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Robert J. "Bob" Ries, Sr., 91, of Watertown, SD, passed away Saturday, December 22, 2018, at a local care center. Funeral Mass will be at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, December 29, 2018, at Immaculate Conception Church in Watertown. Father Paul Rutten will be the celebrant. Music will be provided by the Immaculate Conception Funeral Choir with Helen Gollnick as organist. The family is requested to meet at the church on Saturday by 10:00 a.m. for a prayer service.
Visitation will be at the Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel on Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. with a 6:30 p.m. Scripture Wake Service and a Rosary to follow. Visitation will continue prior to services at the church on Saturday.
Burial will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Watertown. Military graveside honors will be conducted by Codington County Post #17 of the American Legion, Watertown, Frank H. Adams Post #750 of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Watertown, and the Military Funeral Honors Team of the U.S. Navy. Honorary pallbearers will be Bob’s grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren. Active pallbearers will be Tracy Stinson, Dean E Shultz, Jr., Kevan Salisbury II, Kylie Inlow, Ashley Griffin, Justice Ries, and Alexander Bonner.
Bob was born on November 20, 1927, in Andover, SD, the youngest of six children to John P. and Elizabeth M. (Roberts) Ries. Growing up he worked on the railroad during the summer and while attending school. Bob also worked with his dad in his father’s black smith shop.While attending school he played basketball and was known as the smallest Andover Gorilla. He graduated from Andover High School in 1945. Upon graduation Bob enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving on the USS Cassinghead and also on the heavy cruiser, the USS Toledo. He also served six years in the Naval Reserve. After his honorable discharge, Bob returned to Andover where he began custom combining. During this time Bob met the love of his life, Treva Jean Hamann, and the two were married on September 3, 1951, at the Immaculate Conception parsonage in Watertown. The couple made their home in Watertown, raising their eight children. Bob worked at Gambles and then spent over 30 years working at Old Home Bakery. Bob and Treva Jean would go on to establish the Booke Shoppe as owners and operators.
Bob was a member of Immaculate Conception Church where he was an Eucharistic Minister, and sang with the St. Francis Men’s Choir, the Funeral Choir and the Polka Choir. Bob was a life member of the American Legion Post #17 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars #750. He was a Charter and life member of the North American Fishing Club. Bob was a member of the Elks Lodge #838, the Knights of Columbus and an 80 year member of the Catholic Order of Foresters. Bob enjoyed hunting, fishing and trap shooting. He also loved telling jokes, singing and dancing. Together, Bob and Treva Jean traveled with the Square Dancing community. They spent countless hours volunteering and they delivered Meals-On-Wheels. They also took veterans to Sioux Falls and did various jobs for Immaculate Conception Church and School. Bob’s biggest joy in life was simply bringing joy and happiness to others.
Bob is survived by eight children: Mary Beth Stinson and Jody Anne (Dean) Shultz all of Watertown, Robert J. Ries, Jr. of St. Paul, MN, Kary Lynn (Kevan) Salisbury, Jony Kaye (Kevin) Compaan, Roxy René (Jeffrey) Griffin and Dory Jean Ries all of Watertown, and Kely Dion Bonner of Naperville, IL; 18 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren and 15 great-great-grandchildren. He is also survived by two sisters-in-law: Marie Hamann of Clark, SD, Dorothy Hamann of Circle Pines, MN.
Bob was preceded in death by his wife, Treva Jean, his parents; four brothers, one sister, one son-in-law, one granddaughter-in-law; two brothers-in-law, and four sisters-in-law.
The family prefers memorials be directed to Immaculate Conception Catholic School or Church, 309 2nd Ave SE Watertown, SD. 57201