Robert Fredric Werner, Jr., 87, of St. Peter, MN, died unexpectedly of a heart attack on Monday, July 25, 2016. He is now at peace after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.
Robert was born in Minneapolis, MN on January 12, 1929, to Elizabeth (Erdmann) and Robert Werner. After graduating from John Marshall High School, he attended the University of Minnesota, earning degrees in Industrial Arts and Geological Engineering. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and worked as a surveyor for the W.S. Moore Co. On June 19, 1965, Robert married Joan Thuer in Sleepy Eye, MN. They resided in Virginia, MN with their three children where Robert worked as a geologist for the Jones and Laughlin Steel Company and the Eveleth Taconite Company for over 20 years. In 1979, he relocated his family to St. Peter, MN to work at the Hendrickson Pipe Organ Company.
Robert was an avid reader and never stopped learning, which lead him to pursue many unique hobbies. His interests included anything to do with steam engines, trains, woodworking, pipe organs, and music. He was an active participant in his Catholic parish church choirs for over 25 years. His passion, though, was blacksmithing, which became a full time pursuit upon retirement. Always interested in keeping the art of blacksmithing alive, Robert traveled throughout Minnesota to share his craft with others. He belonged to the Guild of Metalsmiths of MN and ABANA, a national blacksmith organization. You could often find Bob in his own blacksmith shop at home working on custom creations for his many customers and friends.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife Joan and three children: Martine (Steve) Clinton of Minnetonka, MN, Michele (Tim) Reid of Eden, WI, Thomas (Molly) of Wheaton, IL, and six grandchildren: Annika and Sydney Clinton, Eric and Emma Reid, and Hugh and Maeve Werner.
Robert donated his body to the University of Minnesota Medical School. A memorial service will be held at a later date.