A Liturgy of the Word Service for Robert “Bob” Christophersen, 68, of Grassy Butte, will be 1:00 p.m., Thursday, June 28, 2018 at the High Plains Cultural Center in Killdeer with Deacon Dan Tuhy celebrating. Burial will take place at a later date.
Visitation for Bob will be from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 27 at Stevenson Funeral Home, Dickinson with a prayer service taking place at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service on Thursday at the High Plains Cultural Center.
Bob passed away on Sunday, June 24, 2018.
Robert Wayne Christophersen was born in Battlecreek, Iowa on March 21, 1950 to John and Edith (Kunkel) Christophersen. They lived at Danbury until moving to Sioux City in about 1956. Bob attended Catholic schools in Sioux City, graduating from Bishop Heelan High School in 1969. He was active in football and wrestling, but rodeo was his passion.
Bob attended National College of Business in Rapid City, SD, graduating with a degree in Business and a minor in Accounting.
Bob married Vicki Selman on February 3, 1973, in Glendive, MT. He rodeoed for a living as well as working for B & H Welding Company and started Big Sky Trailer and Hitch. Their two sons are Chad Wayne and Rusty Ryan. Bob and Vicki later divorced.
On June 15, 1989, Bob married Eunice Newcomb. They, along with Chad and Rusty, moved to the ranch west of Grassy Butte, ND. Bob and Eunice purchased a ranch neighboring her parents place and they operated both places with the help of Rusty, until the time of Bob’s death.
Following are the highlights of Bob’s rodeo career:
In the Iowa High School Rodeo steer wrestling, he was state champion in 1966 and 1969, the national champion in 1966, 1968, and 1969, and runner-up in 1967. (The only person so far that we know of to accomplish this in one event.)
He also placed in the calf roping and bull riding in the Iowa High School Rodeo and was the All- Around Champion in 1966 and 1969.
In college, Bob was the Great Plains Region Champion Steer Wrestler all four years and the National Champion in 1970. He also won the Great Plains Region Ribbon Roping in 1970 and calf roping in 1971.
Bob competed at the National Finals Rodeo in steer wrestling in 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, and 1977. He won the NFR Average in 1971 and 1975.
He threw 59 of 60 steers he drew at the NFR, all but the last one.
Bob won Cheyenne, the Cow Palace, and won or placed at most of the major rodeos across the United States and Canada.
He won the Montana Circuit (SW) in 1977 and was the Badlands Circuit Runner-up twice.
Bob has been inducted into the Iowa High School Cowboy Hall of Fame, the National College Athletic Hall of Fame, the Montana PRCA Hall and Wall of Fame, and the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Bob bulldogged his first steer off a welsh pony in 1959 and his last one in Rapid City in 2010. Yes, that was a span of seven decades.
Bob loved to coach and help young cowboys get started in bull dogging.
Since retiring from the arena, Bob enjoyed rodeo reunions and get-togethers, visiting with old and new friends that he has made across the US and Canada. He also always attended a few favorite rodeos and their slack events every year, especially Wolf Point, Killdeer, Dickinson, and Deadwood, to name a few. He also kept busy with the ranching operations, enjoying it a lot more since son Rusty, Hailey, and little Ryder joined in.
Bob was a lifetime member of the PRCA and Canadian Pro Rodeo Association, a member of the McKenzie County Grazing Association, and the ND Stockman’s Association.
Though Bob was proud of his accomplishments in life, he was most proud of his sons and grandchildren. Whether it was Chad’s football, Rusty’s rodeo career and lion hunting, Paige’s lifting or volleyball, Chase’s Lacrosse, or Ryder’s first step. He wanted and loved to be there to cheer them on and support them.
Bob is survived by his wife, Eunice; sons, Chad and his wife Marriah, Rusty and his wife Hailey; grandchildren, Paige, Chase, and Ryder; sisters, Cathy (Rick) Kingston, their children Cody and Stephanie, Jane (James) Flynn, their children Garrett and Jaycie; uncles and aunts, Jim and Toni Kunkel, Everett and Violet Steinhoff, and Viola Stark; as well as many cousins, nieces, and nephews by marriage.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Edith; his brother Billy; and many uncles and aunts.
Burial Date: June 28, 2018
Funeral Home Dickinson, ND
Liturgy of the Word Service: 1:00 p.m., Thursday, June 28, 2018, High Plains Cultural Center, Killdeer, ND.
Prayer Service: 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 27, 2018, Stevenson Funeral Home, Dickinson, ND.