Stoughton- Robert J. DeGroot, age 80, passed away on Monday, June 23, 2014 at his home, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born in Green Bay on November 29, 1933 to Joe and Edna (Burkhardt) DeGroot. Bob married Beverly Picard on May 22, 1954 at St. Peter & Paul's Church in Green Bay. They were blessed with six children and recently celebrated 60 years of marriage.

Bob graduated from Central Catholic High School in Green Bay in 1951. He was a member of the Army National Guard for over 40 years, 34 years full-time, stationed in Green Bay and Madison. He served in various positions, the last being the personnel officer for the Active Guard and Reserve force in WI. Bob achieved both the highest enlisted rank, Command Sergeant Major, and the highest rank of Chief Warrant 4. His military awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the National Defense service medal, and others. He was recognized as a Hall of Honor recipient by the Department of Military Affairs and the WI Military Academy at Fort McCoy. After his military career ended in 1993, Bob was the Executive Director of the WI National Guard Association for over 6 years.

He enjoyed many years of fishing and golfing at courses around the country. Bob was a season ticket holder and shareholder of the Green Bay Packers since 1952. Bob and Bev traveled extensively throughout the country, visiting Europe and vacationing in Mexico during the winter.

Bob was an active member of St. Ann's Parish and School in Stoughton. He was a jack-of-all-trades, completing whatever tasks needed his attention. Bob was deeply devoted to his faith and in his support of Msgr. Healy. He was a long time member and officer with the local Lions Club and a Melvin Jones Award recipient for his work with the Lions.

Bob is survived by his loving wife, Bev; six children, Lyn (Eric) Instefjord, Randall (Patty Strong), Tina (Tim) Baker, Carole (Craig) Mason, Mary (Tim) Gill and Cheryl (Rob) Lennon; 11 grandchildren, Lissa and Kai Instefjord, Erik and Matt DeGroot, Bob and Dan Baker, Sam and Max Nobiensky, Megan and Ashley Gill and Holly Lennon; as well as one great grandson, Sylas Baker; sisters, Mary Lou (Perry) Miller and Shirley (Wally) Krueger; many other relatives and friends, including close friends Tom, Dick and Gary. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Alphonse and James; and his sister, Bernadette (John) Lurquin.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 12 noon on Friday, June 27, 2014 at St. Ann's Catholic Church, 323 N. Van Buren Street, Stoughton, with Fr. Randy Budnar and Msgr. Gerard Healy officiating. Friends and relatives are invited to a luncheon, immediately following the services, in Healy Hall. Burial will take place in St. Ann's Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 10:00 AM until the time of Mass on Friday.

Memorials may be made to St. Ann Endowment Fund, or to Agrace HospiceCare Inc.

Cress Funeral Service
206 W. Prospect Street
Stoughton, WI 53589
(608) 873-9244