The Reverend Robert James Boda

Published 2:59 pm Friday, April 29, 2022

The Reverend Robert James Boda, 93, passed away peacefully on Maundy Thursday, April 14, 2022, at the Carriage House Senior Living facility in Le Center, Minnesota.

The Reverend Robert James Boda

Bob was born on March 5, 1929, in Le Center to Joseph (Ping) and Edna (Braun) Boda. He grew up on Minnesota Street in Le Center in the house built by his Hungarian immigrant grandparents, surrounded by his loving family, childhood friends, and many pets. It was there that he developed his talents of photography, oil painting, flying, gardening, writing, and his lifelong love of playing the piano, especially “boogie woogie”. Bob graduated from McKinley High School in Le Center and served as an army medic during the years of the Korean war.

A graduate of Minnesota State University at Mankato, Bob was a junior high math teacher in New Ulm, Minnesota, where he met his beloved wife, Ardyce Hall. They married on August 25, 1956 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Owatonna. Together they worked their way through Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, and Bob was ordained as an ELCA Lutheran minister in his home church, St. Paul Lutheran Church, in Le Center in 1962.

Bob, together with his wife, Ardyce, served parishes throughout Minnesota in Grove City (Immanuel Lutheran), Arlington (Zion Lutheran), Albert Lea (Concordia Lutheran Pickeral Lake), Wabasha (Faith Lutheran and United Church of Christ), and Ostrander (Trinity Lutheran). Bob’s last ministry was that of visitation pastor at St. John Lutheran Church in Montgomery, where he remained a member.

Together Bob and Ardyce were fortunate to travel to many countries and to develop friendships across the globe, including deep ties with his relatives in Hungary. During his retirement years, Bob enjoyed skiing in Colorado with his minister friends and daughter, Suzanne, writing poetry inspired by his faith and theology, and spending time with his grandchildren. He was most happy every spring and summer planting and working in his vegetable garden at the cabin he built on Lake Volney with his father, Ping Boda, and son, Stephan.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph (Ping) and Edna Boda, and his wife, Ardyce Hall Boda. He is survived by his daughter, Suzanne Boda and her husband George Grindahl of Winter Park, Colorado, daughter Kristin Boda of Bloomington, Minnesota, son Stephan Boda and his wife Maria (Scholz) Boda of Minneapolis, granddaughter Sofía Boda Hylen and her husband Benjamin Hylen of St. Peter, Minnesota, granddaughter Mae Boda and grandson Beno Boda, both of Minneapolis, and special great nephew, Nathan Burwell of St. Paul. In addition to his immediate family, he leaves behind his loving cousins, nieces and nephews, and many friends and former parishioners.

A special heartfelt “thank you” goes to all of Bob’s caregivers throughout the years which include his loving neighbors at Lake Volney, Terry and Lisa Stier, devoted caregivers Christopher Guentzel, Susan Erickson, Rick Krautbauer, Kelsey Mihm, Brea Goetchel, Hannah Bradley, and so many other caring workers through Freedom Home Care of Mankato who made his last years comfortable and enjoyable. Bob’s last few months were spent at the Carriage House Senior Living facility in Le Center where he received outstanding and loving care until the time of his death. We will all miss his calming presence, beautiful smile, gracious heart, creative spirit and gentle soul.

A celebration of life for Bob will be held at St. John Lutheran Church in Montgomery, Minnesota, on Monday, June 6th at 11:00 a.m. with visitation beginning at 10:00 am at the church. Lunch will follow.

Memorial donations can be directed to the “Feed My Sheep” fund on the St. John Lutheran website: http://www.montgomerymnelcalutherans.org/

Arrangements are with the Schoenbauer Funeral Home. 507-357-6116. On-line condolences may be left at www.schoenbauerfuneralhome.com.