MADISON -

Robert John "Bob" Zirkel, age 84, of Madison passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, at Oak Park Place in Madison after struggling with Alzheimer’s for many years.

He was born on April 1, 1929, in Madison, the son of John Baptist and Mary Ellen Zirkel. Bob graduated from Central High School in 1947, and married the love of his life, Genevieve, in 1950, and in his words, "I’m a very lucky man to have a wife like her." He was a member of the National Guard and worked at Thermogas after high school and then at Gardner Baking Company and Covance as a security guard until his retirement in 1994.

Bob was a dedicated, loyal employee and always had a smile and "hello" for everyone. He always made sure his family was provided for. Bob loved singing and whistling around the house, bowling, jigsaw puzzles, gardening, teasing, and having a Coca-Cola. He was a member and financial secretary for the Knights of Columbus.

Bob is survived by his wife, Genevieve “Genny”; children, Linda (Daniel) Baer, Robert “Rob” Zirkel, Judy Atkins, Laurie (Jeff Loshek) Zirkel Loshek, and Amy (April) Zirkel; sisters, Mary Jane (Tom) Beale and Dorothy Alverson; grandchildren, Buddy Troy and Randall Baer, Megan (John) VanRees, Danielle (fiancé, Jason Coterel) Zirkel, Robert Zirkel, Jesse and Tony Rohowetz, Gerry Atkins, and Benjamin Loshek; great-granddaughter, Nora VanRees; sister-in-law, Fran Zirkel; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Jeanne (Fred) Bisbee; and brother, James Zirkel.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Bob will be held at ST. BERNARD CATHOLIC CHURCH, 2450 Atwood Ave., Madison, at 11 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, with Father Michael Radowicz presiding. Burial will be at Highland Memory Gardens.

Visitation will be held at the church from 9 a.m. until the time of service on Monday. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin, 517 N. Segoe Rd., Suite 301, Madison, WI 53705 or to St. Bernard Catholic Church.

The family wishes to extend a special thank you to the nurses, CNA’s, and the staff on the 2nd floor Memory Care at Oak Park Place and Agrace HospiceCare for the loving care of Bob. Life is nothing but a drop in the bucket compared to what eternity is.

Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.