MILWAUKEE - Robert Bob Schrimpf passed into eternal life on March 28 as he had lived, surrounded by the prayers and stories of loving family members, with a bit of teary-eyed humor to gently ease the way. He was 92. There was no doubt where Bob was headed. There are at least 10 saints named Robert. Another Robert has quietly joined them. He wont stand out unless hes wearing plaid and chipping golf-ball- sized tufts of clouds through the others halos, or unless hes still greeting the group with handshakes, a smile, and a few quips a millennium from now. Bob was not born to lofty position or wealth. Many decades ago, his grandfather and grandmother operated Schrimpfs Place, a tavern on Lisbon Avenue across from Washington Park in Milwaukee. Bobs father worked briefly in the parts department at Harley-Davidson and then as a trash collector in Wauwatosa, where Bob and his two brothers grew up. After graduating from high school in Wauwatosa, he served in the Army as a medical technician during World War II, used the G.I. Bill to earn a bachelors degree in business at Marquette University, and worked briefly on the bottling line at Miller Brewing Company. He later rose to become treasurer and controller at the former Racine Hydraulics and Machinery Company, and ultimately president and treasurer of Racine Railroad Products. He and his late wife, Jo, a German immigrant, wove Catholic devotions and rituals deeply into their courtship and their married life as they raised five children. Their emphasis was on faith, family and education, especially Catholic education. They funded annual scholarships in physical therapy at Marquette. They gave to St. Francis de Sales Seminary and other causes, and they volunteered at church and in the community. If someone happened to notice a bishop or university president saying, Hi Bob. Hi Jo, their faithful lives of service were only momentarily visible. Otherwise, both Bob and Jo were unassuming, with a modest home, no trappings of wealth, and no desire for attention. Bob was gentlemanly and honest. A genuinely good man. A prince of patience. He was a saint for all seasons Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter
golf, baseball, football and basketball. They were longtime members of St. John Nepomuk Church in Racine before moving to Clement Manor retirement community in Greenfield. They attended Mass there and at St. Marys Church in Hales Corners. Bob served for years on the boards of St. Monicas Senior Citizens Home in Racine and Summit Metal Fabricating. Family members are appreciative of the wonderful staff and residents at Clement Manor. They are especially grateful to the staff of the Palliative Care Unit at Zablocki Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Those staff members were extraordinary in their care both of Bob and of the family members who kept a group vigil in his hospital room over five nights and days. Bob is survived by a son, Tom (Jane) Schrimpf; four daughters, Catherine "Katie" (Tom) Heinen, Anne (Mike) Conway, Barbara (EG) Schramka, and Mary Jo (Brent) Foye; and by a brother, George (Jean) Schrimpf. He also is survived by 11 grandchildren: Caitlin (Nick Ditter) Heinen; Jill (Paul) Damora, Paul and Dave Schrimpf; James Conway; Terri, Pat and Beth Schramka; and John, Joe and Luke Foye. There will be visitation with family members from 3:30 to 5:15 p.m. on Friday, April 21, in the Gathering Space at St. Marys Church, 9520 W. Forest Home Ave., Hales Corners. A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 5:30 p.m. A dinner will follow in the church hall with food provided by LilyWorks Catering, a program of Easterseals. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Bobs name to: Marquette University; St. Catherines High School, Racine; St. Vincent de Paul Society; Team Up! With Families; or Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee.
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