Robert J. Chevalier May 5, 1928 - Feb. 15, 2009
GLENWOOD -- Robert "Bob" Joseph Chevalier, 80, of Glenwood, formerly of Benson, died Feb. 15 at the Clinica Del Mar Hospital in Mazatlan, Mexico.
The service will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Glenwood. Burial will be in St. Francis Catholic Cemetery in Benson.
Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. today at St. Francis Catholic Church in Benson with a parish prayer service at 4:30 p.m. and a rosary at 6:30 p.m. and for one hour prior to the service at the church in Glenwood. Arrangements are with the Zniewski Funeral Home in Benson. Donations to local food shelves preferred. Monetary donations will be forwarded to charitable organizations in Mazatlan.
He was born May 5, 1928, in Benson to Cleddy and Evelyn (Reardon) Chevalier. He attended Benson High School and graduated from St. John's Preparatory in Collegeville in 1946. He graduated from St. John's University in 1949. He worked as an insurance underwriter in Minneapolis and returned to run the family insurance business in Benson when his father died.
He married Carole Molde on May 2, 1953, in Benson. He expanded from insurance into tax services, a local travel agency and radio stations in Benson, Shakopee and Cheyenne, Wyo. He established the North Star companies in order to promote affordable rental housing in rural communities in Minnesota, Wyoming and Alaska. With a business partner, he started building the Village of Baycrest in Glenwood in the late 1970s.
He served on the Benson School Board, as a BIDC board member and as chairman of Kid Day. He was a member of Toastmasters, served as emcee at numerous Benson events and taught Dale Carnegie public speaking courses to prisoners. He represented St. Francis Catholic School in Benson as a New Ulm Diocesan School Board member, was a member of St. Francis Catholic Church in Benson and Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Glenwood and was a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus.
He was a private pilot and played drums in local bands. An advocate of preservation and development, he restored the Paris Hotel in Benson and managed the business until it was destroyed by fire in 1976. He initiated and supported many charities especially related to education and community development, including Familia, a children's educational charity in Mazatlan, Mexico. He volunteered as a teacher in the English as a second language program in Mazatlan.
He is survived by his wife; children: Carrie (and Patrick) Chevalier-Mosher of Minnetonka, Connie Chevalier of Eagle River, Alaska, Catherine Chevalier-Lien of Benson, Michel (and Katherine) Chevalier of Glenwood, Cecelia (and Jon) Chevalier-Larson of Alexandria; 14 grandchildren; and a sister: Kathleen Wooldridge of Naples, Fla.