Robert Gene Mach, 86, of Fond du Lac, died peacefully on Thursday, June 5, 2014, at All About Life Rehabilitation Center, following a seven year battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.
He was born on November 13, 1927, in Kewaunee, Wisconsin, a son of Walter J. and Selma A. Gaedtke Mach.
Bob was a graduate of Kewaunee High School, Class of 1945. He attended Wisconsin State College at Whitewater and was a graduate of the Wisconsin Institute of Mortuary Science, Milwaukee. He served with the United States Army.
On January 19, 1955, he married Marion M. Whitby in Kewaunee.
In February of 1954, he moved to Fond du Lac, to begin his career in funeral service with Candlish Funeral Chapel . Being overjoyed when his son decided to enter funeral service, Bob looked forward to the two of them working together and hoped to give his son the opportunity he did not have. After more than 31 years as an employee, he was able to purchase the business together with his family on December 11, 1985. Bob continued to work full time until the age of 71, and continued to contribute to the business and community well beyond his retirement.
He was a Charter member of Luther Memorial Church, having served throughout the years as a treasurer, trustee, church council, school, and furnishings committee member. Bob joined the Fond du Lac Noon Kiwanis Club in 1966, and truly enjoyed all of the members and helping with fundraising. The club honored him with a George F. Hixon Fellowship award, and he was especially proud of his 46 years of perfect attendance. He was made an honorary Life Member after his failing health forced him to resign from the club. He also was a Red Cross blood donor. He was a proud member of Selected Independent Funeral Homes, the National Funeral Directors Association, Wisconsin Funeral Directors Association, from which he received recognition for 50 years of service in 2003, and the Fox River Valley Funeral Directors Association. He took pride in being caretaker for the historic Pier Cemetery, beginning in 2000, and enjoyed many years of volunteer service together with his wife Marion at the Galloway House and Village.
Bob was a very thoughtful, compassionate man. He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather and he will be greatly missed. He enjoyed spending time with his children, and was especially proud of his grandchildren. They cherish their memories of growing up while living above the funeral chapel and spending spontaneous moments with their grandpa.
He is survived by his wife, Marion; two children: Bruce (Libby Reinbold) and Nadine; three grandchildren: Kristel, Jacob, and Alison; a brother, Walter Mach of Manitowoc; a sister, Arlene (Joe) Kunesh of Tisch Mills; a brother-in-law: Wilbur (Stella) Whitby of Pipe; nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant sister, LaVerne; a brother-in-law, Walter Whitby; and a sister-in-law, Carol (Edwin) Koehler.
The funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 11, 2014, at Luther Memorial Church, 134 21st Street, Fond du Lac, with Rev. Neal Radichel officiating. Burial will follow in Estabrooks Cemetery.
The visitation will take place from 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 10, 2014, at Mach Funeral Chapel & Crematory, 31 East Division Street, Fond du Lac, and on Wednesday at church from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service.
Memorials may be directed to Luther Memorial Church or the Fond du Lac County Historical Society, Galloway House and Village.
Do not cry for me because I am not here. I’ve gone to Heaven to see the rest of my family and my Lord.