.PHOENIX, AZ – Robert J. Putnam 83 of Phoenix and former longtime resident of Bristol, died Thursday March 12, 2015 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix.
His funeral will be 10:30 A.M. Friday March 20, 2015 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Bristol. Visitation will be Thursday 5-7 P.M. closing with the Rosary at Fiksdal Funeral Service in Webster.
Burial will be in the St. John’s Cemetery, Paxton, South Dakota at 1P.M. Saturday.
Robert John Putnam was born October 29, 1931 on a farm south of Dallas, SD, the eldest son of Francis and Bertha (Determan) Putnam. He attended Sunnyside Grade School, a one room school house south of Dallas. While attending Gregory High School, Bob worked for the Gregory newspaper.
After graduating, Bob joined the Marines and was stationed in Japan. Returning from the service, Bob started working for the Gregory Farmers’ Union driving the gas truck. He was hired as the manager of the Bristol Farmers’ Union and to Bristol was where he brought his bride, Mary Jane Lang Putnam. Mary Jane was “quite” surprised when Bob informed her he had traded their house in town for a farm west of Bristol. With five little children at this point, Bob decided they needed room to run. The farm, the Farmers’ Union, and their family continued to grow.
Bob was an active member of the Bristol ST. Anthony’s Parish, and served as a board member. He volunteered as Bristol Fire Chief and was also President of the Bristol School Board. He loved sports, serving as a little league baseball coach. He enjoyed watching his children play sports and perform.
At the age of 53, Bob and Mary Jane moved to California, where Bob began a new career in the automotive business, working for his brother Joe. He quickly became a manager, and continued in the automotive business until he retired.
Bob and Mary Jane moved to Mesa Arizona, where Bob soon became an avid golfer, often rising before dawn to play golf before the hot Arizona sun was too strong.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Francis and Bertha Putnam, and his sister Margaret (Nan). He is survived by his four siblings, Joseph Putnam of Woodside, California, James Putnam of Visalia, California, Doris Miner of Gregory and Patrick Putnam, San Mateo California, his wife Mary Jane (Lang) Putnam, and his 6 children: Rodney Putnam, Anchorage, AK, Michael and DaleAnn Putnam, Chandler, Arizona, Randall Putnam, Paris France, Timothy and Tori Putnam, Visalia, CA, Cheryl Putnam of Redwood City, CA and Steven Putnam and Rey Flores of Desert Springs, CA. Granchildren Aubrey Putnam Graber, Cole Bakke, Natalie Putnam, Valerie Mork, Bridget Hurt, Katelynn Dunn, Hannah Putnam, Jonathan Putnam, Robby Putnam, Jake Jagannathan and Zachary Jagannathan, and 3 great granddaughters, Haylee, Meghan and Chloe.
Memorial donations in lieu of flowers to St. Judes Children’s Hospital, P.O. Box 1000 Dept. 142 Memphis, TN 38148-0142
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