In loving memory of

Robert Otto Bartels
August 24, 1929 - January 18, 2023

Robert Bartels, 93, of Rochester, MN passed away on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 at Madonna Towers Skilled Nursing Facility.

Robert Otto Bartels was born on August 24, 1929 in Rochester, MN to parents, Otto and Ella (Hansen) Bartels. He attended Elgin Lutheran and graduated from Elgin High School. Robert served in the United States Air Force from 1950-1953, spending 5 months stationed overseas and earning the National Defense Service Medal as well as a Good Conduct Medal. He then went on to work for the Kahler Corporation in Hotel Maintenance for 37 years until retiring in 1989. On August 30, 1986, Robert married Carol Aakre in Rochester, and gained two step-children Shirley and Ken.

Robert had many hobbies including camping, fishing, traveling, gardening, motorcycling, and playing board games. He and Carol especially enjoyed spending their winters in Arizona. Robert took great pride and joy in all of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He will be missed by many.

Robert is survived by his stepchildren, Shirley (Mike) Claffy of Rochester, MN and Ken (Melissa) Aakre of Plainview, MN; grandchildren, Stacey (Joe) Evans, Steven (Brandy) Claffy, Taylor (Matt) Pick and Molly (Drew) Streightiff; great-grandchildren Abby and Jensen Claffy, Christopher and Cameron Evans, and Emmett, Kaden and Vivian Pick; as well as a sister, Bernice Lantz. He was preceded in death by his wife, Carol; parents, Otto and Ella; sisters, Lorraine Seaman and Lavina Stadstad and an infant brother.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, January 21, 2023 at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes (5421 Royal Pl. NW, Rochester, MN 55901). Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Burial will be at Oakwood Cemetery in Rochester.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family.

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Bartels family; to share a special memory or condolence please visit


Jay Button wrote on Jan 20, 2023:

"I worked in the Kahler Maintenance Dept. from 1974 to 1980. Bob was always busy fixing something and always had a fresh pot of coffee going. Thanks Bob. "

Shannon wrote on Jan 19, 2023:

"Meyer and I will miss our therapy dog visits with Robert. He was a precious soul! "