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Robert Guptill April 20, 1913 - Aug. 17, 2009

WILLMAR -- Robert Ellis "Bob" Guptill, 96, of Willmar, died Monday at Bethesda Heritage Center in Willmar.

The service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Vinje Lutheran Church in Willmar. Burial will be at Cloverleaf Memorial Park Cemetery. Military honors will be provided by the Willmar American Legion Post.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar and for one hour prior to the service Thursday at the church.

He was born April 20, 1913, in Mankato to Richard and Mabel (Cram) Guptill. At a young age, he moved with his family to Paynesville and he graduated from Paynesville High School in 1931. He worked for a while in the CCC camps in northern Minnesota.

He married Ruth M. Johnson on April 18, 1936. They lived in Minneapolis and Paynesville. In 1940, they moved to Willmar and he worked at the Willmar State Hospital. From February to December in 1944, he served stateside in the U.S. Army. Following a medical discharge, he returned to Willmar and in 1945 founded the Bob Guptill Painting and Decorating Service, which he owned and operated until his retirement in 1980.

He was a member of Vinje Lutheran Church and served as an usher and on the building and stewardship committees.

He is survived by his three children: Barry (and Christine) Guptill of Park Rapids, Alan (and Virginia) Guptill of Park Rapids and Carolyn (and Curt) Olson of Willmar; five grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson; and two sisters: Sarah Hanson of Casper, Wyo., and Ethel Berg of Edina.

He was preceded in death by his wife in March of 2008, two infant granddaughters, three brothers and two sisters.