Robert E. Soderberg, Obituary


Robert E. Soderberg, lifetime friend of Camp Eberhart has passed.

Robert E. Soderberg, 76, of Granger passed away at home with his family on Sunday, September 4, 2022. 

Bob was born the middle child to Edgar and Margery (Nelson) Soderberg on December 10, 1945 in South Bend. He was a lifelong area resident graduating from Central High School in 1964 where he was a member of the swim team.  After high school he attended Indiana University, Bloomington graduating in 1968 with a BS in Business Administration while also working as the dining hall supervisor.  While working as a teacher at Harrison Elementary school following college, he started the Outdoor Education program for South Bend schools. This program lets 5th grade students experience the outdoors at Camp Eberhart, a YMCA camp on Corey Lake.  As a youth he had been a counselor at Camp Eberhart, and as an adult he served as president of the Camp Eberhart board.

Bob left teaching after a few years taking a position at People’s Federal Savings which became People’s First Federal Savings and Loan in Mishawaka, IN where he was the President and CEO.  He was active in the Downtown Mishawaka Business Association during this time.  Always interested in housing, he was especially talented with mortgage financing and this became his lifelong vocation.  He worked with financial institutions as well as individual homebuilders.  Although it was short-lived, he also started his own mortgage company – Precedent Mortgage. He was active in the community as board member and president of the South Bend Heritage Association.

Bob met his wife, Margel, while teaching at Harrison school and proposed after dating only 2 weeks.  They married June 6, 1970 in Alexandria, Indiana.  They had three children and were married for 52 years.

Family vacations were in a second hand pop-up camper. He always preferred staying in state campgrounds and national parks where he could enjoy hiking trails and sitting around a campfire. He was happiest when he was outdoors. Among his fondest memories were the good times he spent at Long Timber, a hunting camp in West Branch, Michigan and fishing at Copley Lake. He was a voracious reader and a World War II expert.  He was never without a book.

Bob is survived by his wife, Margel (Walker); a daughter, Wendy Soderberg of Granger; two sons, Scott Soderberg (Lisa) of Rotonda West, Florida and Paul Soderberg (Lauren) of Bonney Lake, WA; two brothers, Bill Soderberg of Edwardsburg, MI and Don Soderberg of Eureka Springs, AR; and three wonderful grandchildren – Dusty, Lena, and Olle.

Visitation will be Tuesday, September 13 from 4-6 p.m. at the McGann Hay,  Granger Chapel, 13260, enter off Cherry Rd. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Camp Eberhart 132 Campership program would honor his memory. This can be done through the Camp Eberhart Alumni Association, 205 S. Martha, Suite 201, Angola, IN, 46703, designated for camperships. Burial will be at Highland Cemetery.

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