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Neil Odell Robertson

Neil Odell Robertson

Feb. 14, 1943 - Mar. 13, 2023

Date of Service: Mar. 23, 2023

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BURLEY – Neil Odell Robertson, an 80-year-old resident of Burley, passed away Monday, March 13, 2023, at Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello.

Neil was born February 14, 1943, to Oscar Gilbert and Genevieve Williams Robertson in Salt Lake City, Utah. He graduated from Burley High School in 1961, and subsequently attended Utah State University and Brigham Young University and received a teaching certificate from Idaho State University. From 1966-1968 he served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War, which included being stationed in Italy for one and one-half years. This is where he learned the term “capiche,” a word he used in his daily vernacular.

He married Alicia Adams in 1968, and they had three children. They later divorced. He married Rae Dene Buckner Newcomb in 1990 and gained a son. He and Rae Dene were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple in 1992.

He had several jobs, from working in the family business as a Conoco oil man, selling cars and farm equipment, and working part time in a bike shop. His favorite occupation and the one that defined him was “teacher.” He taught U.S. history, psychology, and current events at Burley High School from 1986-2009. He enjoyed being the junior class advisor and going on Natural Helpers retreats where he was known as Mr. Rob and Big Mac Daddy. He was known for his impeccable style, being a great life coach, and helping teens find their way.

He served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Great Lakes Mission from 1964-1966. He later served in many church callings but loved being a Gospel Doctrine teacher best where he could teach the church basics along with “Neil’s thoughts and doctrine.”

He loved being a father. However, being a grandfather was his favorite role. He frequently reminded his daughter that he and his grandchildren had the same enemy… the parents! The grandkids knew time spent with him meant Tootsie Rolls, popcorn, caramel corn, frog eye salad, ice cream, along with trips to the park, hours being pushed on the swings, and his undivided attention.

Neil reminded his children often that, “only boring people are bored,” and taught them to entertain themselves and others with their favorite hobbies. Backpacking with friends and family was his happy spot. He was a very successful fisherman and seldom ever ate dehydrated food on his trips. He made sure to take the family camping every year. He was an avid reader and the bookshelves in his home are filled with fiction, nonfiction, self-help, psychology and philosophy. He always had music playing in the background of our lives whether it was classical music for Sundays, or drumming for cleaning on Saturdays. He loved electronics and made sure he had the latest electronic devices.

His favorite quote was, “I think, therefore I am.” Neil was ready for a philosophical, political, religious, or any other debate and discussion anytime of the day.

He is survived by his wife and best friend, Rae Dene Robertson; his children, Sean Scott Robertson, Michelle Robertson Selui (Masanga), and Cortlan Quinn Robertson; Rae Dene’s son, Todd J. Buckner; his grandchildren; and his siblings, Joel Scott Robertson (Diane), Gail Allen Robertson (Rosemary), and Beth Robertson Turner (Bob).

He was preceded in death by his parents.

The family expresses their sincere appreciation to the many medical doctors, nurses, and caregivers at Minidoka Memorial Hospital, Portneuf Medical Center, Rosetta Assisted Living, and Enhabit Home Health & Hospice who helped him enjoy his last years and months.

The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 23, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Burley 4th Ward, located at 515 E. 16th St., in Burley. Military rites will be provided by the Mini-Cassia Veterans Group. Burial will follow at Pleasant View Cemetery in Burley.

Family and friends will be received from 5 until 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, at Rasmussen-Wilson Funeral Home, 1350 E. 16th St., in Burley, and from 10 until 10:45 a.m. Thursday, preceding the funeral, at the church.

A live webcast of the Funeral Service will be available and maintained at the following link: https://youtu.be/Lo9oBFAIkUg.

Condolences for Neil Odell Robertson

Comments may be screened and removed by the staff as deemed appropriate.

From Jeff Blauer:
Mr. Robertson was one of the teachers that had the biggest impact on my life. He would demand the best from us, and firmly believed that we had more to give- He is one of the reasons that I decided to be a teacher too. The world is lessened by his passing, but the seeds that he planted in so many minds and hearts will stand as his legacy.
From Al and Kathy Barrus:
Our thoughts and prayers are with RaeDene and the family.
From Idaho State Veterans Cemetery Blackfoot:
Rest in peace with honor and gratitude for your service.
From Althea P:
So sorry for your loss.
From Maria Fuentes (Susie):
Rae Dene, l'm so sorry for your loss, prayers for you and your family.
From Dean Parks:
My sympathies to the Robertson family. Mr. Robertson was a Great teacher! His thought-provoking lessons challenged my point of view and helped me to grow.
From Gaylen Smyer:
I am saddened to hear of Neil's passing. We worked together at Burley High School for many years. He was a great man and a well-respected teacher. I wish the Robertson family all the best in the coming weeks and months. Neil will be missed but you can take comfort in knowing he made a difference in the lives of others.
From Amanda Gillette:
I don't remember hardly any of my teachers in High School but I do remember him. He made an impression on every one if his students. Oh man..... I had to write so many notes in his class. Pretty much everyday the overhead projector was on. I can truly say I loved having him as my US History teacher!!
From Kara Endres:
My husband and I both had Mr. Robertson in high school. We are in our 40s now and still talk about his class from time to time. We were by no means great students, but he managed to keep us engaged and interested. He taught so many students the value of free thinking. We are forever grateful. My heart goes out to his family at such a difficult time.
From A. Turner:
While difficult to see my Uncle Neil pass away, glad that he was released from the struggles that old age brought him. So many memories from my childhood are intertwined with Neil and my cousins from Burley. Proud to say that he's my uncle - until we meet again!
From Donna McBride:
Tom and I are so sorry for the loss of your sweet husband and best friend. Love and prayers of comfort, peace and solace to you and your family.
From Tim Gunderson:
I spent many years as a colleague of Neil's at Burley High School. He was always a class act. I loved seeing his variety of matching ties and suspenders. He will be greatly missed.
From Diann Beckham Smith:
May you find peace and comfort during this sad time. Neil was such a wonderful man. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
From Jean and Garth Freymiller:
Our most sincere condolences to you RaeDene and your whole family on Neil's passing! He was such a great classmate and friend! Our thoughts and prayers are with you!

From Marva &Tim giraud:
Raedean I'm so sorry for your loss. Our condolences to the family.
From Derrahl & Faye Holmes:
RaeDene and family,
We are so sorry for your loss.
Neil was such a good person, raised by the best parents. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.
From Jessica Johnson:
My condolences to the family. Mr. Rob. Was my favorite teacher in high school and was such an amazing man. He changed so many lives. I have so many memories with him! He will be very missed.
From Michelle Andersen:
Raedean I am so sorry. My thoughts n prayers go out to you and your family.
From Craig Mills:
My condolences to the Robertson family. I taught many years in the Social Studies department at Burley High School. He was just down the hall from me in both buildings. When I came in as a young teacher Neil was always there to give a bit of advice, or act as a mentor to me. I always like to wear jeans to school, but I never looked as good as Mr. Rob. Nobody looked better in jeans than Neil. But he did wear a shirt and sport jacket that made him look very distinguished. Rest in peace Neil.

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