Robert Fintel

1934 - 2012

Robert (Bob) Fintel, 78, passed peacefully in his sleep at Park Manor Rehab Center on Nov. 6, 2012, due to pulmonary failure. The oldest of three children, Bob was born in Stoddard, Neb., to Arthur Fintel and Marie Vorderstrasse Fintel. Before he was a year old, construction work brought the young family to Spokane, and eventually a number of other places in Washington. His brother Marvin and sister Kathleen were born while they still lived in Spokane. Later the family settled in Hermiston, where Bob graduated from Hermiston High School in 1952.

Bob served in the Air Force from 1954 to 1956 and in the Air Force Reserves until 1958. Part of his overseas duty was in Taiwan. Prior to and following his military service, Bob followed in his father’s trade and worked in construction. It was while working on the building of a new air base at Glasgow, Mont., that Bob met Janice Bult on a blind date. She was home for Thanksgiving break while in her second year of college. A year later, Nov. 28, 1959, they were married. Bob and Jan felt blessed to have celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2009 with a cruise through Alaska’s Inside Passage as well as a special celebration with family and friends that was organized by their daughters.
Their daughter Pamela was born in 1961 while Bob studied at Montana State in Bozeman for a brief time. The awareness of several jobs in South Dakota brought them to Flandreau, S.D. It was in close proximity to SDSU in Brookings, so by commuting Janice was able to finish her education and taught for three years while Bob began his studies in engineering at SDSU. He graduated in 1966 and started work with the Walla Walla District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers a year later. Shortly after moving to Walla Walla their daughter Michelle was born and the following year Ann Marie arrived.

Bob retired from the Corps in 1991 and had kept occupied with his grandchildren, his building skills, developing the landscape of their yard and helping wherever needed. He looked forward to Thursday mornings to have coffee with retired Corps friends. His hobbies included carpentry and collecting die-cast model cars.
An active member of Emmanuel Lutheran, he served on the church council, was the groundskeeper for a number of years and enjoyed working with fellow members when called upon for maintenance projects. He was also member of Retired Corps of Engineer Employees.

Survivors include wife, Janice; and daughters, Pamela (Matt) Wood Michelle (Pat) Potts, both of Walla Walla, and Ann Marie (Bill) Russell of Chewelah, Wash.; grandchildren, Brett (Laina) Fleming with the Coast Guard in Virginia, Katelynn Wood, Sarah and Emilee Potts, Josiah and Aaron Russell; great-granddaughters, Alexis and Mackenzie Fleming; sister, Kathleen Buterbaugh of Post Falls, Idaho; brother-in-law and sister-on-law, Don and Jeanette Bult of Mehana, Ore.; niece, Alisa (Ron) Duchateau; nephew, Darwin (Amy) Bult. Preceding Bob in death are parents, Arthur and Marie Fintel; brother, Marvin; brother-in-law, Ralph Buterbaugh.

A celebration of life service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church with Pastor Mark Koonz officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to Walla Walla Community Hospice or Emmanuel Lutheran Church through Herring Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla. Interment will be at a later date at Blue Mountain Memorial Gardens. Family and friends are invited to sign the online guest book at

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