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Robert E. Burmester
robert burmester
Robert E. Burmester, 1941-2014 - photo by Contributed

Robert E. ‘Bob’ Burmester, 73, passed away on Feb. 18, 2014 at Hope Hospice, Fort Myers, Fla., from complications from Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. Bob was born on Jan. 30, 1941 on the family farm in the Dellona Township, Reedsburg, Wis., to Ruth (Seymour) and Christian Burmester.

He is survived by his wife, Jill (Gonyer) Burmester, his children, Derek (Michelle) Burmester of Omaha, Neb., Kristin Reid of Sun Prairie, Wis., Jenna (Rick) Stoltz of Spring Green, Wis., his five precious grandsons, Dylan and Logan, Nate, and Charlie and Joe, and his brother, William (Beverly) Burmester. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Neil Burmester.

Bob graduated from Reedsburg High School in 1959. He earned a Bachelors of Science degree from UW-Eau Claire and later a Master’s Degree in Education Administration from UW-Superior. Bob and Jill were married on Aug, 24, 1963 in Spooner, Wis. Bob began his life-long dedication to education as a teacher in Cameron, Wis. A few years later he moved his family to Hillsboro, Wis., where he served as a Principal and District Administrator at the Hillsboro High School for 18 years. In 1986 Bob made a change and moved to Marathon, Wis., and served as the District Administrator for 12 more years. Bob took an early retirement but found that his passion for working wasn’t fulfilled yet and worked many more years as an interim District Administrator for numerous school districts in Wisconsin and Iowa.

Bob was active in every community in which he lived, as a member of the Jaycees, treasurer for the Lions’ Club, fierce competitor of euchre, and solid shuffleboard player.

Earlier in life, Bob had many accomplishments as an exceptional athlete. At the age of 10 he was a member of the first Little League team in Wisconsin and would often show his grandsons the baseball he hit for the first home run in Wisconsin Little League history. In high school he advanced to the state wrestling competition in 1958. Bob was an accomplished athlete on the UW-Eau Claire football and wrestling teams. Bob even played “old man’s” softball in Hillsboro.

Bob was a member of the St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Reedsburg, Wis. He and Jill were active in the church and regularly served as ushers.

Bob touched thousands of people in his lifetime through his passion to education and his dedication to his students, family, friends and his beloved dogs. He will be remembered for his sense of humor, words of wisdom, gentle nature and smile. No one enjoyed telling a joke (repeatedly) more than Bob. Bob loved giving pontoon boat rides on Lake Redstone and teaching his grandsons how to drive it. Recently Bob’s time in Fort Myers, Fla., brought him so much happiness and great friendships. He’d often call his kids and ask what the temperature was before informing them that it was 82 degrees in Florida. Now every day will be 82 degrees and the Fourth of July for Bob.

A memorial service will be held in Fort Myers, Fla., in March. A memorial service will also be held at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Reedsburg, Wis. on May 24, 2014 at 2 p.m., followed by a luncheon.

A Robert Burmester Memorial Fund is being established and will be dedicated to enhancing educational opportunities for students. Friends may sign the guest book at

Illigetimus Non Carborendum Dad. We love you.