Bob was born at his family’s Minneapolis home on Jan. 27, 1933, to Walter and Mamie Louise Nemitz. He spent his boyhood summers with his brother Wilbur (Bill and Jane) Nemitz, and his sister Marnie (Munier) Kadrie, shooting BB guns and visiting uncles and aunts at family farms in Canby, Minn.
Bob’s life was an adventure story, and he was fortunate to enjoy it with family and friends at his side. In addition to leaving behind the decorative skulls of two cape buffalo, a lion, a hippo, a grizzly bear and the pelts, heads and remains of many other large mammals and birds, Robert Wendell Nemitz, age 80, has left his treasured wife Christine Warren, and three beloved daughters and two sons-in-law: Kristi and Larry Waite of Afton, Minn.; Wendy Nemitz of St. Paul, and Susan Nemitz and John Curry of St. Paul. He also shared his life and lore with two stepchildren, Chase (Jessica) Carlstrom of Minnetonka, Minn., and Lauren Carlstrom of Chicago, and with his three grandchildren, Constantine and Ellesavette Kokkinos and Maura Curry, all of St. Paul, as well as nieces and nephews.
The best parts of Bob’s life were spent outdoors. From many hours exploring wilderness at the family cabin near the boundary waters separating the United States and Canada, to hunting big horn sheep in Alaska and doves in Chile, to building a home in the desert near Moab, and his later passion for big game hunting in Africa, Bob hunted, fished, explored, canoed, rafted, hiked, drove and rode mules through the most beautiful parts of our world.
Bob and his brother Bill both started work with their father Walter at the Rasmussen School of Practical Business. After buying the company from Walter, they expanded it to six locations as Rasmussen Colleges. When Bill retired, daughter Kristi Waite became president and Bob’s partner. The companies were sold in 2004 and college campuses are now in several states.
Tidy, well-signed paths organized by the National Park Service were not for Bob. When he was rambling across the Utah desert with only water, matches and a pocketknife he was completely happy.
Bob was passionate about the Colorado Plateau and explored the greater part of southeastern Utah. In Moab, he and his wife Chris were supporters of a number of organizations, and can be credited with providing the mechanism that started and nurtured what has become the Moab Charter School. He donated a conservation easement to The Nature Conservancy on his Colorado River property in Professor Valley, and was a trustee and donor to Canyonlands Field Institute. He participated in activities sponsored by the Moab Music Festival, the Moab Museum, and other local events.
Bob served in the U.S. Air Force in the Korean War and was stationed in Japan.
An avid antique arms collector, he co-founded the Heritage Arms Society of Minnesota.
Bob leaves behind a trail full of interesting and loyal friends, a great family, amazing stories, an interesting career as an educator and developer, fantastic books and artifacts and a legacy of supporting the natural world through The Nature Conservancy and the effort to develop a cure for ALS through the Mayo Clinic.
A memorial service will be held July 14 at the Westin Hotel in Edina, Minn., from 4 to 8 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Mayo Clinic, Regenerative Medicine/ALS Department, 200 First St. SW, Rochester, Minn., 55605, care of James Driscoll.