found ways to give back, whether through his leadership in Boy Scouts, bell-ringing for the Salvation Army with his daughter, serving food at shelters, or volunteering for other charity organizations. His heart was warm and always willing to give.

Bob found love again when he met Evangeline “Vangie” Divinagracia Suarez. Their love story, spanning continents and cultures, was a testament to the power of love and faith.  She moved to Bismarck from the Philippines, and on November 21st, 2009, they were married on their property in Bismarck, ND. Bob and Vangie shared a deep bond built on mutual respect, laughter, and unwavering devotion. They created a home filled with love, warmth, and God’s grace.

He was a long-standing Good Shepherd Lutheran Church member who taught Confirmation and sang in the church choir. Most of all, he enjoyed spending time with family and friends and spreading joy through his infectious smile. He shared an unbreakable bond with his granddaughter, Hayley, sharing laughs and stories with smiles and happiness. He had time to talk to anyone and always had a smile to give.

Bob is deeply missed by his wife, Vangie Vandal, of Mindanao General Santos City, Philippines; former spouse, Becky Vandal of Bismarck, ND; son, Christopher (Breanne) Vandal of Peyton, CO; daughter, Bobbi Jo Vandal of Milwaukee, WI; granddaughter Hayley Vandal of Peyton, CO, brother-in-law Patrick (Carol) Connole of Mohall, ND; sister Connie (Dennis) Olson of Mesa, AZ; brothers Keith (Gail) Vandal of Bottineau, ND; Donald (Joanne) Vandal of Bottineau, ND; Gregory (Jill) Vandal of Bottineau, ND; and 13 nieces and nephews, and countless friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Carris and Edna Vandal; his sisters, Corrine Wall and Carol Connole; his brother-in-law, Gary Wall; and his nephews, Andre Wall and Ryan Vandal.

At Bob’s request, the family requests that donations be given to the North Dakota Association of the Blind in Bismarck, ND, in place of flowers.

 

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