Robert W. Barger (aka Bob or Cozy) went home to be with his Lord and Savior on September 12, 2019 in Butte, Montana. Dad was born in 1926 in Butte to Robert and Beatrice Barger, the second of three children. Dad graduated from Butte High School in 1944 and immediately enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving during the latter years of WWII until his honorable discharge in May 1946. During his service, Dad attended Aviation Metalsmith “A” School at the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Norman, Oklahoma and also at the Great Lakes, Illinois. Dad earned the rank of Aviation Metalsmith Third Class. He was later stationed at the U.S. Naval Air Station at Barbers Point, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii. After the war, Dad served as a demobilization specialist, assisting other sailors in transitioning out of the Navy back into civilian life. Dad’s interest in aviation started at a young age and he became proficient in building large model airplanes powered by gas engines that he enjoyed flying, some of which still exist. Following his military service, Dad worked for the Milwaukee Railroad in the signal department for nearly 20 years. During this time, he met and married his love Inez, a young widow in North Dakota. With this union came two small children, Joey and Carol Ann, whom he adopted, loved, and raised as his own. Just the best Dad! In 1963, Dad began a new chapter in his work life, working for the Montana Power Company as an electrical dispatcher. Following his retirement in 1988, Dad and Mom and their many wonderful friends, enjoyed an active social life, which included bowling, golfing, fishing, snowmobiling, and dirt biking in the mountains. Dad and Mom traveled around the country, visiting family and friends. As Mom says, “We had fun!” Dad was an avid bowler, winning numerous trophies and awards over a span of 70 years. He took up golf later in life and approached it with his usual enthusiasm and energy, playing at the Butte Country Club and the Municipal Course for many years. Dad and Mom played many courses during their travels, including several in Hawaii. Dad was a member of the I.B.E.W. local in Butte for 45 years. Joining DeMolay while in high school, Dad’s active involvement in the Masonic Lodge spanned 75 years, most of it in the Butte Lodge No. 22, where he went through all the chairs and was a Past Master. His Lodge was his passion and dear to his heart to the end. Dad was preceded in death by his father and mother, Robert and Beatrice Barger, his older sister Yvonne, and younger brother Jack and wife Bethel, great-grandson Dillon Holland, as well as numerous aunts and uncles and cousins. He is survived by his wife Inez of Butte, son Joe Barger (Raenel) of Butte, daughter Carol Holland (Ron Caufield) of Missoula, grandchildren Nickole Jemmings (Wally) of Helena, Bobby Barger of San Diego, CA, Marti Hege (Brad) of Missoula, Eric Holland (Sabrina) of Great Falls and Rob Holland (Debbie) of Great Falls. Also surviving are nine great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren. Dad was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather, but also, Dad, you were a good and honest man. We will miss the twinkle in your eye, your bright smile, and your stories and ditties. We have wonderful memories of many good times and we thank you for that. May you rest in peace. The time and place for services will be announced at a later date. Memorials can be sent to the Shriners Children’s Hospital in Spokane or to the charity of the donor’s choice.
Please offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Bob. Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Bob and his family.