It is with great sadness that we share the loss of Robert “Bob” L. Surles, who passed on Monday, November 8, 2021. Bob transitioned peacefully to God, at age 83, in the loving arms of his beautiful wife, Patricia, who was the center of his life for more than 46 years. He was surrounded in love by his children and grandchildren who were always at his side.

Bob was born in Des Moines, Iowa on April 5, 1938, to Keith and Cora (Wade) Surles, who preceded him in death. Those left to continue his legacy of love and cherish his memory include his wife, Patricia Surles (married 1979); children, Terry Steel (Linda), Sheri Rowland (Terrance), Kimberly Johnson (Darcy Townsley), Kelly Hilton (Kyle), Walter Malone (Wendy), Michael Malone, Stacie Bridges (Brian); grandchildren, Stephanie, Anthony, Alicia, Dominque, Talicia, Tricia, Danielle, Robert, Christopher, Elizabeth, Vanessa, Bre, Cheyenne, Daelynn, Eli, Tyler, Cody, Conner, Garret, Mikayla, Mason, Madelyn, Morgan, and Logan; and 16 great-grandchildren; sister, Marilyn Cabbage, as well as many other loving family members and special friends.

Bob’s career in public service started directly out of high school when he enlisted for six years in the United States Air Force. He was stationed in Thule, Greenland and Beale Air Force Base. After proudly serving his country, Bob started his most beloved position as a police officer in Colusa, California where he served for seven years. When he moved back to Iowa in 1974, Bob joined the security team at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, where he met the love of his life, Patricia. Bob retired from Mercy after 25 years and joined Fraser Medical Services for 13 years post-retirement.

Family-time was Bob’s favorite activity. As an avid outdoorsman, Bob enjoyed boating, camping, fishing, hunting, water skiing, and bird watching with his family. Always a sports enthusiast, he coached baseball and softball. He enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren participate in countless sporting activities. His favorite hobby was woodworking. Bob could, and did, make everything from children’s toys to furniture. It was with pride and joy that he gave these priceless gifts to his family. Every year since the 1980s, Bob donned his Santa suit much to the delight of his grandchildren. His distinct bushy eyebrows, a point of several jokes, gave him away as they grew-up.

Bob was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s several years ago. He entered Eden Acres Perry Lutheran Homes in June of this year. Two months ago, Suncrest Hospice Care joined his health team. His family is forever grateful for the high quality of service from both Eden Acres and Suncrest Hospice. They treated Bob like an important family member in the many ways they showed him care and love.

Funeral Services will be held on Tuesday, November 16 at 10:00 am with visitation from 9-10 before the service at Hamilton’s near Highland Memory Gardens located at 121 NW 60th in Des Moines. Bob will be laid to rest at Highland Memory Gardens.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the The Wounded Warrior Project, Eden Acres Perry Lutheran Homes, or Suncrest Home Health and Hospice Care in loving memory of Bob.

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