Robert Dean “Bob” Malde, age 76, passed away on Monday, February 17, 2020 at home surrounded by family, after a long, courageous battle with cancer. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 22, 2020 at the First Lutheran Church in Ellensburg with a light reception to follow.
Bob was born October 22, 1943 to George and Evelyn (Ness) Malde in Rapid City, South Dakota. He lived there with his family through his freshman year in high school, then moved on to finish high school at Hill Crest Lutheran Academy in Fergus Falls, Minnesota.
Bob enlisted in the United States Army in 1963 and was sent to Vietnam in 1965 with the Big Red One. He was a chaplain’s assistant for most of his military career. In 1966 he was discharged, and in June, married the love of his life, Ida Mitchell from Newell, South Dakota. They settled in Portland, Oregon where Bob went on to graduate from Portland State University in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. From there Bob and Ida moved to Bellingham where Bob earned his master’s degree in post-secondary education.
Bob worked as the Placement Director at Whitman College for eight years before moving his family to Ellensburg in 1979 where he worked in the Career Services Department at Central Washington University for almost 20 years. He enjoyed working with new teachers and helping them find their first teaching job.
One of his passions was being outside and beautifying his yard and the yards of those around him. So, in 1999 he started his own lawn and garden business which he enjoyed for 10 years. Most days you could find him on a lawn tractor, in the garden, or adjusting sprinklers. He enjoyed being outside from morning until night making sure the lawn was mowed and green, the trees were trimmed, the vegetables weeded, and the fruit harvested.
Another joy he had was gathering with immediate and extended family at reunions over the years. Highlights of those occasions include some fierce games of pinochle, and Norwegian Whist tournaments organized by his daughters. He loved visiting with his many relatives and cousins and watching his grandchildren run and play.
Bob and Ida were long time members of the First Lutheran Church community in Ellensburg. He had a very strong faith which guided him throughout his life, right up until the very end.
Bob started working at a very young age and his work ethic set him apart from others. He put his all into everything he did and took great pride in doing things the right way. He will be remembered for his service to his country, his community, his church, and his family. We miss him dearly but are confident he is at peace in a better place, where we shall meet him again one day.
Bob is survived by his wife, Ida at the family home in Ellensburg; daughters Karin (Jeff) Kallevig of Tuscon, AZ; Karol Hanson of Lakeville, MN and Mary (Dan) Lee of Goldendale, WA; son Chris (Jessica) Malde of Spokane, WA; sister Jan Ness of Walla Walla, WA as well as nine grandchildren.
Memorial contributions in Bob’s honor are suggested to the Robert D. Malde Memorial Scholarship, c/o CWU Foundation, 400 E. University Way, Ellensburg. Steward & Williams Funeral Home and Crematory of Ellensburg has been entrusted with caring for Bob’s family. Online condolences may be left at www.steward-williams.com
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