Robert Ferry Floodeen, 92, passed away Thursday morning, April 20, 2023, in the Benedictine Living Community Crookston where he had recently become a resident.
Bob was born in Fargo, ND on May 7, 1930, the son of Ferry and Mary Jane (Taylor) Floodeen. He later grew up in Crookston with his parents and brother, William, and graduated with the Central High School Class of 1948. For several years Bob was self-employed doing automobile electrical system maintenance. On March 18, 1952, he entered the US Army. Due to his musical background, after basic training he was assigned to the Army’s 10th Infantry Division Band. Bob spent a tour of duty with them in Korea helping keep troop morale up during the Korean War. Sgt. Robert F. Floodeen was honorably discharged from active duty on February 24, 1954, and a grateful nation awarded him the Korean Service Ribbon with 2 Bronze Stars, the United Nations Service Medal, a Merit Unit Commendation Ribbon, and the National Defense Service Medal. He then began traveling the mid-west as a representative for the Dun & Bradstreet Company.
After an introduction from his good friend, Bernie Corcheran, of Fargo, Bob began working for the Fisher Pen Company of Chicago, and was employed with them to the time of his passing. Over the years he created many ads, posters, and marketing tools for the Fisher Pen Company, and later for the Fisher Space Pen Company. During the 80’s and 90’s Bob was part of the manufacturing team at the Company’s location in Boulder City, NV. He was highly respected by all as someone who could speed up the manufacturing processes while maintaining the highest standards of Quality Control. During this time Bob also founded a company of his own known as Dot Pen for which he created the “pen on a chain” which was mounted on a poker chip. This pen was attached to desktops at countless numbers of banks, grocery stores, and hotel sign-in desks all over North America and became one of the most successful trademarks for a pen company of its time. Bob enjoyed a deep and abiding friendship with Fisher Pen Company founder, Paul Fisher, until Paul’s death in 2006.
While living in California and Nevada Bob owned a total of 5 airplanes, most of which were leased back to flight schools so young people could learn how to fly. His favorite plane was a Tomahawk 2-seater that he installed a modified engine in, thus making it an experimental aircraft. The “65-Kilo” (which was its tail number), was flown by many of Bob's friends. Bob flew his beloved plane all over Southern California and later while living in Boulder City it wasn’t unusual for him to fly to Bullhead City, AZ for breakfast or lunch.
With his financial backing, it became possible for several young men to get their pilot's licenses, with a few going on to fly for major corporations and airlines. Bob had become a good friend of Rudy Vallèe, a Hollywood actor and world-renowned musician. He introduced him to Crookston native, Chuck Schumacher, which propelled Chuck to a long and successful career in music which continues to this day.
By giving a part-time job to a young lad in Van Nuys, CA, he made it possible for the boy to become the first in his family to earn a high school diploma. This was the beginning of a 40-year long friendship as that young man went on to become part of the management team at the Fisher Pen Company
During the 90’s, Bob hosted five foreign exchange students: three from Germany, one from Belgium, and one from Brazil. Each was an incredibly rewarding experience for Bob, as he learned about their countries and cultures, and shared with them his homespun wisdom and political/economic/societal opinions. There were so many young people he helped along the way, and each of them brought a great deal of joy and happiness to Bob's life. He was elated by their reports back to him over the ensuing years, as each related stories of their successes and milestones reached.
Bob never left behind his love for Crookston. When private liquor licenses were passed into law he opened a popular restaurant and bar in Crookston, known as The Diamond. He also built 2 apartment houses near the local College of Nursing so that students would have a safe place to live, study, and learn to become LPN’s. Bob held longtime memberships in Crookston’s American Legion Post #20 and VFW Post #1902 and served as Commander of both.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Ferry and MaryJane (Taylor) Floodeen; brother and sister-in-law, William and Verna (Tripp) Floodeen; and nephews: Donald, Richard and David. He is survived by 2 nephews, Thomas Floodeen of Frederick, CO and Robert Floodeen of Tuscaloosa, AL, many grand-nephews and grand-nieces; his very good friend, John Reitmeier, who looked after Bob over the years and moved him back to Crookston a year and a half ago; and a long list of treasured friends, business associates, and all who were lifted up by his helping hand. May God richly bless Bob’s memory.