Cover photo for Robert Joseph Roel's Obituary
Robert Joseph Roel Profile Photo
1943 Robert 2023

Robert Joseph Roel

June 8, 1943 — June 1, 2023

Detroit Lakes

Robert “Bob” Joseph Roel, 79, Detroit Lakes, MN, passed away on Thursday, June 1, 2023. 

Bob was born on June 8, 1943, the son of Joseph and Florence (Ogren) Roel in Fargo, ND. He was raised in Fargo, ND and spent summers on Big Floyd Lake in Detroit Lakes, MN. Bob graduated from Fargo Central High School in 1961. He attended Brown Institute of Radio and Broadcasting 1963-1964 and began his career at WKRB in Roseau, MN in 1965.

On August 12, 1965 Bob married the love of his life, Sandra “Sandi” Lohrenz at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, MN. Six months later, February 1966, Bob was drafted into the army. He served in Vietnam as a Supply Sargent from 1967 – February 1968, getting home just in time to welcome their first born child, Joseph “Joe”, into the world. Bob, Sandi, and Joe moved to Oshkosh in 1968 where Bob worked for WNAM radio. In the fall of 1969, Bob decided to change careers and moved back to the Fargo/Moorhead area to attend Moorhead State College. He graduated in 1971 with a degree in accounting, quickly passed his CPA exam, and in 1973, founded Widmer Roel & Co., Ltd (Fargo, ND) with business partner Harris Widmer. Bob was proud to serve on multiple boards supporting higher education in MN. He and brother Tom Roel, owned Town and Country Golf Course in south Moorhead. He was also the part owner of Casper’s restaurant in Casper, WI.

Bob loved playing golf at the Fargo Country Club and fishing on Big Floyd Lake. He was an avid bridge player and was awarded Life Master in 1975.  Bob was a sports enthusiast, a NDSU Bison football fan through and through. He also enjoyed cheering on the MN Vikings and Twins. Bob was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. He had a beautiful singing voice and would call members of the family and sing “Happy Birthday” to them every year.  

He and Sandi were married for 57 years and had four children. Left to cherish his memories are his wife, Sandi, of Detroit Lakes; daughters, Rachel (Charles) Arneson of Champlin, MN; Charity Roel (Jennifer Lanzendorf) of Spring Green, WI; Natalie (Justin) Chapweske of Bozeman, MT; daughter-in-law, Vicki DiLillo (Eric Batterton) of Delaware, OH; grandchildren, Claire, Lydia, Ben, Hannah, and Connor; sister, Janyce (Dick) Johnson of San Diego, CA; brother, Leo (Pilar) Caravantes of Madrid, Spain; many cousins, nieces, nephews, and dear friends.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Florence; son, Joe; and brother, Tom. In lieu of flowers, and in honor of Bob’s generous soul, please consider a donation to the charity of your choice.

A memorial service honoring Bob’s life will be at 2:00 pm on Thursday, August 3, 2023, at First Lutheran Church in Detroit Lakes, with a visitation an hour prior

David Donehower Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Joseph Roel, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Thursday, August 3, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Visitation 1-hour prior

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