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Robert L. McConn

Robert L. McConn

Robert L. McConn, 88, of Grand Forks, ND, passed away peacefully at home on Monday morning, September 11, 2017.

Bob, as he was known to family and friends, was born on August 18, 1929, in Breckenridge, Minnesota, the son of Ralph and Vera (Nelson) McConn. Ralph and Vera raised Bob and his sister Dorothy in Fairmount, North Dakota, where Bob graduated from high school in 1947. He then set out for California, earning a degree in economics from Stanford University before joining the US Army in 1951. On October 22, 1952, while stationed at Fort Benning in Georgia, he married Bernie (Schiff) of Minot, North Dakota.

Two years later, Bob and Bernie moved closer to their roots, settling in Grand Forks. Bob's next chapter found him studying law at the University of North Dakota. Armed with his new degree, he spent five years as a trust officer at First National Bank in Grand Forks. In 1963, he joined and soon made partner at what would become Shaft, Benson, Shaft and McConn Law Firm. During those years, he and Bernie raised four children-Deborah, Kris, Karen, and Butch-and a couple of big dogs.

Bob enjoyed a successful law practice with wonderful partners until he retired in 1994. He represented his clients zealously, and worked on civil rights issues as the chairperson of the Grand Forks Human Rights Commission. Throughout his life, he had a passion for innovation, computers, and the ever-changing pace of technology, often times outdoing even his tech-savviest grandchildren. His desire to learn, read, and stay current remained with him until the end. He always had a good story or lesson to share and never missed an opportunity to engage his family members in a spirited debate.

Bob's loving wife and family meant the world to him. He and Bernie spent many wonderful years raising their children and then watching their grandchildren grow. The dynamic duo enjoyed traveling the U.S. in their "rock star motor home" (as Bob once called it) and sharing their love of Marco Island with family and friends. Bob also enjoyed many memorable weekends on the lakes of Minnesota with his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Bob and Bernie were thankful to make so many wonderful memories with their family.

He leaves to treasure his memories: wife Bernie; children, Deborah (Kip) Clayton of Afton, Minnesota, Kris (Mike) Compton of Grand Forks, North Dakota, Karen Scott of Murrieta, California, and Butch (Ann) McConn of Fargo, North Dakota; grandchildren, Chris (Anna) Clayton, Andy (Becca Freeman) Clayton, Meghan (Willis Stattelman) Compton, Katie Compton, Jaime (Eric) Trueblood, Annie (Jared) Marquardt, Brad McConn and Suzanne McConn; and great grandchildren, Julia and Joe Clayton, Ben, Luke, and Sam Stattelman, Graham Marquardt, and Berit Trueblood.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Dorothy Shermoen.

Bob's family wishes to thank his caregivers at Altru. The family prefers memorials be made to Altru Health Foundation, Grand Forks, ND.

Memorial Mass: 11:00 a.m. Friday, September 15, 2017 in Holy Family Catholic Church, Grand Forks, ND.

Family Greeting: One hour prior to the liturgy in the church on Friday.

Interment: At a later date.

The online memorial registry may be signed at

(The Historic Norman Funeral Home, Grand Forks, ND)