Robert W. “Robb” Spellman, 36, of Des Moines passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. He was born in Des Moines, Iowa on Oct. 4, 1981, to Kassie and Patrick Spellman.
He graduated from Dowling Catholic High School in 2000 and from the University of Iowa in 2004 with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and in Communications. Additionally, Robb received his Bachelor of Arts degree in K-12 Art Education from Grandview University in 2009.
Robb’s heart was larger than life. His passion, kindness, and charisma contributed to a successful career as an art teacher and educator to thousands of students in the Johnston Community School District. Also an enormously talented, well-known, and gifted artist for the past 13 years, he had the privilege of painting and exhibiting his work in a sun-filled studio in the heart of downtown Des Moines. In Robb’s own words, “I am really interested in the journey of a painted line and where a brushstroke can take you visually.” His use of vibrant color in his paintings expressed the beauty of life. Robb displayed his beautiful work in art galleries in Des Moines, Omaha, Chicago, and the East Coast.
Robb loved growing up in the country with his parents, two brothers, and two sisters—all of whom adored him to pieces. He was the very best son, brother, and uncle to his loving family. Robb cherished family get-togethers, especially long dinners around the table with all of his family.
Robb’s creativity, along with his ability to touch the lives of so many people, truly made him one-of-a-kind. He was a warm-hearted and gentle soul, and the positive influence he made on those around him will continue to live on. Robb was kind, witty, intelligent, and he spoke from his heart. He had a wonderful sense of humor, a warm smile, and a twinkle in his eye. He was loved by everyone who was lucky enough to have met him.
Robb is survived by his loving parents, Patrick and Kassie (Laughlin) Spellman, Sr. of Des Moines; his four siblings, Sean (Courtney) Spellman of West Des Moines, Meaghan (Tyler) Tigges of Urbandale, Molly Spellman (Travis Larsen) of West Des Moines, and Patrick (Lindsey) Spellman, Jr. of Des Moines; his ten nieces and nephews, Riley, Walker, Maggie, and Cassidy Spellman; Mairin, Sloane, and CamrynTigges; Clara and Jake Larsen; Patrick “Tripp” James Spellman III; and numerous uncles, aunts, and cousins. Everyone loved Robb.
Robb was preceded in death by his grandparents, T.J. “Jerry” and Arlene “Jake” Laughlin, and Edward and Rose Mary Spellman.
A visitation will be held prior to the funeral service from 9-11 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church 1627 Grand Avenue, West Des Moines. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. immediately following the visitation. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Des Moines Art Center, Robert W. Spellman Scholarship Fund to support student artists (4700 Grand Ave, Des Moines IA, 50312). Online condolences may be left for the family at www.IlesFuneralHomes.com. Hold your loved ones close and celebrate each and every day together.