Robert Eugene Ahlstedt, 79, of Lindsborg, KS, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, at Wesley Medical Center, Wichita, KS. Robert was born July 2, 1942 in McPherson, KS. He is the son of the late Emery and Hazel (Swedberg) Ahlstedt.
A lifelong resident of Lindsborg, Robert graduated from Lindsborg public schools and Bethany College, where he was a two-sport NAIA All-American in basketball and football. He dedicated a majority of his life to being a schoolteacher for junior high science, physical education and coaching/mentoring youth in numerous sports. He was also the head referee for Friday night high school football games around the area for many years. In the summer months, Robert’s firework stand was widely known as THE place to buy fireworks for 45 years. His patriotism was unparalleled, as he thoroughly enjoyed [legally] setting things on fire and making loud noises for everyone to enjoy.
Robert was very active within the community of Lindsborg; singing in the Messiah Chorus for 60 years. He was also a member of the Mennonite Men’s Chorus, Kiwanis, FIKA Friendship Group, Sunflower Ramblers RV Camping Club, and the Evangelical Covenant Church. In retirement, he and Cathy spent lots of time camping, fishing, traveling and playing card games such as “Up the River, Down the River” and “Swedish Poker”.
There was not a tree Robert could not identify as he loved all things wood-related. He was a skilled woodcarver and a tremendous carpenter—a skill passed down from his father. He enjoyed cutting firewood and building fires indoors and out any time of the year.
The only thing he may have loved more than all of this was coffee. It was a very rare occurrence to see Robert without a coffee cup in his hand; regardless of the occasion, location or time of day.
There aren’t many in the Lindsborg area and beyond that have not been positively impacted by Robert’s presence. He never passed up an opportunity for a teaching/coaching moment, and he never held back his opinion. When he spoke, you listened, because you knew you were about to get some really sound advice. If he ever gave you a hard time, you just knew it was a sign of affection and an opportunity for growth. He could always be counted on to provide a corny joke, even if the situation didn’t call for it.
His energy, positive attitude, work-ethic, and stamina were inspirational, and even through the years of arthritis pain, he never slowed down until the very end. He was a proud, self-proclaimed “stubborn Swede” and, as the saying goes in the sports world, he left it all on the field.
He is survived by his wife Catherine, of the home; daughter Michelle Cusumano (Bobby), daughter Diana Holloway (Dan), daughter Susan Ahlstedt, son Mike Ahlstedt (Sarah), son Steve Ahlstedt (CC), son Travis Basgall (Melissa), son Scott Peavler (Zaidinette), brother Earl Ahlstedt, sister Elly Ostlind, mother-in-law Helen Smith, sister-in-law Cindy Warren, sister-in-law Connie Corcoran (Lynn) as well as grandchildren Nevin Barker, Mackenna Barker, Kendall Barker, Crimson Barker, Jadyn Barker, Abby Holloway, Anna Holloway, Ally Holloway, Adriel Holloway, Amy Holloway, Caleb Holloway, Austin Heiling (Sidney), Derek Ahlstedt, Jason Ahlstedt, Riley Ahlstedt, Avery Ahlstedt, Allison Korb, Kaden Korb, Brooklyn Basgall and many nieces and nephews.
Robert is preceded in death by his parents and his brother Gordon Ahlstedt.
A celebration of life will be held at 3:00 pm on Monday, September 13, 2021, at the Lindsborg Evangelical Covenant Church with Pastor Jeff Waugh officiating. Cremation was selected, and a private family committal service occurred at Salemsborg Lutheran Cemetery, Smolan, KS.
Memorials may be made to the Lindsborg Evangelical Covenant Church, the Salina Rescue Mission or the Smoky Valley Historical Society. Memorials may be sent in care of Stockham Family Funeral Home, 205 N. Chestnut, McPherson, KS 67460. To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Robert E. Ahlstedt please visit our Sympathy Store.