November 1, 2023
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Robert J. “Bob” Breth, 74, of Melrose, died Oct. 23, 2023, with his family by his side at the Paynesville Care Center from complications of dementia. He had been a resident there for the last year. A public burial will be at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 1, at Oak Hill Cemetery in Melrose with military honors by the Melrose Veterans Honor Guard. A celebration of life will follow at the American Legion in Melrose from 3-5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1, with a meal at 5 p.m. Robert John Breth was born in Melrose, Feb. 2, 1949, to Leo and Eleanor (Schmitz) Breth. Bob graduated from Melrose High School in 1967 and continued his education at Alexandria Technical School with certification in welding. He returned to Melrose and worked until he was drafted in January of 1969. He served in the U.S. Army as a mechanic for helicopters and was part of the 101st Airborne. Bob was honorably discharged Feb. 7, 1973. Upon returning to Melrose, Bob worked for Kraft Foods and later Land-O-Lakes until 2005. He met his future wife, Cheryl Smith, in October 1978. They were married at St. Mary’s Catholic Church July 17, 1982. Bob was a lover of anything with a motor. He loved to tinker with lawnmowers, snowblowers and anything he could. Bob also loved to be outside, no matter the weather. He was always an animal lover with many pets. He was a member of the American Legion Post 101 and the Schanhaar-Otte VFW Post 7050 in Melrose. Bob is survived by his wife, Cheryl Breth of Melrose; two sons Andy of Melrose and Ryan of Fargo, North Dakota; siblings Betty Kemper of Melrose, Larry (Simone) Breth of Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, Canada, Jerry (Marilyn) Breth of St. Cloud, and Pat (Mary) Breth of Melrose; brother-in-law Jay Smith of Maple Plain; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, infant brother Ronald, parents-in-law John and Virginia Smith and brothers-in-law Marvin Kemper and Scott Smith. His family would like to thank all the staff at the Paynesville Care Center for their care and concern for Bob. Also, a big thank you to the hospice services from Moments Hospice. Arrangements were made with Patton-Schad Funeral & Cremation Services of Melrose.