Robert "Rob" Volkenand Obituary

Robert "Rob" J. Volkenand

November 26, 1930 - August 5, 2019
Born in Zortman, MT
Resided in Bend, OR


Robert Joseph Volkenand began his life’s race on November 26, 1930 in Zortman, Montana, the son of Carl and Kathryn (Sharette) Volkenand. He attended and graduated from Libby High School in 1948 and joined the US Navy. He spent 4 years in the service of his country as a 1st Class Electricians’ Mate. He then attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering and found his life long partner, Gail Schmutzler. They were married on September 14, 1957 and moved to Bozeman, Montana so Rob could attend Montana State University. He graduated in 1960 with degrees in Electrical Engineering and Education and chose teaching as his career path. His first job was as a high school teacher in Twin Bridges, Montana, followed by time as a junior high school teacher in Bozeman. During this time, Rob also completed his Masters Degree in Counseling. By now, the family included sons Robb, Scott and Todd, and daughter, Cheri. After some travel and exploring, favorite activities of Rob and Gail, they discovered Bend, Oregon and Rob received an offer to become a Counselor at Central Oregon Community College. The family moved to Bend in 1969 where he continued his counseling work until 1980 when he retired from COCC, only to begin work with Deschutes County as a counselor for individuals who received court mandated DUI and Addiction counseling. He also worked with the County’s Justice Department of Probation and Parole.

Lest anyone think Rob’s time was only spent on counseling and teaching, at a somewhat late stage in life (late for most of us, anyway!) Rob began running and running and running. He developed a passion for the longer races as evidenced by his participation in 12 Wasatch 100 Mile Run (and the first recipient of the “Spirit of the Wasatch” award), 10 Western States Endurance Runs (the world’s oldest 100 mile trail race) and other assorted long-distance events where he was respectfully and affectionately known as the “ole goat.” When Rob finally did stop working, he and Gail sold their home in Bend, bought a motorhome and traveled far and wide, visiting old friends and making scores of new ones along the way. They eventually found their next non-mobile home in Lake Havasu City, Arizona where they enjoyed the warm weather during the winter months. During the summer, Rob and Gail traveled back to Oregon to spend time with family and friends. It was during this year’s trip that Rob suffered a stroke on July 31st. He then crossed the finish line of his last and biggest race on August 5 with his wife, Gail, and daughter, Cheri, at his side. It was race well run, marked by his honesty, integrity and love of family. Rob was a proud member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana, VFW and the American Legion. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Gail; sisters Pat Kasberg of Kalispell, MT, and Betty (Charles) Hartmann of Coffee Creek, MT; sons Robb (Karen) Volkenand of Eugene, Scott Volkenand (Melanie Neal) of Eugene, and Todd Volkenand (Jen Binks) of Sisters; daughter Cheri (Mark) Lantz of Bend; Grandchildren Joshua Ulledahl (Melanie Monzalvo) of Redmond and Jessica Ulledahl (Matt Proctor) of Vancouver, WA, and Eric (Liz) Lantz of Portland, OR; Great-Grandchildren Maia Ulledahl of Redmond,OR and Braven Proctor of Vancouver, WA, and many, many friends.

There will be a celebration of Rob’s life on Saturday, September 28, 1:30pm at McMenamins Old St. Francis School, Rambler Ambassador Room, 700 NW Bond Street, Bend, OR. The family also sends sincere thanks to the staff at St. Charles Hospital and Partners In Care Hospice House for the care and support they provided to Rob and our family during this difficult time. Should anyone wish to make a memorial contribution, please consider Partners In Care Hospice House, 2075 NE Wyatt Ct. Bend, OR 97701.



Funeral Home
Baird Funeral Home - Bend
2425 NE Tweet Pl
Bend, OR US 97703