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Robert "Bob" J. Nellans

Robert “Bob” J. Nellans passed on April 3, 2022 surrounded by his family in his home after a long battle with illness.


Bob was born on September 22, 1942 at Kelly Hospital in Argos, Indiana, to Robert K. and Margaret C. Nellans, and resided in the area of Marshall and Fulton Counties for all of his life save for his time in the US Army.


Bob was drafted into the Army in 1965. After basic training in Fort Knox, KY, Bob was stationed in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, where he spent the remainder of his service.  It was there that he met Dorthy I. Kleier, a school teacher from Crocker, Missouri.  The two immediately hit it off, Bob declaring on their second date that they’d be married, even setting the date.


Just six weeks before the wedding day of December 27, 1966, Bob was involved in what should have been a fatal head-on accident with a drunk driver.  Despite the massive injuries incurred, including lasting nerve damage to his right arm, he was able to fulfill the promise he’d made to Dorthy and the two wed on the planned day.


Moving back to Indiana, Bob and Dorthy settled down in Argos on the family farm Bob had worked in his earlier years, Bob working in sales at the local Torx Products of Camcar, farming part-time, with Dorthy teaching at Argos Schools.


Upon the birth of their first child, Wes, Dorthy took a leave of absence from teaching to be an at-home mother to not just Wes, but their second child Kirk, as well.


It was during this time that Bob and Dorthy purchased the motorcycle Bob had always wanted, and he greatly enjoyed his BMW motorcycle until the fateful day that the throttle stuck wide open on the bike, whereupon Bob crashed at approximately 140 mph.  This resulted in a lasting disability due to the massive injuries he received during that wreck.


Bob was never one to take anything lying down, including the disability that carried brain damage, seizures, and a host of other medical issues that he’d deal with the rest of his days.  Unable to perform at a full-time job, he still managed to find ways to manage and maintain the family forest and tree farm, leaving the regular farming duties to his relatives the Brights who lived close by.  He even managed to go back to school part-time and attain five college degrees at nearby Indiana University of South Bend, including degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.


Even though Bob was often confined to being home, he became hugely involved in Amateur Radio, with contacts in over 300 countries.  He was a lifetime member of the AARL.


An active member of Richland Center United Methodist Church since 1947, Bob joined the IOOF Richland Center Lodge #435 in 1970, and was a Past Chief Patriarch of the Mt. Horeb Encampment #24 in Rochester, and a Captain of the associated Canton #9 in South Bend.  He was also a Mason and a Shriner.


Bob is survived by his wife of 55 years, Dorthy; two sisters, Linda “Susie” Nellans of California,  Betty (Nellans) Click of Fort Wayne, Indiana; sons Wes and Kirk Nellans and their spouses Jen and Kathy, of Argos; and five grandchildren - Josiah Nellans, Laci Nellans, Emma (Nellans) Joyner, Isaac Nellans, and Grace Nellans. 


A celebration of the life of Mr. Robert "Bob" Nellans will be at 11:00 AM Thursday, April 7, 2022 in the Good Family Funeral Home, 1200 West 18th Street, Rochester. Pastor Steve Hartman will officiate.  Friends may visit with the family from 5:30 -7:30 on Wednesday, April 6, 2022 and one hour prior to the service in the funeral home. Military graveside honors will be conducted by the Fulton County Veterans Honor Guard and the US Army Honors Team.


In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Bob’s name to the Richland Center United Methodist Church or to Plant a Tree.

Interment will be in the Richland Center IOOF Cemetery.

Electronic expressions of sympathy may be made to his family at