Robert ‘Bob’ Stanley Aronen

Robert “Bob” Stanley Aronen, Sr., 93, of Cottonwood, Ariz., passed away peacefully on Oct. 25, 2021.

Bob was born in Winton, Minn.,, on September 29, 1928, to Finnish immigrants Jacob and Senja Aronen. He was a graduate of Embarrass High School and later served in the United States Air Force as crew chief on a B-36 Peacemaker, the first intercontinental bomber operational early in the Cold War. During his time in the Air Force, many lifelong friendships were formed while stationed in locales as diverse as Travis Air Force Base in California and Thule Air Base in Greenland. Following his military service, Bob joined the American Legion when he returned to Minnesota, serving a time as post commander in Virginia. He joined his brothers at Arrow Auto Supply, where he fixed countless windows and windshields and told and listened to an endless barrage of Eino and Toivo jokes over many, many cups of coffee. Along with his Finnish Sisu to persevere, Bob had a good-natured demeanor that endeared him to many over the years.

In 1957, Bob married Doris Marcella Erickson from Palo and they resided in Virginia until 1995 when they decided it was time to sell the snow shovel and move to Arizona. Bob and Doris both enjoyed music and dancing, traveling and visiting family and friends. Back when their kids were still at home, Bob and Doris would load up the car every summer and drive across the country in search of adventure, which was often found in seeing how close to an empty gas tank you could get before stopping or how many miles you can drive in North Dakota or Utah without turning. In more recent and less active days, Bob was a fan of the Big Joe Polka Show on RFD TV and playing Nintendo Wii bowling with his grandkids. Proud of his family and his Finnish heritage, Northeastern Minnesota was always home to him. After moving to Arizona, Bob and Doris returned to Minnesota for summer visits to see family and friends. Their final trip to Minnesota together was in 2015. To our knowledge, Bob never declined an offer of a good hot sauna.

Bob is survived by sons, Mitchell (Christina), Daniel (Kazumi) and Robert Jr. (Christine); daughter, Carol Hagberg; grandchildren: Nathan, Tommy, Jacob, Isaac, Emiko and Arthur; five sisters-in-law; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Doris; siblings:Bill, Myrtle, Larry, Irma, Rachel, John, Hugo and Buddy; and many friends.

The lives of Bob and Doris will be honored sometime next summer in Minnesota.

To plant a tree in memory of Robert Aronen as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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