Robert Eric Lund went home to be with his Maker the afternoon of Nov. 26, 2016, after having lived a full and accomplished life. Robert was born July 20, 1922, in Paonia to Laura and Christian Lund. He attended school in Paonia during the Great Depression before graduating from Whittier Union High School, in Whittier, Calif., in the spring of 1940. Although he attended school in California, Paonia was always "home" and he returned to the North Fork Valley every summer.
On June 12, 1946, Robert married Shirley May Griffin of Paonia and they set up housekeeping in the house where he was living when he died. Robert's eternal legacy is highlighted by the fact that each of his children has trusted Jesus Christ as personal Savior.
Throughout his life, Robert Lund cared for people, not just with lip service, but with action. He may not have been rich with the things of this world, but there can be no doubt he is rich with things eternal!
Robert was always active in the churches he attended. He was an avid singer and sang at many functions in the Paonia area. He served as Mission Board chairman for the Friends Church, shepherding the operation of the Rough Rock Friends Mission on the Navajo Indian reservation in Arizona. In later years, he was a member of the Nazarene Church and performed various duties of the church as he was needed.
Robert farmed the home place for over 70 years. His experience in agriculture in the North Fork Valley ranged from raising fruit to raising sheep, alfalfa, grain, and cows (both dairy and beef). He started out driving teams of mules in his father's fruit orchards, and drove the tractor to haul in the last load of hay from his field this past fall. At one time, Robert was the largest wheat producer in Delta County. He witnessed a lot of changes in the farming profession and was always experimenting with new farming ideas and techniques. He served as a member of the North Fork Creamery Board and the Delta County Farm Bureau Board.
Robert began his school bus driving career in 1956 when he took a group of Paonia High School student supporters over Monarch Pass to a state football playoff game in Salida. He subsequently drove various routes and activity trips out of Paonia, transporting students until he retired in 1985.
Robert became a volunteer weather observer for the National Weather Service in 1973, a duty he performed daily until the day he died. In fact, the weather data log book holds an entry of the morning's observations he entered the day of his death. In 2011 he was awarded the prestigious Jefferson Award as one of the five most outstanding weather observers in the nation.
Robert and Shirley raised four children, all of whom have grown up with great love, respect, and admiration for them. This love has carried through to their grandchildren and great grandchildren. Up until Robert's passing he was regularly emailing family and friends. Janet and Dan received letters from him weekly.
Robert was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley (Griffin) Lund; his parents, Christian and Laura Lund; and nine siblings, Marion (Lund) Perkins, Dorothy (Lund) Cate, Herbert Lund, Elsie (Lund) Miller, Walter Lund, Carroll Lund, Merle Lund, Laura (Lund) Hackney and Johanna (Lund) Klatt. He is survived by two daughters and their husbands, Janet and Gary Albers of Boring, Ore., and Stina and Wayne Frazier of Paonia; two sons and their wives, Dan and Judy Lund of Foley, Minnesota, and Olen and Debbie Lund of Paonia; 11 grandchildren; and 23 great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Dec. 20 at the Friends Church, 409 3rd Street, Paonia. Memorial contributions may be made to the Salvation Army online or mailed to The Salvation Army, Attn: Development Department, 700 North Bell Avenue, P.O. Box 742, Pittsburgh, PA 15106.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Taylor Funeral Service and Crematory.
View the internet obituary and sign the online guest registry at www.taylorfuneralservice.com.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.