Robert “Bob” A. Norland, 75, Fertile, MN, died Saturday, April 10, 2021, at home surrounded by his family and under the care of Hospice.
Bob was born September 10, 1945, in Hallock, MN to Orielle and Eleanor (Hunter) Norland. Bob grew up in Lancaster before his family moved to Bagley, and then Bemidji, where he graduated from Bemidji High School in 1963. He entered the Army in 1965. He served mostly at Fort Sam Houston, Texas until his honorable discharge in 1968. Bob joined the Minnesota Highway Patrol in 1968 where he was first stationed in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area for 3 years. Bob met Verna Halstead, and they were married in 1971. In 1972, he accepted a transfer to the Crookston station, where he and Verna moved to Fertile and raised three sons, Brad, Mike, and Tyler. Bob retired from the Minnesota State Patrol in 2000. Later he worked for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office as a part-time Bailiff/Transport Deputy for 11 years.
Bob’s great dedication of time and effort over the years in the Fertile-Beltrami Booster Club, the athletic complex, the golf course, and the promotion of baseball have provided opportunities and enjoyment to students and community alike.
Bob was a former Scout Master of the Boy Scouts, past member of the Fertile Lions, and Jaycees. More recently he belonged to the Fertile American Legion, the Polk County Fair Board, and the Polk County Salvation Army. He was instrumental in bringing high school baseball back to Fertile-Beltrami in 1990.
In 1991 Bob was named Fertile Community Citizen of the Year.
He was also awarded the Minnesota American Legion “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” for 1996-1997.
Bob enjoyed shaking dice at the Fertile Rec, and more recently at the Northside Express. He spent countless hours developing, and maintaining the sports complex on the west side of Fertile. His real passion in the retirement years was to volunteer his time and effort at the baseball field. If he wasn’t at home, he was either at his grandkids’ activities or at the baseball diamond. Many trips were taken with his family to the College Baseball World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.
He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Verna; sons, Brad (Kristen) Norland, Fosston, MN, Mike (Karen) Norland, Fosston, MN, and Tyler (Laura) Norland, Thief River Falls, MN. He will be missed by his grandkids, Kora, Cullen, Aaron, Zach, Halle, and Harper. He is also survived by his sisters, Becky (Jim) Haskell, Bemidji, MN, and Nancy (Tom) Schwartz, Bemidji, MN; brother-in-law, Dewey Mattfield, Bemidji, MN; sisters-in-law, Geneva (Jim) Velez, Bemidji, MN, and Sharon (Jim) Wilkinson, O’Fallon, IL; uncle (more like a brother), Jerry Norland; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Orielle and Eleanor Norland; mother and father-in-law, Harold and Vera Halstead; sisters-in-law, Nancy Mattfield, and Peggy Halstead; and brother-in-law, Tom Halstead.
Memorials are preferred to the Fertile or Fosston Baseball Programs.
Funeral Service with full military rites: 11:00 AM, Monday, April 19, 2021, at Concordia Lutheran Church, Fertile, MN, following all of the Minnesota and CDC COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. All must wear a mask to attend.
Visitation: Two hours before the service at the church.
Interment: Concordia East Cemetery, Fertile, MN.