Robert R. "Bob" Weaver, age 85, of Madison, passed away on January 22, 2013 at the University of Wisconsin Hospital, with his family by his side.
Bob was born on October 8, 1927 to Lem J. Weaver and Elvy Hughes in La Mesa, New Mexico. He and his family (older brother John and sister Merle) were part of the great workers' migration of the 1930s, when his family was forced to take whatever work was available from the mining towns in New Mexico and Arizona to the orchard fields and forests of Oregon and California. Bob attended eight grammar schools and three high schools and was hard working from a very young age, undertaking a variety of youth jobs including carrying water to silver miners and laying railroad ties. Bob was a great lover of the outdoors and animals. For fun he and John would catch wild donkeys and ride them over the summer, and while in northern California he learned to love camping and fishing, a pass-time that he continued to enjoy throughout his life. Bob also adored dogs and hated to see their suffering, once long ago losing part of a finger to save his bulldog from a fight. But it was Lois, his loyal white Labrador, who brought him the most happiness later in life.
After his high school graduation at age 17 he first tried join the US Navy by stowing away on a navy transport with John, only later to be officially enlisted with his parents' support. He served from 1945 to 1954 at the US Naval Air Station in Oakland California. Beginning his career as a Storekeeper, 3rd class he worked in various positions achieving the rank of Disbursing Clerk 1st class. After an honorable discharge he went on to be an active Naval Reservist with the US Naval Surface Division - Seabees - in Madison Wisconsin until 1968. During his service he received numerous commendations and was consistently praised for excellent service and performance of the highest caliber. One of his commanding officers commented, "Bob always acted in the highest tradition of the Navy and got the most from his men. He was extremely impressive and wore his uniform with great pride."
Bob married the love of his life, Barbara Ann Flood, in 1951 while stationed in Oakland. They moved to Madison in 1952 and lived on the Central and West sides of Madison for over 50 years where they had three children, Mary, Michael and Thomas.
Bob worked for 34 years as a Permit Supervisor for the State of Wisconsin, Department of Transportation, Division of Highways, until his retirement in 1989. He was also an active member of Bethel Lutheran Church, ushering there for over 30 years. He continued to be active with the Christian Men's and Friendly Visitors groups at Bethel. Bob also adopted the Norwegian traditions of Barb's family and was a long time member of the Idun Lodge of the Sons of Norway. He was an excellent lefse maker and loved lutefisk dinners.
Bob is survived by his wife of 62 years, Barbara, three children, Mary (Jeff); Michael (Teresa) and Thomas (Rachel) and seven grandchildren: Evan, Lucas, Amy, Sara, Ruby, Matilda and Abigail as well as his sister Merle. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother John Weaver.
Visitation will be held at Cress Funeral Home, 3610 Speedway Road on Friday, February 8, 2013 from 4 - 7 p.m. A memorial service will be held at Bethel Lutheran Church, 312 Wisconsin Avenue, on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. Visitation will be held at Bethel from 10:00 am until time of service. Interment of cremains will be at the Bonnet Prairie Cemetery in a private service at a later date.
In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to Bethel Lutheran Church - Media Ministry; Oakwood Foundation or the Bonnet Prairie Foundation.
Thanks to all the doctors and nurses at the Cardiac ICU at the University of Wisconsin Hospital. A special thank you to Stephanie and the entire staff at the UW Preventative Cardiology Clinic for your dedication, friendship and watchful eye as Bob did his cardiac rehab over the years.
Dad, there will never be enough words to tell you how much we all love you and miss you. Rest easy.