Robert Walter Bartig
Robert (Bob) Bartig passed away on Tuesday, March 12, 2013, in an accident at his home. He was 91.
Born on January 17, 1922, to Arthur and Elsie (Hagedorn) Bartig, Bob graduated from Augusta High School in 1941. He attended UW Platteville and UW Madison. He met his future wife Eleanor Katherine Holland on a blind date while living in Platteville. They were married in 1946 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church at "Truman" in Lafayette County, Wisconsin.
In 1956, Bob and Eleanor moved their family to Nelsonville where he went into partnership with Charles Alm and formed "Bartig & Alm, Hardware & Implements". In the early 70s Bob and Charlie also partnered with Erv Mittelstedt to manufacture potato digger draper chain in the former Creamery building. In 1981 Bob retired from Bartig & Alm and began working part-time in real estate sales. He also began serving as a trustee on the board of directors of the International Bank of Amherst. He was very proud to serve on the board for 30 years—stepping down at the age of 90.
Actively involved in his community, Bob served on the Nelsonville village board in several different capacities. He was also a lector at St. James Catholic Church of Amherst before becoming a lay minister in 1983, serving in that role for over twenty years.
A music fan his whole life, Bob began playing the drums at age 65. He enjoyed playing in the "Ludwig Trio" with his friends Art Bohr and Andy Anderson. His big thrill was to sit in with nationally renowned Peter Ostroushko at the Wausau Log Jam Festival in 1989. He especially delighted in playing music and "talking smart" with his sons, Gary and Dave.
When Bob became interested in cooking, he restored a Home Comfort wood stove and built himself a kitchen in the basement. Sunday mornings were favorite times to invite folks - church friends, high school buddies known as the "Hungry Five," and countless other friends - over for Bob's "light as a feather" sour dough flapjacks. Anyone who's ever eaten one knows they needed to be anchored to the plate with maple syrup "lest they float away." Each December Bob turned the kitchen into a caramel corn factory where mountains of his buttery treat were bagged for "distribution" to friends around town and family across the country.
Both his immediate family and his extended family know that Bob is smiling, as he passed as he would have wanted—working outside on his beloved home.
Bob was preceded in death by his wife Eleanor, who passed on March 19, 2011, and by his parents. He is survived by his children: Jean (Steve) Meyer of Madison, Kaye (Mark) Pethe of Seattle WA, Dennis (Eileen) Bartig of Nelsonville, Gary (Karen) Bartig of Minneapolis, MN, David Bartig of Madison, and Carol Bartig of Seattle WA; his grandchildren Jessica (Alex) Kochanowski, Ty Pethe, Allison Bartig, Max Pethe, Elsa Meyer, Emma Hovila and Mimi Hovila; his great grandchildren, Josiah, Vivian, Rueben, and Jude Kochanowski; and by his sister, Betty (Bartig) Alix of Minneapolis MN.
Visitations will be held on Friday, March 22 from 4:00 - 8:00 PM at the Jungers-Holly Funeral Home, 262 S. Main St. Amherst WI, 54406 (prayer service at 6:00), and again on Saturday, March 23, from 10:00 - 11:00 AM at St. James Catholic Church, 453 S. Main St. Amherst WI, 54406, preceding the 11:00 AM Funeral Mass. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the St. James Catholic Church Building Fund, in memory of Robert W. Bartig.