Robert William Hjort was born in St. Cloud, Minnesota on February 1, 1934 to William “Bill” and Mabel (Lundsten) Hjort. He was proud of his Swedish heritage. Bob lived with his parents and sister, Betty Jean, in Foreston, Minnesota until 1952, at which time he entered Bethel College, followed by the University of Minnesota. In August 1956, he entered the Naval Cadet program and fulfilled his passion to become a pilot. He flew carrier based single seat aircraft for the next nine years. In 1960, he married Barbara Grant in Portland, Oregon. They moved to Minnesota where he graduated from the University of Minnesota and joined his father, Bill, in the family business. In the early 1960s, Bob was granted several licenses by the state of Minnesota and created a company, Town & Country Finance, Inc. He owned and operated the business until he sold it to his son, Bill, in 1992. Bob continued working part-time, right up until his death. He passed to his eternal rest on July 9, 2022 at the age of 88 years old.
Bob loved music of all kinds and was proud of the ten years he played violin with the Heartland Symphony Orchestra. He played trombone with the Milaca Alumni Band and sang in many choral groups for over 70 years. He particularly enjoyed singing with the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra for the past 28 years. In his later years, traveling the world, and hiking with Barb, became a top priority.
Primary to his life was his faith. Bob loved to read and think about the Bible and compare passages with what he would find in history books. You could find him at the library at least once a week. Bob was such a compassionate, honest, intelligent, hard-working, and kind soul. As the grandchildren always said, “Papa is nice.”
Bob is survived by his wife, Barbara; sons, Eric (Rhonda), Paul (Tricia), Bill (Laura), and Conrad (Susan). Also surviving are the much loved eleven grandchildren, Zachery and Vanessa; William and Marcus; Maja, Gustaf, and Malena; Aaron, David, Nathan, and Rachel. He was proud of these eleven and loved following their lives.
A memorial celebration of Bob’s life will be held Thursday, July 28, 2022 at 5 PM at Milaca Evangelical Free Church. Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service at the church and a reception will follow in the church fellowship hall. A private interment will take place at Chase Brook Swedish Cemetery near Milaca.
Memorials are preferred to:
Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, 130 W. Superior St., Duluth, MN 55082
CHUM Food Shelf (where Bob has volunteered for 12 years) 102 West 2nd St., Duluth MN 55082
Milaca Area Food Pantry, PO Box 133, Milaca, MN 56353