Robert “Bob” Herman Backen, 79

TAMA-Robert “Bob” Herman Backen, 79, of Tama, passed away Friday, May 12, 2017 at home due to a sudden illness. Funeral Services will be held Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 10:30 AM at St. John Lutheran Church in rural Tama with Pastor Catherine Burroughs officiating. Interment will follow at Maple Grove Cemetery in rural Tama. Visitation will be held Tuesday, May 16, 2017 from 4-7 PM at Kruse-Phillips Funeral Home in Tama.

Robert was born on August 7, 1937, in rural Tama, Iowa on the family farm, the son of Julius and Vera (Hagge) Backen.

He attended Tama High School.

Robert served his country in the U.S. Army from February 7, 1956 to February 2, 1958.

On May 24, 1959, he was united in marriage to Dorothy Allen in Gilman, Iowa. Bob was a career farmer, dairy farmer and beekeeper. He also worked at the sale barn, for various farmers and Wilkerson Hardware Store in Toledo. Bob was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in rural Tama, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Maple Grove Cemetery Association, Farm Bureau, and Swiss Valley. He enjoyed gardening and there was not anything he wouldn’t try. Bob loved to tinker on anything. His greatest joy was the time he spent with his family.

Survivors include his wife of fifty-seven years, Dorothy of Tama; one son, James Backen of Tama; five daughters, Janice (Tom) Upah of Chelsea, Julie (Tom) Wilkerson of Toledo, Joyce (Thom) Wilson of Tama, Jolene Keller of Toledo, and Jeri (Bryan) Ellenbecker of Tama; twelve grandchildren, Matthew and Kristen Upah, Brent and Eric Wilkerson, Jennifer and Bethany Wilson, Carter McDermott, Brooke and Blake Keller, Brady (Callie) Ellenbecker, Taylor and Bryce Ellenbecker; one great-granddaughter, Jaylynn Wilson; one sister, Hazel Moyer of Toledo; one sister-in-law, Mildred Backen of Tama; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Preceding him in death were his parents; one son, Jay Backen; one son-in-law, Todd Keller; two brothers, Lyle and Leo Backen; one sister, Helen Wiener; one sister-in-law, Beverly Graff; and one brother-in-law, Cap Moyer.

A memorial fund has been established.