• Date Of Birth: June 21, 1942
  • Date Of Death: August 24, 2014
  • State: Montana

Robert M Niebuhr passed away Sunday, August 24, 2014, under the excellent care of the professionals at Hospice House.

After graduating from Augustana, Bob spent 12 years in the retail business. In 1976 he became a life insurance agent with Northwestern National Life. For the next 35 years he helped people plan for their futures and protect their interests. A strong believer in continuing education he earned his CLU and ChFC designations in 1983 and 1989 respectively. Bob became active in the Life Underwriters Association and served as president of both the local and state associations and the CLU society. Bob served on committees and boards for the University of Great Falls, United Way, Ducks Unlimited, and Mountain Bluebird Trails, to name a few.

The moniker, Bluebird Bob, follows him to his resting place probably in a nest box somewhere. He was involved with the development of Bluebird Trails in the Stanford area and the Highwoods. From 1992 to 1997, Bob’s nest boxes fledged more than 20,000 birds. Many people found themselves cleaning out nesting boxes. They would remember having coffee with Bob and before they knew it they were on a trail. He truly was a salesman.

Bob married Virginia Kloncz in 1968 and they divorced in 1974. Betsy Forwood became his wife in 1975 and they divorced in 1980. In 1984 he and Lee Hochule married and were together until her death in 2009. Bob and Sharon Howard were married in 2010 and enjoyed travel and activities until health conditions limited his ability to participate in his life interests. As his world grew shorter in radius, he amused himself by arguing over football teams and managing Sharon’s life which she resisted vigorously.

He is survived by his wife Sharon, brother Jim Niebuhr (Anaheim, CA) and a large blended family: Lisa Niebuhr (Tony) of Minneapolis, MN; Rob Niebuhr of Bozeman; Chris Hochule (Nancy) El Cajon, CA; Kiely Howard (Ryan) of Missoula; Nick Howard (BJ) of Frenchtown; Linden Howard of Denver, CO; and Brenna Howard (Jim) of Missoula. Five grandchildren brought him great joy, Crystal Jones (Terrance) of Santee, CA; Sebastian Hochule of Biloxi, MS; Samantha Hochule of El Cajon, CA; Remington Howard of Frenchtown and Sloan Norris of Missoula. Macaela and Damien Jones of Santee, CA are very special great grandchildren. Bob is preceded in death by his parents and his brother Dick.

Bob was a friend forever, faithful to you and yours. His generosity is known by many and his grumpy old man imitation was very real. Bluebird Bob will be dearly missed by many.

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