Robert “Bob” L. Klapper died peacefully at Gundersen Health System Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, in La Crosse, at the age of 72.
Bob is survived by his beloved wife and best friend, Nance; daughters, June (Jerry) Schumacher and Lori (Jeff) Merkes; stepchildren, Anne Streckenbach and special friend, Dan, and Joseph (Kerry) Dereszynski; grandchildren, Brooklynn Allen, Brandon (Brittny) Allen, Seth and Luke Merkes, Mollie Masingille and Thomas Dereszynski; great-granddaughter, Annika Masingille; father, Robert F. Klapper; brother, Gary (Ann) Klapper; sister, Barbara (Gary) Wegner.
Bob was preceded in death by his mother, Virginia “Jean” Klapper; brother, Dennis Klapper; and granddaughter, Hannah.
Bob was born March 31, 1945, in Neenah, Wis., to Robert and Virginia Klapper. He graduated from Menasha High School in 1963. He married Sandra Breuhl in 1965 and they welcomed daughters, June in 1966 and Lori in 1967. He graduated from UW-La Crosse in 1967 with a degree in education. For 10 years Bob enjoyed being a phys. ed. teacher and athletic coach for the Sussex Hamilton School District, until he moved and took over his parent’s restaurant in Fremont, in 1978. Bob married Nance in 1979 and together they ran the Wolf River Diner in Fremont until 2000. That year they moved back to Nance’s hometown of La Crosse with grandchildren Mollie and Thomas.
Music was his passion. While in high school and college he participated in band, choir and musical theater. Presently he was active in the church choir at Our Savior’s Lutheran and sang tenor with the Coulee Chordsmen and his quartet, The Hi Lo Men. An avid Packers and Badgers fan, Bob loved the outdoors — fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and riding Harleys and horses. He was a man of deep faith, a man who loved his church, God, his family and his dogs. He was a wonderful and devoted son, husband, father, and grandfather and will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him.
A funeral service at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 612 Division St., La Crosse, is scheduled at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, with a reception to follow. Pastor Joanne S. Richmond will officiate. Friends may call from 1 p.m. until the time of services Saturday at the church.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Come For Supper, in care of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. The family would like to thank the first responders, the Critical Care and Palliative Care Units and staff at Gundersen Health Systems. The Schumacher-Kish Funeral & Cremation Services of La Crosse are in charge of arrangements. Online guestbook is available at www.schumacher-kish.com.