Robert “Bob” Waring Weins, beloved and devoted husband, father, and grandfather passed away from Covid-19 on October 20, 2020 in Littleton, Colorado. Bob was born to Walter J. and Elizabeth (Waring) Weins on November 1, 1925, in Sioux Falls, S.D. He graduated from Washington High School in Sioux Falls in 1943 and joined the army as part of the ASTP program – Army Specialized Training Program, which placed capable young men in college or advanced training programs. For Bob, his active duty began in December 1943.
Like many of the ASTP recruits, Bob was eventually transferred to the infantry and fought with the 100th Division and 3rd infantry division in the 7th army in France and Germany. He received the Distinguished Service Cross for “action on December 17, 1944, near Bitche, France.” On that day he volunteered to check the effect of mortar fire on an enemy observation post. He not only dealt with the German soldiers in the observation post, but also wiped out a Tiger tank crew and supporting unit. He went on to take two prisoners from whom information on an impending counterattack was obtained. Bob was later awarded a Bronze Star and was entitled to wear additional medals and honors for his service.
After his discharge in May 1946, Bob returned to Sioux Falls and made plans to attend the University of South Dakota in the fall. At the University, he joined the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and participated in ROTC, where he earned a marksman medal. In 1949 he met the love of his life, Veronica DeSmet, at a dance at the Arkota Ballroom. In May 1950 he received his B.A. from the University of South Dakota, and his National Guard unit was called up for service during the Korean Conflict. During a quick leave of absence in November of 1950, he and Veronica were married in the rectory of the Church of the Little Flower in Sioux Falls. The two moved immediately to Colorado Springs where Bob was stationed at Fort Carson. They would have celebrated their 70th anniversary on November 18.
During the Korean Conflict, Bob was stationed in Alaska. He was on his way to that posting when he and Veronica had their first child. After his active service, he continued to serve in the National Guard and the Army Reserve. He pursued promotions through active duty stints and correspondence courses and retired as a Lt. Colonel. Later he enjoyed traveling to military reunions, including one in Bitche, France.
In civilian life, Bob worked with people all over the state of South Dakota to set up vocational training programs from 1960-1971. In 1971he took a position with the Department of Labor in Denver, CO. The family followed him to Denver in 1972. While in that position he traveled around several states in the region, assisting states in their job training efforts. He retired in 1989.
Bob lived a very family-centered life. He was devoted to his parents and grandparents and later to his wife and five children. He was known for his wacky sense of humor and his ability to send his wife and children into fits of laughter at the dinner table. He taught his children, including his daughters, to throw and catch, run pass patterns, and hit a baseball. Outside of this, his main interest was in military history. He built an extensive collection of military history books, which he donated to appropriate libraries when he had finished with them. He was a voracious reader of fiction, too. He particularly loved suspense and political novels. He kept track of all the books he read in a series of small notebooks. He often said, “My favorite writers just don’t write fast enough.”
Bob passed away just days short of his 95th birthday and is survived by Veronica, his beloved wife of nearly 70 years, and five children: Lynne (James) Young, Sandy Weins-Kersten (John Kersten), Mike (Chris) Weins, Tom Weins and Jim Weins as well as 7 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren: Erin Young Koernig (Scott Koernig), Rob Young, Justin (Erika), Caitlin, Christopher (Laura), and Alex Weins, and Megan (Brandon) Bradley; Annika Koernig, and Madisyn, Dylan and Evelyn Weins.
A private graveside service will be held on November 4 at Fort Logan National Cemetery. A memorial service is planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Veteran’s organization of your choice.
The service video may be viewed here https://youtu.be/IX9rhozyOCw. Please cut and paste into a new browser window.