Bob passed away at his home in Puyallup, Washington on January 2, 2002, held by his wife and soul mate Susan and surrounded by his 4 furred children.
He was born in Walla Walla, Washington on 12/20/49 to Jack and Wanda Sturm. Growing up on a farm in Flora, Oregon and involved in 4-H, he met a young lady by the name of Susan Benson when he was 14 and did some serious flirting for a week at 4-H summer school. Bob attended Enterprise High School and then dated his young 4-H friend for a summer.
After high school Bob enlisted in the Air Force with his first overseas duty being in Southeast Asia. He made the military his career, living and traveling throughout the world. While in military service, Bob knew he would make a better contribution after retirement with a college education. He proudly graduated from McKendree College in Illinois with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in 1991. SMSgt. Sturm retired to Puyallup, Washington in 1991 and continued to use his aviation expertise as an Aviation Safety Inspector for the FAA. He was employed by the FAA at the time of his death.
The story goes that in 1998, he was working in his yard when he thought of the long-lost 4-H friend who he had not seen or talked to for 32 years. During the next few months, with serious searching and considerable Devine intervention, he was able to locate her in Beaverton, Oregon and on July 17, 1999 they were married; each knowing they had finally connected with the missing piece to their life’s puzzle. The day after their 2nd wedding anniversary in 2001, Bob was diagnosed with metastasized pancreatic cancer. During the last five and a half months of Bob’s life, the two of them prayed constantly for God’s miracle of healing. While that particular miracle did not manifest itself as they had hoped; they both realized the real miracle of their lives was finding each other at last and walking in pure love and sunshine for 2 ½ years.
We know Bob was welcomed on this final journey by his father, Jack Sturm, his beloved grandparents, James and Beulah Berner and a big old yellow dog named Max.
Bob is survived by his wife Susan; devoted step-daughter Kelly Cook (from his first marriage) of Sandpoint, ID; step-children Brooke Schmidt of Dundee, OR and Chad Schmidt, of The Dalles, OR; mother, Wanda (Doug) Ankney of Milton-Freewater, OR; sister Beulah Fern Wynans of Lostine, OR; brothers Bryce Sturm (Celie) of Walla Walla, WA and Jim Sturm (Marcella) of Moses Lake, WA; nieces, nephews and the ones who miss being spoiled rotten: Sampson, Panda, Spike and Sassy.
Bob was a member of Christ Episcopal Church, The Retired Enlisted Association and the Benevolent Order of the Elks.
Memorial Services will be held at 4:30pm on Saturday, January 5 at Christ Episcopal Church in Puyallup. By Bob’s request, his ashes will be returned to the land of his youth, and buried at Prairie Creek Cemetery in Joseph. Remembrances may be made to The Retired Enlisted Association, Chapter 110, Scholarship Fund, Puyallup or St. Joseph Franciscan Hospice, 1717 S. J St., Tacoma, WA 97421.
In Loving Memory