Robert D. Nystrom was born November 21, 1929, in Yakima, WA, and passed away April 30, 2022 in Richland, WA, where he had lived for the past six years. He was the second of four sons of Clarence Nystrom and Linnea Hillstrom Nystrom. Later, sister Louise joined the family.
Bob spent his early years in Yakima. The family moved to Renton, WA, where he attended Henry Ford Elementary and Highline High School. He completed his high school studies at Weatherwax High School in Aberdeen, WA. Later, he attended Clover Park Vocational-Technical School in Lakewood, WA.
Bob proudly served in the United States Army and later had a lengthy career as a civilian mariner with the Military Sealift Command. He also worked aboard tugboats and various vessels under the auspices of the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Additional work experience included employment with the Southern Pacific Railroad and St. Regis Timber Company. He worked in retail sales for a number of years at Ernst Hardware and McLendon’s Hardware. He was employed for a number of years for Sentry Fire Sprinkler Systems. He was able to return to sea with Military Sealift Command to complete his working years. In retirement, he enjoyed working seasonally at the Fair Museum at the Washington State Fair.
The family moved to Puyallup in 1968, to a small hobby farm where Bob was an avid gardener. He enjoyed trying new varieties of fruit and vegetables, often entering produce in the Puyallup Fair. He generously shared the bounty of his garden with others. He was extremely inventive around his farm.
Bob was a longtime member of Puyallup Community Baptist Church and of Grace Baptist Church in Puyallup, WA. He served as deacon, greeter, usher, and assistant treasurer. He also sailed as a volunteer with Mercy Ships assisting with medical missions.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence Nystrom and Linnea Luth; brothers, James, Jack, and Sherman; and his wife of nearly 50 years, Carol. He is survived by his children, Christy McElroy (Mel) of Richland, WA; Craig (Lori) of Palmdale, CA; grandchildren Alexandra James, Cameron McElroy, Melissa Nystrom, Nicholas Nystrom and Katie Wittkopf; great grandchildren, Gwendolyn James and Kieran James; sister Louise Sisk; sister-in-law Sharon Rader; and numerous cousins, nephews and nieces. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to Tacoma Rescue Mission, Mercy Ships, or the Salvation Army.
Arrangements by Weeks’ Funeral Home, Buckley, WA. Graveside service at Tahoma National Cemetery, Kent, WA, on Thursday, May 19, at 10:00 a.m.