Robert Martin Monte

Robert “Bob” Monte, 83, passed away on August 15th in Mesa, AZ, after battling Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases for the past years. Coincidentally, it was his 56th wedding anniversary. Born to Robert and Madaline on September 27, 1937, in Hibbbing , MN, he was raised in an iron ore mining family. An outstanding high school athlete, he was the quarterback, and team captain of the football, basketball, track, and baseball teams. After graduating from Hibbing High School in 1956, Bob attended Hibbing Junior College for two years where he was the quarterback of an undefeated football team in 1958. Then, along with four high school pals, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps serving for three years based in Okinawa, Japan. He enjoyed his time there playing football and baseball on the Marine based teams.

Bob accepted a football scholarship to North Dakota State where he played one year. He transferred to Moorhead State University where he played his final year of football and later graduated with a master’s degree in physical education in 1966. Also, Bob enjoyed playing F-M fastpitch softball for the great Josef’s School of Hair Design team in Fargo. During his college years in the Fargo-Moorhead area, he met his wonderful wife Sandi Potretzke. They were married on August 15, 1964, in a double wedding with Sandi’s sister Jeannie (Flaa).

Never a man who held much value for material possessions, instead he loved being involved with competitive sports and coaching. He spent the next 30 years coaching and teaching physical education to elementary and high school students--one year in Pembina, ND, three years in Twin Valley, MN, ten years in Madison, MN, and the final stop was in West Fargo, ND from 1978-2001. He acquired the nickname “Badger” during his coaching years for an old-school approach that would no longer be allowed. In turn, he provided many student-athletes with their own lifelong, colorful nicknames. For recreation, he loved playing golf with the “set-in-stone” foursome of Paul, Chuck, and Steve at Maple River GC and in later years, The Meadows GC. He was also passionate about listening to classic country music and reading books of all subjects.

Bob and Sandi retired to the senior community of Trilogy in the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert, AZ, in 2002. There he made new golf pals and played at Trilogy GC several times a week. He continued to follow his favorite professional sports on TV, especially football. During these years, much time was spent with his daughter, son, and grandson, who had previously relocated to the Phoenix area.

Preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Madaline, and his older sister Agnes. Survived by his wife Sandi, daughter Lisa, son Tony, his grandson Jack, younger brother Richard and wife Patti, three nephews, and two nieces. There will be no public service, but you are encouraged to toast Badger with your favorite beverage. Rest in peace.

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