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A Funeral Service for Robert "Bob" A. Slick of Baudette, MN will be held on Saturday, February 3, 2024 at 2:00PM at First Lutheran Church in Baudette, MN. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will take place at Elm Park Cemetery. A reception and Celebration of Bob's Life will follow the church service at the VFW in Baudette.
In lieu of flowers the family prefers donations be made to: LOW Historical Society , Carp Home Club , LOW Ambulance Squad , American Stroke Association.
Robert Arlan Slick was born November 19, 1947 at the Metcalf Nursing Home in Baudette, MN to Carlyle and Norma (Clasen) Slick. He was baptized at First Lutheran Church in Baudette on January 18, 1948, with his grandparents, Daniel John Slick and Lisa Slick, as sponsors. June 2, 1963, Robert was confirmed at First Lutheran Church and was a life member. January 4, 2024, he suffered his final stroke and passed away January 13, 2024, at CHI Lakewood Care Center surrounded by his wife and 3 children.
Robert is survived by his wife of 53-1/2 years, Arleen (Malwitz) Slick; daughters Koren (Brian) Swenson, Buffalo, MN; Kari (Jamie) Grimes, Palmer, AK; and son, Keith (Tamera Mauer) Slick, Baudette; grandchildren: Joshua and Justin Swenson, Buffalo, MN; Gillian (Jason) Jensen, Lehi, UT; Jenna Galloway, Lehi, UT; Joelle and Jordyn Galloway, Palmer, AK; Camron, Trent and Holly Slick, Warroad, MN; great granddaughters Hallie and Adelyn Jensen, Lehi, UT.
Other surviving family includes his 5 sisters: Kay Slick, Mary (Michael) Chambers, Eva (Rick Altman) Slick, Carla (Brian) Danielson, and Kristi Slick; sister/brother-in-laws: Barbara (Donovan) Culkins, Wayne (Vickie) Malwitz, Kevin (Gloria) Malwitz, Connie Peterson, and Jodi (Tom) Milford; along with many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews; aunts/uncles: Irene Anderson, Evelyn Slick, Geraldine Larson, Imogene (Byron) Nordby, Robert Eaton, David Wensloff, and cousins too many to count.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Carlyle and Norma (Clasen) Slick; in-laws, Kenneth and Doris (Hesse) Malwitz; granddaughter, Ashley Harder; nephews, Derek Lindenfelser and Seth Culkins; aunts/uncles: Brandon Slick, Grant and Mae Slick, Joyce Slick, Margaret and Roy Pearson, Silas Anderson, Richard Sheridan, Donald Larson, Phyllis and Pat Ebeltoft, Fred (Ann & Beverly) Clasen, William and Inez Starren, Millie Eaton and Sharon Wensloff; cousin, Daniel Slick; and many wonderful dogs for companionship.
Robert's Family wish to extend their deepest THANKS to the entire staff at CHI Lakewood Care Center, Hospital & Clinic; Dr. Quo; Law Enforcement & Lake of the Woods Ambulance for their service, care and quick response throughout the years. Also, thank you to family, neighbors, friends & community for their visits, phone calls, messages, thoughts, prayers & support throughout Robert’s life.
Robert and his parents moved to Carp when he was 1. In time, he had five sisters, Kay, Mary, Eva, Carla and Kristi, so a path to Grandpa Dan and Grandma Lisa’s farm across the Rapid River became well worn as they grew up. Robert began his education at the 2-room Carp School and on the farm. He preferred to feed the cattle and clean barn stalls, but left the milking to his sisters. Summers were spent in the hayfields with Cy mowing and baling, Norma raking and Robert stacking bales on the wagons and in the hay sheds. Active in the Carp 4-H Club, he won several trips to the State Fair with his champion cow or calf. In 9th grade, Robert transitioned to the Baudette School and enjoyed playing football and hockey. He graduated HS in 1965 and worked for Grund Construction, running a bull-dozer on the LeVasseur Road, south of his parents’ farm. While attending Northland Junior College in Thief River Falls, MN, new friend Bill Simpson introduced Robert to Arleen Malwitz, Bill’s cousin. Robert worked for Peterson Construction in the summer of 1966 and built the new bridge between his parents’ and grandparents’ farms.
Robert enlisted with the United States Army January 9, 1967. He began basic training in Ft Lewis, WA and Ft Leonard Wood, MO. He was stationed in Baumholder, Germany for 2-1/2 years serving with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 68th Armor as an armor crewman. He received the National Defense Service Medal and Sharpshooter M-14 Badge for Distinguished Tank Crew (1967, 1968 and 1969). The only time Robert pulled KP (kitchen patrol) duty, was to peel potatoes the last 3 weeks before he was Honorably Discharged on December 31,1969 at Fort Dix, NJ. He narrowly avoided a transfer to VietNam.
Upon return to MN he had two things on his mind, marriage & work. June 27, 1970, Robert married the love of his life, Arleen, at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Plummer, MN. They moved to International Falls, MN while Robert worked for Bowman Construction operating a bulldozer to extend the runway at the airport. He also worked for the pipeline & Charlie Hasbargen, logging. In April 1971, he was hired by the MN Dept. of Natural Resources Wildlife Division as a Heavy Equipment Operator at the Red Lake Wildlife Management Area located at Norris Camp where they lived in a small 3 room cabin.
January to March 1972, they moved out to the one room Slick hunting cabin while Robert & cousin, Craig Slick, harvested timber. At night, a white weasel spent the winter peeking over the edge of the top bunk to make sure everyone was tucked in before the woodstove fire went out and the water froze up. That Spring, Robert & Arleen returned to Norris Camp and moved into the duplex with a gas stove, fuel oil heater, 2 bedrooms, full bathroom with HOT & cold running water - WHAT AN UPGRADE.
While at Norris Camp they were blessed with 2 daughters, Koren and Kari. Robert took part in an old-timers baseball team as catcher, and enjoyed being part of the trap-shooting club in Baudette. In 1978, they purchased his grandparent’s farm in Carp. He commuted 30 miles back and forth across the Stoney Corner Road working at Norris Camp and farming with his parents for the next 10 years. In 1981, their son, Keith, made the family complete.
Beginning in the fall of 1987, Robert began having health issues. Late onset hydrocephalus (water on the brain) required nine brain surgeries to replace the shunt and fight severe infections. The trauma made it necessary for him to learn to walk, talk, & eat over the next 6 months prior to returning home. It took 2 years before he was able to re-pass his driving test. Unfortunately, he was unable to return to MN DNR due to safety & memory issues. Eventually, he was able to return to farming with his parents full time and resume his favorite activities of deer hunting, cooking early morning breakfast at the Slick deer camp, snowmobiling, four-wheeling, camping and fishing with his family and friends.
Robert was a lifetime member of the American Legion and received a certificate for 50 years of continuous membership in 2019. He was a member of the LOW Historical Society, Carp Home Club, National Rifle Association, and LOW Drifters Snowmobile Club. He taught snowmobile and four-wheeler safety classes and coached Keith’s summer little league baseball. Robert often led the men’s annual President’s Day weekend snowmobile adventures to Fourtown, Waskish and Big Falls.
Community service projects were a highlight for Robert. Over the years he helped to organize a seasonal snowmobile day and four-wheeler day for the Kids-N-Us program in Roseau, Warroad and Baudette. During deer season, arrangements were made to bring residents of CHI Lakewood Care Center to Deer Camp. This production required help from LOW Care Center Staff, the Slick Deer Hunting Crew & the DNR. Upon arrival, the Seniors were served lunch featuring fresh venison with all the trimmings. This event was even featured on an episode of Ron Schara’s MN Bound in 2005. This tradition continued annually until 2020, when Covid -19 forced it to be discontinued. Hopefully this meal can be reinstated.
In 2002, Robert and Arleen established Bear Camp only 5 miles from their farm. He had been a guide in Beltrami Island State Forest since 1973 and now had his own place for camp headquarters. Not only was Bear Camp used for hunting, but also for family and friends to camp, ATV, snowmobile and relax. Many special family celebrations were held there including a group baptism for 4 of his grandchildren (Joshua, Camron, Justin & Jenna) and Arleen’s retirement party.
Summers were often spent in Waskish, MN fishing and camping. A 1960’s style trailer home became the next remodeling project in 2004. It was a family affair with Koren, Brian, the grandsons and many extended family members pitching in to create a summer gathering place.
Robert and Arleen loved to travel and learn about our country's history. Some of the highlights included road trips to the Wisconsin Dells to visit a Great Aunt and Uncle; Detroit, MI to see an Army brother; a drive through the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and on to Niagara Falls. They headed home via the Michigan Upper Peninsula and crossed the Mackinac Bridge, which Robert’s great uncle helped construct. In 1989, Robert and Arleen chaperoned the LOW High School Choir to Washington, DC for the America Sings Concert. One of the most inspiring historical monuments was the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier changing of the guard ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery.
The 1992 Family Road Trip included South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, and North Dakota. Robert’s many highlights included seeing the “Four Heads”, Cosmos, Deadwood, SD, Yellowstone & Old Faithful, Custer’s Last Stand, Teddy Roosevelt National Park & Medora Musical. December 1996, Robert, Arleen, Keith & Kari were guests of the Molina family for 3 weeks over Christmas/New Years in Costa Rica. Adriana Molina had been a family exchange student. In March 1999, Robert and Arleen traveled to the US Virgin Islands with Koren, Brian & Kari and “Bob got Bushwacked!” 2001-04 brought them to Savannah, GA a few times to visit Kari & granddaughter, Gillian. One time, Robert decided to accompany Kari & Gillian on a road trip back to Georgia. As he was driving through Atlanta during rush hour and hard rain, he told Kari to "call Mom and see if my life insurance is paid up. We are going to die here."
Between 2005-2018 many trips were made to Alaska to visit Kari’s family. On Robert’s first trip he went snowmobiling in the mountains and on the glaciers near Delta Junction, far different from the flat lands of Northern MN. Many trips to Palmer, AK included sight-seeing, holidays, granddaughters’ (Gillian, Jenna, Joelle, & Jordyn) activities and visiting his cousin and friends.
Robert suffered a severe stroke on February 25, 2006 while riding a snowmobile. He again had to learn to walk, talk and eat, but never regained use of his left arm or hand. “How do I hunt when I’m a left-handed shooter?” The perfect excuse to buy a different rifle - switch to right-handed shooting. Now to aim, he couldn't close his left eye so Arleen got creative and put duct tape over the left lens of a pair of clip-on sunglasses. It worked well because the first six deer he shot, he only used 6 bullets. His chauffeur was also a crucial element to his success, as it was their responsibility to perfectly adjust the door’s power window to allow Robert to rest the barrel and line up his sites. This worked well until they wore out the window motor.
The 2008 DREAM ROAD TRIP to visit Army brothers across the country started with a South Dakota turkey hunt. He shot one on the fly using Arleen as the tripod and friend Marty Larson as the retriever. After a quick stop at the U of MN clinic, Robert and Arleen continued on to Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia & Florida. While in Florida, they met Koren, Kari & their families at Disney World for a week, visited an (old pelter from deer camp) in Barefoot Bay, cousins in Tampa Bay, a Carp neighbor in Port Charlotte, and Army brothers in Clearwater and Crawfordville. Next stop, Mission, TX to see friends from Waskish fish camp who talked Robert and Arleen into snowbirding there for 2 seasons.
Spring of 2012, a road trip with friends took them to Memphis, TN to visit the Graceland home of Robert’s idol, Elvis Presley. They rode in a pink Cadillac taxi to an Elvis memorabilia restaurant and toured the Pink Palace Museum. Robert and Arleen stopped near Lake of the Pines, Jefferson, TX to visit Baudette friends when Robert saw 3 deer crossing a neighbor’s yard and said, "I wonder if there is a place here for sale? This is like Norris Camp. Do you think we could sell our place in Mission?" So they did and wintered there until 2020.
Robert and Arleen headed south most winters, unless additional strokes required therapy and when Robert’s dad was ill. They would stop in Buffalo, MN to watch grandsons, Josh & Justin play hockey and drive different routes to and from Texas, checking out interesting sites and visiting friends along the way. One year they stopped in Naperville, IL to locate the home of Robert’s great grandparents and birthplace of Grandpa Daniel John Slick before driving part of Route 66 to Texas. Robert’s last road trip was in 2019.
PaPa Robert enjoyed sharing his love of the outdoors with his grandchildren and teaching them how to drive a golf cart on his property’s “back-forty”. There was never a shortage of projects in the summer. Keith, Camron, Trent & Holly were on hand to drive a lawnmower or haul things from building to building under Papa’s watchful eye.
Robert and his 1958 Willy’s Jeep were well known. He was UTV-ing with it before UTV-ing was a thing in the backwoods of Beltrami Forest and LOW County. There wasn’t a part of the Jeep that he hadn’t put back together with some sort of baling twine, duct tape, chicken wire, JB Weld, and bungee cords. The amount of old muskeg, grasses, and swamp water were quite evident. Currently, grandson’s Josh and Justin are working on restoring the Jeep and it was always a great conversation piece for all who visited Robert in the Care Center.
In 2017, Robert and Arleen purchased a handicap accessible home near the Baudette hospital. It would be their last home together. In June 2020, they celebrated 50 years of marriage. A month later Robert suffered another major stroke and worked hard on rehabilitation to return home in August. He was home for only 10 days before he had another stroke and needed to permanently enter the Care Center until his passing. He said the care was good and the food was great. He enjoyed attending worship services and visiting with the other residents and staff. Some of his favorite activities were summer pontoon rides, trips to the county fair and playing Bingo. In May 2022, he was fortunate enough to meet his first great grandchild and introduce her to chocolate pudding. January 4, 2024, he suffered his final stroke and passed away January 13, 2024, at CHI Lakewood Care Center surrounded by his wife and 3 children.