By HDN Staff
Robert "Bob" Avila, 96, died Friday, Jan. 4, 2002, at a Chester hospital after suffering with Parkinson's Disease for the past 15 years.
Funeral rites will be conducted by Father Joe Diekhans at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Rockman Funeral Chapel in Chester. Graveside services and burial will be noon Tuesday at Highland Cemetery in Havre.
Bob was born Oct. 21, 1905, in San Salvador, El Salvador, to Amilicar and Marguerita (Bustamonte) Avila. He moved to San Jose, Calif., with his mother when he was 4. He received his education in the Los Angeles area, where he graduated from high school.
Bob worked in retail sales during his life. He married Mabelle Christian on April 23, 1939, at Englewood, Calif. Mabelle had relatives in Montana, so they moved to Missoula in 1942. Bob worked at the Missoula Mercantile for many years. They eventually moved to Great Falls, where he worked at the Bon Marche until his retirement in 1970. That same year they moved to Havre to care for Mabelle's mother.
Bob had always been a homebody and a very private person, so he led a quiet life during his retirement in Havre. His hobbies included gardening, fishing and tinkering in his shop. He had a good work ethic, so he continued to stay active with repair projects at his home. Bob enjoyed his pet dogs and he loved to listen to Mabelle play the organ. In his quiet time, he like to read westerns and he enjoyed television sports, especially boxing. He also like to cook; one of his specialties was potato soup.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents and siblings.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Mabelle Avila of Havre; daughter, Linda Thornton of Sarasota, Fla.; special friend who was like an adopted daughter, Val Barnett of Havre.
Memorials may be made to the Gift of Life housing in Great Falls.