Obituary: Robert Nial Tidball

Jan. 15, 1939 – Nov. 24, 2023

Robert “Bob” Nial Tidball, 84, Ellison Bay, passed away peacefully on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023. He was born Jan. 15, 1939 in Brookings, South Dakota to Nial Edward and Elaine Caroline (Linquist) Tidball.

Bob grew up in Aberdeen, South Dakota and graduated from Aberdeen Central High School in 1957. He attended South Dakota State University for one year before transferring to the U.S. Naval Academy. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1962 with a B.S. Degree in Naval Sciences. He attained the rank of Lieutenant during his seven years of service in the U.S. Navy, including service in Vietnam and as an instructor at the U.S. Naval Training Center in San Diego. He received numerous awards and citations during his service and was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1969.

Bob received an MBA degree from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business in 1971. After graduation, he held various management/executive positions in the transportation leasing industry. Bob finished his business career serving as CEO and Chairman of the Board of PLM International, Inc. in San Francisco. He also served on the Board of Directors of FreightCar America and on the Board of the American Railcar Institute and Railroad Supply Association.

Bob married Barbara Ann Jun on Sept. 21, 1963 in San Diego, CA. They loved to travel throughout the United States and to foreign countries during their marriage. They especially enjoyed attending various Winter Olympics with friends to support the US teams during the games.

Bob was a loyal Chicago Bears football fan and maintained season tickets for home games for over 40 years. He thoroughly enjoyed inviting other Bears fans to these games. He also attended Navy football games on occasion to support his alma mater.

Bob had a love for horses and was a competitive sportsman. He was known to place bets on any athletic activity or a friendly game of cards. He enjoyed reading a good book, playing chess and board games with his grandchildren, watching his grandchildren participate in sporting events and singing along to good tunes. Barbara and Bob fell in love with Door County while visiting a friend and decided to retire in Ellison Bay. They purchased land for Bob to ride horses as both he and Barbara could enjoy all that nature provided. It was a magical time as they made new friends and shared love for their new community.

Bob was devoted to volunteerism during his retirement. He was an active member of VFW Post #8337 in Liberty Grove and served as the Post Commander from 2014-2016. He was elected to the position of Liberty Grove Town Board Supervisor in 2009 and served on various committees from 2009-2012. He also volunteered time to the Sister Bay Lions Club, facilitated the bike program for the seasonal workers in Door County and sang in the choir of the Stella Maris Parish in Sister Bay. The highlight of Bob’s time in Door County was hosting Cowboy Church in his barn for seven years in which Pastor Lloyd Michalsen would preach and musicians and singers from Door County and across the country would share their talents with the 70 or more visitors attending the Sunday services during the tourist season.

He is survived by children, Ann (Tom) Gaeta of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin and Susan (Patrick) Noble of Whitefish Bay; six grandchildren, Michael (Maddie) Gaeta, Matt Gaeta, Andrew Gaeta, Elizabeth Gaeta, Harrison Noble and Robert Noble; two great-grandchildren, Emerson Gaeta and Hudson Gaeta; brother, Tom (Kaye) Tidball; cousin, Jan (Anna) Stephens and other cousins.

Bob was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara (Jun) Tidball and his parents Nial and Elaine (Linquist) Tidball.

A Memorial Mass to honor Bob’s life will be held on Saturday, June 1, 2024 at 11 am at Stella Maris Parish – Sister Bay site. Bob will be laid to rest during a graveside service with military honors in St. Rosalia Catholic Cemetery at 1:30 pm.

Visitation for family and friends will be held at the church from 9:30 am until 10:50 am.

Thank you to Village Pointe Commons in Grafton, Wisconsin for the wonderful care and assistance that the staff provided over the past five years and a special thank you to Legacy Hospice for their loving care during his final days.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the St. Jude Childrens’ Research Hospital, or Objective Veterans’ Smile in Madison, Wi.,

Casperson Funeral Home in Sister Bay is assisting the Tidball family with arrangements. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Bob may be shared with his family through his tribute page at