Cover photo for Dr. Robert Datta's Obituary
Dr. Robert Datta Profile Photo

Dr. Robert Datta

October 5, 1918 — September 13, 2017

Dr. Robert Datta


Dr. Robert F. Datta, age 98, of Winona, passed away on Wednesday, September 13, 2017, at Winona Health, with family at his side.

He was born in Winona on October 5, 1918, to Vincent and Esther (Schultz) Datta.  Robert attended St. Thomas Grade School and Winona Senior High School, graduating in 1936.  He started working at the age of 14 at Griesbach Shoe Repair, then later at Arenz and Steinbauer Shoe Stores where he met the love of his life, Elaine L. Eggen of Rushford, MN.  They were married on August 18, 1941.

In 1941, Robert enlisted in the Army Air Corps, and was commissioned a pilot of the B-24 Liberator Bomber.  He served in the South Pacific with the 494th Bomb Group, and stayed active in the Air Force Reserve until 1969.  He retired after 27 years of service at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

In 1947, he enrolled at the Chicago College of Surgical Chiropody, and graduated summa cum laude with a Doctor of Podiatry degree.  He began his practice in Winona in 1950, and retired in 1991, with the majority of those years at 310 Choate Building.

He was a member of the Kiwanis, Sierra Club, VFW, American Legion, the American Podiatry Association, and also served for 40 years on the Watkins Home Board.

The most important things to him were his faith, family, country, the city of Winona, along with his work.  A ride through Winona was always an intriguing and interesting history lesson.  His interests were varied, but his joy for life and learning ran through them all.  After retirement, he could usually be found in his garden, or in the garage fixing something with a piece of tape and a wire.  An avid learner, he taught himself how to use a computer in his mid-80s, and was delighted with his first cell phone, both of which he enjoyed the last few years.

Robert is survived by his children: Doug (Kathleen), and Sue; grandchildren: Kevin (Megan) and Paul Datta; sisters: Maxine Speltz and Janis Vose; sisters-in-law: Betty Datta, Pat Eggen; Elsie Eggen, Joie  Eggen, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Elaine in 2016, after 75 years of marriage; son, Michael; parents; sister, Viola Turner; brother, Harold Datta; brothers-in-law: Jack Speltz, Rory Vose, Lyle Turner, Matt Eggen, Doug Eggen, John Eggen, and Al Eggen; and sister-in-law, Joan Eggen.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully asks that memorials be given to a veteran organization.

Visitation will be held from 9:30 AM until the funeral service at 10:30 AM on Tuesday, September 19, 2017, at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.  The Reverend Paul J. Breza will officiate.

Robert will be laid to rest at St. Mary’s Cemetery in a private family ceremony.

Online condolences or memories may be left at

Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Robert Datta, please visit our flower store.


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