Robert Belknap
Robert Belknap

Obituary of Robert Harlan Belknap

Bob was a 60-year resident of Birchwood Village and most recently of St. Andrew’s Village in Mahtomedi, MN. He will be deeply missed by his family and many friends.

Bob is preceded in death by Joyce Townley Belknap (wife), Harlan and Gladys Belknap (parents), Eloise Rigler (sister) and Eowyn Moe (great granddaughter). He is survived by children: Craig Belknap (Lin), Diane Moe (Glenn), Philip Belknap (Liz Knaeble), Carolyn Belknap, Laura Belknap, and Sarah Webber (Dan), 12 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren with the 17th on the way, and many nieces and nephews.

Bob was born in Burlington, Iowa and developed his love of land and nature on the family farm. His family moved to various eastern Iowa river towns, finally settling in Mapleton, Iowa where Bob worked at the local hardware store for 50 cents a day as he finished high school. As soon as he turned 18 the following Autumn, he enlisted and served in World War II, training troops for combat.

After the war, Bob met Joyce Townley at Morningside College, and they married December 21, 1949. Their life together was rich in love, family and industry. Bob and Joyce had six kids while working, attending graduate school, and building houses and a cabin with the aid of a book on construction. In the mid-1960s, they built their home in Birchwood MN, and also achieved their long-time desire to have a lake experience in northern Minnesota. Bob and Joyce purchased 25 acres of land in the Chippewa National Forest on Lower Trelipe Lake. The family spent a summer camping on the land, clearing it and building the cabin. Bob thrived on having a project going all the time, so he loved going north to plant hundreds of trees on the property, clean out brush in the woods, and deer hunt in the Fall.

Bob and Joyce were early and active members of Parkview United Church of Christ where they enjoyed 60 years of fellowship and friendship with their church family. Bob served as moderator and enjoyed conversation and cookies with the Wayside group. He participated in service activities and hammed it up in the skits and talent shows. He was recently dubbed the “Patriarch” by Pastor Debi as he shared a favorite prayer during the service.

Bob was a White Bear Lake school psychologist for over 25 years. Kids could hear his singing and whistling ringing down the hallways. Bob brought a lightness and calm to everyone around him. He was a deep thinker, history-lover, genealogist, car and firearm restorer, and lover of humanity. He was known for his wonderful sense of humor. He found as much enjoyment from his jokes and puns as did everyone else. They were always kindhearted and subtle until he couldn’t control his mirth. That has been passed along to his children, who have been known for their “Belknap” humor. Family came first for Bob, and he loved his children deeply and raised them with compassion. He instilled strong values of kindness and service to others, spreading this legacy far and wide through his family tree.

Celebration of Bob’s life will be held on Saturday, December 2.

Gathering of family and friends at 10:00 a.m., service at 11:00 a.m., followed by a light lunch.

Parkview United Church of Christ 3737 Bellaire Ave. White Bear Lake, MN 55110

Memorials preferred to: Parkview United Church of Christ ( or Solid Ground, which helps homeless families and children break the cycle of homelessness and poverty (

A Memorial Tree was planted for Robert
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Cremation Society Of Minnesota | St. Paul
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