Robert Douglas Larranaga

Larranaga, Robert Douglas age 78 of Bloomington, Minnesota passed away October 2, 2019 after a courageous battle with Multiple Myeloma, a blood cancer. Bob was born in the Bronx, New York to John and Eileen Larranaga. From an early age he was an early riser, hustling to the basketball court on Saturdays to sharpen his jump shot and quick ball handling skills. His hard work paid off and he received a full scholarship to play basketball for St. John's University. During his college years he enjoyed writing for the college newspaper and secured a night job at United Press International writing game highlights for the sports section. Bob met the love of his life Mary O'Donnell in Manhattan at a dance, and from then on he commuted by subway from the Bronx to see her in Long Island. He saved his money for "long distance" phone calls to Mary from across New York Boroughs. The two married on December 29,1962, and embarked on a new life together as Bob's new career took them into the "flyover territory" that is the Midwest, eventually settling in Minnesota, a move Bob considered one of the best decisions they ever made. In Minneapolis, Bob worked for the advertising agency Campbell Mithun before launching his own company, Associates & Larranaga Advertising. Bob was a gifted writer who enjoyed the creative process, and always said that writing commercials and jingles were his favorite part of his career. Some of his achievements included coining Dairy Queen's Scrumpdillyicious catchphrase and co-writing lyrics in the 1970s for a TV commercial with a folk singer who later hit it big: John Denver. Bob enjoyed spending time with his wife Mary so much that he persuaded the busy mother of three children to join him in his advertising and marketing business. She hired the talent and managed operations while he and his creative team produced award-winning work. Bob and Mary look back on those days with fond memories and appreciate all the co-workers, clients and friends they had the great fortune to partner with over the years. As a father, Bob was a kid at heart, often wrestling in the living room with his young boys until they grew strong enough to pin him to the floor. He would even let his daughter give him pedicures while he was babysitting (napping) on the couch. He enjoyed reading stories to his grandchildren or creating new stories out of thin air. Bob loved being a father and grandfather. He was so proud of his children and grandchildren. Throughout his life, Bob happily engaged in his community and volunteered his time. He served his home church, St. Edwards as a lay minister. At the senior community that has been their home, Bob helped create marketing materials and tended the garden. Some of the most meaningful volunteer work Bob and Mary did was bringing the Eucharist to the elderly and homebound. They were very grateful that, in the end, others from his community were bringing Eucharist to him as well. Bob and his family are also incredibly grateful for the caregivers who compassionately cared for Bob day and night throughout his healthcare odyssey. Bob's creative work didn't stop when he was off the clock, nor did it end once he reached retirement. In his precious free time (early mornings) he wrote and published several children's books, novels, and even devotional books. Bob was an incredibly tech-savvy septuagenarian, eagerly accepting the challenge of new technology and using it to continue creating. When Bob returned to writing poetry and song lyrics in the summer of 2018, he collaborated with a singer and created a music video that Bob posted on YouTube. When Bob revealed the song, about a man who wonders if Jesus will be there on that final day, his loved ones were in awe at the spiritual and prescient message. Six months later, Bob received an unexpected cancer diagnosis. Seven months after that diagnosis he entered Heaven. While we can't speak for God, those that love Bob would say with much certainty that Jesus was there for him on that day and every day. Song: "Will You Be There?"… Bob is survived by his loving wife of 56 years Mary (O'Donnell); children: Bob (Moira) Larranaga, Jim (Jennifer) Larranaga and Jeanne (Jeff) Muench ; 6 grandchildren: Jake, Anna, Shane, Emily, Ryan and Megan; Siblings: Greg (Jeanne) Larranaga, Kathleen (Jack) Glackin, Ann Marie Larranaga, Jim (Liz) Larranaga, Mary (Kevin) Hegmann. He was preceded in death by his parents John and Eileen Larranaga and brother-in-law Roy (Karen) Thorpe. Funeral service Thursday, October 10th, Church of St. Edward, 9401 Nesbitt Avenue South, Bloomington, MN 55437. Visitation: 10 AM. Service 11 AM. Memorials to Catholic Charities Twin Cities or Memorial Blood Centers, MN. Werness Brothers 952-884-8145