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HomeObituaryROBERT J. LIBBY, JR.


Robert J. Libby Jr., 90, of French River, died Monday, January 30, 2023 at Waterview Shores in Two Harbors.

Bob was born April 15, 1932 to Robert J. and Florence (Swanson) Libby at Miners Hospital in Crosby. Growing up on the north shore of Serpent Lake, he attended Franklin Elementary School and graduated in the Class of 1950 from Crosby-Ironton High School. On June 11, 1950, Bob signed on the Interlake Steamship Co. bulk freighter, SS Jay C. Moske as an ordinary seaman deckhand. Little did he realize this would start a maritime career spanning 42 years. In February of 1952 he enlisted in the US Navy, serving during the Korean War as QMSN aboard the USS Andromeda, aka 15, in the West Pacific area: Korea, Japan, China. In April 1954 Bob returned to the States to attend submarine school in New London, CT. Upon graduation, he was assigned to the USS Batfish 310 Squadron in Key West, FL where he completed his enlistment and was honorably discharged on February 26, 1956 as QM2SS.

In 1952 he married his highschool sweetheart, Naomi Ringhand and in 1959 they purchased land in the French River area on the North Shore of Lake Superior. They built their home in 1960 and filled it with 5 children.

Bob entered the Merchant Marines in 1956 and in 1958 received his unlimited tonnage 1st Class Pilot license. He sailed for many of Great Lakes steamship companies including, Republic Steel Lake Fleet, Reiss S.S. Co., Cleveland Cliffs, Medusa, and Columbia before retiring in 1992 as Master of the S.S. Charles M. Beeghly, Interlake S.S. Co.

He was a Life Member of the VFW Post 132 Duluth, American Legion Post 557 Deerwood, U.S. Submarine Veterans, Lake Superior Base- Duluth, Korean War Veteran’s Assoc., 60 year member of French River Lutheran Church, where he served on the church council, International Shipmaster Assoc- Twin Ports Lodge 12, serving as Chaplain for over a decade, Pequaywan Area Trailblazers snowmobile club where he served terms as trustee, the St. Louis County Historical Society, Great Lakes Historical Society, American Truck Historical Society, and taught snowmobile safety courses for over a decade in the French River area.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Naomi; son-in-law, Jon Mindestrom; and great-grandaughter, Josey Mindestrom.

He is survived by his children, Heather (Richard Sather) Mindestrom, Dave (Michelle) Libby, Diane (Paul) Peterson, Greg (Kay) Libby, and Robert Libby; grandchildren, Heidi (Andy Clark) Mindestrom, Nathan Peterson, Eric Mindestrom, Steve (Brittany Lind) Libby, Stephanie (Michael) Granke, Andrea (Chris) Ruberg, and Allison (Tyler Anderson) Libby; great-grandchildren, Liivi and Ireland; and a brother, Tom Libby.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the French River Lutheran Church or the Seafarers Ministry, 2024 W 3rd St, Duuth, 55806. Visitation will be from 10 AM until the 11 AM service on Friday, February 10, 2023 at French River Lutheran Church, 5310 Ryan Rd, Duluth. To share your memories or condolences online please visit www.cavallinfuneralhome.com.

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