Robert A. Janovsky (Bob) Obituary
Robert A. Janovsky (Bob), age 75, of Montgomery died peacefully on Thursday, January 18, 2024, at home surrounded by loved ones. Visitation will take place on Thursday, January 25 from 3:30pm to 7:30pm at Schoenbauer Funeral Home in Montgomery. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, January 26, at 11:00am at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Montgomery with visitation one hour prior. Fr. George Grafsky officiating, Burial will occur at Calvary with lunch and celebration of life following at the Montgomery Legion Club.
Robert was born on July 8, 1948, in New Prague, Minnesota, at Queen of Peace hospital to Alvin and Helen Janovsky (Dedina). He attended Holy Redeemer School and graduated from Montgomery High School in 1966. Robert was united in marriage to Lisbeth Liebhard on December 2, 1972.
Bob began his career with lifelong friends at Ruhland Electric before finding his professional home in the lumber business. He worked at Lampert Lumber Company before his long career at H.E. Westerman Lumber Company, and then finally Generations Home and Building Center, where he officially retired in 2021. Gaining education through the Lumber Tech University program, he honed his skills in estimating and product knowledge, sales and service, design and drafting, and management and training. His helpful, hardworking spirit and talent for building community relationships shone in his career fields. Bob wore many hats, including transporting gasoline for Montgomery Oil Company. Community members knew they could count on Bob to go above and beyond, even calling him on a Sunday afternoon if needed when the lumber yard was closed.
When raising his daughters, he demonstrated his lifelong passions for family, community, service, and his Czech heritage. He served as President of the Holy Redeemer Home and School Association, 4-H Club Leader (where he could still play his beloved game of softball!), Board Member of Montgomery Arts and Heritage Society, and organizer of “The Treasure Chest of Music and Memories” events with KCHK radio’s Tom Goetzinger at Hilltop Hall. A man of strong faith, Bob served his church in multiple roles and in the Knights of Columbus, where he was awarded an Honorary Life Membership. He always celebrated his Czech heritage through Kolacky Day volunteering, the Kolacky Royalty family, and through the honor of Kolacky Day Grand Marshall with his wife Lisbeth in 2017.
Known to some as Bobby Jay and others as KCHK radio’s “Director of KCHK Security,” Bob’s friendly, kind, fun-loving spirit and smile connected him with others. As a local historian, he loved to gather oral history and collect artifacts and documents to help preserve and teach the stories of his beloved Montgomery community and pioneer farm life. Even through his eight years with cancer, he served on the Montgomery Historical Society, where he dedicated himself to the restoration of the historic log cabin in Montgomery’s Memorial Park. Inspired by his childhood memories of harvest time and the 1957 Steam Engine Joe documentary filmed on his family’s farm, Bob spearheaded the historical project of steam engine restoration, which can be seen in the Kolacky Day parade and Pioneer Power events.
Even in failing health, Bob continued to serve his community however he still could, calling and recruiting volunteers for various church and community events. Always with gratitude and appreciation, he brought Kolacky to his hospital nurses and could be seen wearing a smile and a Kolacky Day or Torchlight Parade button in the hospital.
Bob, known to his family as Opa, cherished sharing the farm and pioneer history with his granddaughters. Farming all his life, Bob loved playing with the kitties in the barn, driving the John Deere tractor he bought with his dad years ago, and the satisfaction of removing weeds and a job well done. His eyes lit up seeing the freedom of the baby calves running through the pasture in the spring sunshine.
Robert is survived by his wife of 51 years Lisbeth; children, Karina Janovsky Nelsen (Matthew) of Lakeville, Kai J. Western (Peter Erenberg) of Edina, and Kisha Janovsky (Bryan Collins) of Montgomery/ Woodbury; grandchildren, Lily and Hazel Nelsen, Freya and Marit Western; special family and friends Rose Erenberg, Joshua, Katelyn, Meghan, Molly, and Henry Collins; goddaughter Klair Liebhard; and sister Rita Srnec (Robert) of Lonsdale. Robert is preceded in death by his parents and sister, Bessie Janovsky.
Arrangements are with the Schoenbauer Funeral Home in Montgomery. 507-364-7929. On-line condolences may be left at www.schoenbauerfuneralhome.com.