Robert L. “Bob” Svehla was born May 13, 1933, in Friend, and passed away Dec. 30, 2020, in Bella Vista, Arkansas. He was raised in Saline County and his father was the Saline County Sheriff for a number of years.
He married Fern Gieselman on April 30, 1960, in Bloomfield. A graduate of Friend High School, Bob received a degree in mathematics from Doane College, and advanced degrees from the University of Montana and Xavier University. He served in the Army in Korea. His professional life began as a systems analyst in aerospace and at Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio.
The prospect of bringing new technologies to municipal government brought Bob to Independence, Missouri, For 22 years, he served the public in city government including stints as the city manager of Independence and Coon Rapids, Minnesota. After retiring to Bella Vista in 1996, he contributed his expertise to the community by serving on the Property Owners Assoc. Board, and was a leading proponent for the incorporation of the city.
Bob was a high school and college letter athlete in basketball and football. He coached Little League baseball, and always loved sports and teamwork.
Bob had a deep personal relationship with his Lord. An active member of the Bella Vista Lutheran Church, he served on the Board of Directors, was a Stephen Minister, and a member of the Pastoral Care team.
Bob was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He is survived by Fern, his wife of 60 years, children, Catherine Svehla of Twentynine Palms, California, Paul Svehla (Barbara) of Greensboro, North Carolina, and grandchildren, Sara and Kevin Svehla of Raleigh, North Carolina. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frances and John Svehla, and brothers Ramond, Bernard and Donald.