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Robert T. "Bobby Vee" Velline – Obituary

Name: Robert T. "Bobby Vee" Velline

Age: 73

Born: 04-30-1943

Died: 10-24-2016

St. John the Baptist Parish Center, Collegeville, Minnesota

St. John's Abbey Church, Collegeville, Minnesota

Mass of Christian Burial will be on Wednesday, November 2nd, at 12:00 Noon at St. John’s Abbey Church in Collegeville, for Robert T. “Bobby Vee.” Velline, age 73, of Big Watab Lake, who died on Monday, October 24th, at Wellstead of Rogers Care Facility in Rogers. Reverend Greg Miller OSB will officiate. Burial will be in the parish cemetery. Friends may call on Tuesday, November 1st, between 4:00-8:00 PM at St. John the Baptist Parish Center in Collegeville (on Fruit Farm Road) and on Wednesday one hour prior to services at the Church.


Robert was born April 30th, 1943 in Fargo to Sidney and Saima (Tapanila) Velline. He married Karen Bergen on December 28, 1963 in Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Detroit Lakes. He became known as “Bobby Vee” and embarked on a worldwide music career. In 1980 he moved back to Central Minnesota to raise his family with his wife Karen. They were so very proud of their involvement with the “Rock around the Clock” fundraiser for Cathedral High School in St. Cloud for 24 years. Eventually this evolved into “Joe Town Rocks”. Bob was awarded the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider award in 1999. Karen and Bob were awarded the Paramount Theatre’s Life Time Achievement Award for their contribution to the Arts in Central Minnesota in 2011. He was inducted into several Rock n Roll Halls of Fame including the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame. He was a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Collegeville. In the last seven years, Bob fought the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Survivors include his children, Jeffrey Velline (Cindy Abercrombie) Avon, Tommy Velline (Kathy) St. Cloud, Robby Velline (Mary) Prior Lake and Jennifer Velline Whittet (Barron) Buffalo, grandchildren, Bennett, Liam, Alison, Saima and Calianna Velline.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Karen on August 3rd, 2015, brothers, Sidney Jr. and William Velline.

Memorials are preferred to Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (www.alzfdn.org) or St. John the Baptist Parish in Collegeville.

The family would especially like to thank the staffs at Wellstead of Rogers and Ridgeview Medical Center for the great care given their dad near the end of his life.

Guestbook for Robert T. "Bobby Vee" Velline

Harry Simpson
August 7, 2022, 12:08 am
Godspeed Bobby, and thank you for sharing a part of your life with us, the wonderful music memories, and some of the anthems of my youth, and beyond. Unforgettable.
, Through love of "the music"
April 12, 2018, 12:39 pm
His talent and contribution to music lives on when we hear his voice over the Radio airwaves
Glenn & Kristy Logan
, Fans from Montana
November 6, 2016, 4:24 am
Our condolences to the Velline family on the passing of your father. We had the privilege of visiting with your father twice and what a genuine gentleman he was. We loved his music and his wholesomeness that is lacking in our world today. Heaven is rejoicing his arrival home.
Mark & Liza Moulton
, Fan
November 6, 2016, 1:12 am
Our Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Clem and Noreen Aadland
, Fan
November 3, 2016, 1:33 pm
Dear Velline family, We were so sorry to hear about Bob's passing.We had met Bob twice,at a Kool Deadwood Nites concert and at a family wedding. I was able to have a one on one conversation with him,mostly talking about his Deadwood concert and his meeting with Elvis in Las Vegas. He and his band had played in Deadwood about ten years ago. Numerous singers were there also and the band played for them all. It was an awesome night of music for us "baby boomers"! Thank you for sharing your dad and his music with us. God's peace to you .
Jeanie and Joanie Jamestown, N. D.
, True fans always
November 2, 2016, 12:27 am
Sincere condolences to the Velline family. Growing up in Jamestown, N. D. we remember when he first started. Bobby Vee will be missed but will never be forgotten and music will live on...for he has always been our favorite. We never failed to visit and get a picture with him after concerts we attended. We will cherish those great memories. He was a great guy and entertainer. Hope all your wonderful memories of both your parents sustain you all. We look forward to continue hearing the Velline's entertain.
LeAnne Velline and Family
, Sister-in-Law
November 1, 2016, 3:33 am
So sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers at this time. Bobby was a very nice down to earth man.
Dave McGrath
, Friend
October 31, 2016, 10:28 pm
I knew Bobby through my association with Gene Pitney and Peter Noone. Working with Peter we did a number of shows with Bobby and from the first time I met him til the last time I saw him at a show in Iowa with Johnny Tillotson and Chris Montez he was always, always the sweetest, gentlest, kindest man I ever met in the music business. Gene and Bobby never worked together in the 21 years that I worked with Gene---but---Bobby was mentioned in every single Gene Pitney show til the day Gene died. "Rubber Ball" was an extraordinarily important song to Gene's career as a songwriter. And he fully realized that Bobby's massive hit record gave it the zest, joy, life---and---class that no one else could. Bobby Vee classed up that average song and made it a great, great pop record is what Gene always said. In every single live show---anywhere in the world---Gene paid homage to the most important people in his career: Burt Bacharach, Hal David, Carole King, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, Ricky Nelson---and---Bobby Vee. Gene Pitney's family and friends mourn with you in the loss of such a superb entertainer---and---an even more superb person. God bless Bobby Vee and take care of his family, friends and loved ones.
October 30, 2016, 1:28 pm
As a teenager, from a little farm town, not far from Bobby V's hometown, Fargo, ND, I have great memories of Bobby V's music, dancing to his songs, and his good looks, which made him a great teenage "heart throb". Bobby V has passed on, but his music and the great memories he made for all of his fans, will live on forever! Bobby V made such great contributions to this world, and now he is singing with the angels, making Heaven even a more beautiful place.
Jennifer Lucken
October 30, 2016, 12:55 am
I'm so saddened by the loss of your loved one. I became familiar with his music from my parents. I have a beach ball that is autographed from a concert I went to and had the pleasure of meeting Mr Bobby Vee.. He will be dearly missed.. Some day will meet again like a rubber ball I'll come bouncing back to you.
Kevin diLauri
, Observer
October 29, 2016, 1:31 pm
Just a note to the family to say that reading of your dad's passing brought up a lot of memories of when life was simpler and music could make you feel good without the help of controlled substances....to be honest, it's been a long time since I heard one of Bobby's songs, but after seeing the obit online,I played "Take Good Care...." You know, it took me directly back to my youth for a while. That song, and Bobby's other classics, always bring a happy and contented feeling---they're an indelible part of our young adulthood, a simpler and more peaceful time. He must have been a great guy. He certainly knew how to entertain. Our condolences to you---
Don Larson
, Friend
October 29, 2016, 1:15 pm
Where does one start to say the things that I want to say about Bob. I would like to just remember him as a wonderful friend and not just as a singer of songs. We were together so many times and so many places, I guess I could write a book about all the good times we had together. From the first time I met him in Denver after him hearing me on the radio doing a Buddy Holly tribute show in 1979, that's when it all started. Skiing together with the whole family at Copper Mountain, Colorado. Him and the whole family coming to my house in Evergreen, CO. Our great times together at the Buddy Holly tributes in Clear Lake and Lubbock. I remember him telling me that Clear Lake was a weekend of unfinished sentences. I never told him how great he was, that was a given. We always managed to just talk about our kids, doing work around the house, just a lot of general things. He was a wonderful person to all that came near him and that smile was always there. There was far more to him than the music that's for sure. I am glad I got to know him and to become his friend and I will honor him and Karen the rest of my life. Rave On Bobby!
roy clough
, fan
October 29, 2016, 7:14 am
So saddened to hear of his passing but the music lives on
Jerry Bond
, long time fan
October 28, 2016, 11:54 pm
Bobby will be sorely missed but his music will live on forever.
Michele Schlough
, friend and fan
October 28, 2016, 9:28 pm
You made so many people happy with your songs and your kindness to all. RIP Bobby, you will be missed.
Lucille Cumming
, Fan
October 28, 2016, 7:54 pm
Bobby, Thank you for giving us your voice and your talent. We will keep your songs going and always honor you. Rest in Peace, sweet Prince, rest in peace.
"Jamie" Goerger
, Acquaintance
October 28, 2016, 7:00 pm
I knew Bobby from his early days in Fargo. His band would practice down the street from our house in Stillman's garage, and my brother and I would sit on the curb and listen. Years later, I met Bobby again in Fargo, when I was the female vocalist with the Dick and Ward Dunkirk band. Bobby's music and memory will live on forever; he helped make the world a better place with his musical talents. Rest in peace, Bobby.
Lee & Lori Gilkerson
, Friend
October 28, 2016, 5:06 pm
R.I.P. My friend. A job well done, A life well lived! You'll be sorely missed by all of us.
Samantha Hurd
, Aquaintence
October 28, 2016, 4:44 pm
What a beautiful man, with beautiful music. As was once said, If you believe in forever Then life is just a one-night stand If there's a rock and roll heaven Well you know they've got a hell of a band and Bobby, sadly for us, is the newest member. He will be missed by all.
Barbara Rau
, Friend
October 28, 2016, 2:59 pm
Bobby I will never forget the wonderful memories in Lubbock and Clear Lake. Your music will live on. I know you are in Heaven watching down on us. My heartfelt sympathy to your children and grandchildren.
Richard, Carol, Tony, & Brittney Petty
, good friend
October 28, 2016, 2:31 pm
Our thoughts & prayers will remain with your family. Bobby was so, so sweet to us over the years we were blessed to be with him and each of you. The world is a better place for all the people privileged to know him. We loved our last times with him in Clovis when he and Karen spent 3-days with us. Wonderful memories!! god bless each of you.
Jim Cates
, friend
October 28, 2016, 11:11 am
Kind, caring, giving, devoted to his family, all describe this wonderful man. My condolences from a Kansas friend. You'll be missed, but you are leaving behind so many wonderful memories.
Margaret Mary Fahy
, Friend and a life long fan
October 28, 2016, 8:08 am
Thank you for all the music and lovely memories. Always in my heart and thoughts. Reunited with your beautiful Karen. Rip dear Bobby. 💜
Kate Russell
, SAN Felipe friend
October 28, 2016, 5:10 am
I'm so sorry for your loss. I so enjoyed our camping experience in Mexico so many years ago. Many Blessings.
Cathy Severino of New York
, Fan
October 28, 2016, 4:36 am
Thank you for all the wonderful songs that you gave us. My sincere condolences to the family. RIP Bobby.
Betty Capps
, Long time fan
October 28, 2016, 3:20 am
Thank you for singing me to sleep on my little turquoise and gold transistor radio while I was in HS. Robby and Jenny have taken top-notched care of you. Your family, including two little grand ladies, have loved and admired you. We will ALL miss you, but we have your memory and music to always remember you forever. Thank you for your gift to us.
Matthew Leach
, N/A
October 28, 2016, 3:00 am
Way back in 1999, Ed and George of Yesterday's Memories introduced me to you while out in Clear Lake, IA at the Winter Dance Party. I loved seeing you perform along with the Big Bopper, Jr. and Freddy Cannon. RIP and may you rock and roll up in heaven with. many of the great artists there.
David Johnson
, Fellow musician
October 28, 2016, 2:31 am
We all appreciate Mr. Velline as being a good human first and a celebrity second. As a musician from the early days we enjoyed seeing him rise to National attention. But, he was only a man, a good man, but most of all a father, a brother, and a son.
J Studnek
, fan
October 28, 2016, 2:13 am
RIP Bobby, Thanks for the many years of wonderful music and memories, a legend you were and always will be. You are with your loved ones again, God Bless.
RIP Bobby Vee = The best friend a love ballad ever had.
, Biggest Fan
October 28, 2016, 2:09 am
See you on the other side, my friend. R.I.P.
RIP Bobby Vee = The best friend a love ballad ever had.
, Biggest Fan
October 28, 2016, 2:08 am
See you on the other side, my friend. R.I.P.
Jon Badeaux
, Friend
October 28, 2016, 1:22 am
Missing you, my friend. I'll visit you again in Rock and Roll Heaven.
George Greene
, Fan
October 28, 2016, 12:32 am
My deepest sympathy to all of his family and friends. A truly major loss.
Mikki Parkhill
, Fan
October 28, 2016, 12:29 am
My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Velline family. Bobby was such an amazing performer and showed how much he loved his fans. His music will live on and continue to take us back to a simpler time. RIP Bobby. You will be greatly missed.
Adam & Rebecca Umbreit
, Friends
October 28, 2016, 12:17 am
Our best wishes and prayers to the entire family, friends, and relatives. Bob was a wonderful heartfelt guy who brought a lot of joy and happiness to everyone who knew him. I will forever remember helping to record his music and taking part in all of the Vee adventures. May you be in peace Bob
Bill Montague and Mary E. Drummond
, Fans
October 28, 2016, 12:08 am
Our heartfelt sympathy to Robby and all the family.
Barbara B Cooper
, Fan
October 28, 2016, 12:07 am
Thank you for giving your voice to the world. Some very early memories - all very good. RIP
Carl and Sharon Veno
, Friend
October 28, 2016, 12:07 am
May God Bless and comfort Robby, Tommy, Jeff, and Jen, all their families, friends and fans at this time. We were so happy to meet Bobby back in the 80's. I feel we became friends on that day. We will miss u Bobby, but we will never forget all the great music u blessed us with. We "LOVE YOU MORE THAN WE CAN SAY" May u now be WALKING WITH YOUR ANGEL KAREN" in Heaven. God Bless!!
, Personal Assistant/Merchandise Mangager/Friend
October 27, 2016, 11:43 pm
His guidance both as employer and friend, will forever be cherished and never forgotten. The years spent were magical and memorable, I have much of what I have, because of Robert Velline, a truly decent man.
Nancy Steele Grabarczyk
, Devoted fan
October 27, 2016, 11:30 pm
Thanks for sharing Bobby with us. Loved his music for many many years, since the 60s. His legend will live forever. Condolences to all.
John Mogen
, Acquaintance and President of SDRock and Rock Hall of Fame
October 27, 2016, 11:19 pm
To all of the Velline family--our deepest sympathy in Bobby's passing. When he was inducted into the SD Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Bobby and the entire band were nothing but gracious and humble. The entire experience was uplifting to all those in attendance. Thank you for sharing Bobby!
anna lawrence
, devoted fan
October 27, 2016, 10:45 pm
You will never be forgotten your fan forever
maureen norman
, life long fan
October 27, 2016, 9:49 pm
To Bobbys family. R I P our dearest teen idol Bobby Vee. Part of our lives since the 60s.. A guy that had time to speak to fans the world over and had time for picture taking. Gone but will always be with us x
Betty Card
, friend and fan
October 27, 2016, 6:21 pm
To All the Family of Bobby. Sending my deepest condolences and sympathy on the passing of your father. There is no greater sadness then losing your parent and you all have lost both too close together, that is too much for anyone to go through. The only consolation in all of this is: I am sure he is smiling right now and beaming with joy of how proud he is of his children and grandchildren, but also knowing he is out of his pain and suffering and now in the arms of his beloved Karen. Bobby was one of the Greatest Legends who walked this Earth as a Man of God, Father,Grandfather,Adopted Father, Friend, Entertainer, Artist, and a True Earth Angel. May he RIP and may God wrap his loving arms around you to help you through these hard times! Lifting Prayers and Loving Thoughts! I love you all! Betty
Twyla Bobbitt
, Friend
October 27, 2016, 1:11 pm
To all family and friends, sorry for everyone's loss. He was a great entertainer and great friend to all. He had a smile that was shared by everyone! I will miss him dearly! Love you Bobby Vee! Rest In Peace!
Robert Hanson
, Fan
October 27, 2016, 9:10 am
To the family of Bob Velline. I am so sorry for your loss. May our God bring each and everyone of you comfort, and deliver you peace. His music, I will always remember and highly cherish
Barbara Fenton
, Fan
October 26, 2016, 6:13 pm
Heart, Love and Prayers to the Velline Family...
Jeffrey McCall
, Hard Core Music Fan
October 25, 2016, 10:12 pm
Yesterday when I played "Take Good Care of My Baby". It brought tears to my eyes. Knowing that Alzheimer's had taken your life. You had such great talent. When I was younger. I was surprised to know that we had a celebrity in Central MN. I have some 45s. Of your music. My grandmother listened to your music as well and she had suffered from Alzheimer's. Everytime I play your music I will pray for you everyday Bobby. You will be missed RIP.
Jeffrey McCall
, Hard Core Music Fan
October 25, 2016, 10:06 pm
Yesterday when I played "Take Good Care of My Baby". It brought tears to my eyes. Knowing that Alzheimer's had taken your life. You had such great talent. When I was younger. I was surprised to know that we had a celebrity in Central MN. I have some 45s. Of your music. My grandmother listened to your music as well and she had suffered from Alzheimer's. Everytime I play your music I will pray for you everyday Bobby. You will be missed RIP.
Tom and Betsy Faryniarz
, Devoted Fans
October 25, 2016, 8:51 pm
Your beautiful voice and music will live on forever. You will be dearly missed.
jill berg
October 25, 2016, 8:20 pm
your smile will shine on! hugs to the family.

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