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Robert James "Bob" De Blaey

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Robert James "Bob" De Blaey Notice
De Blaey, Robert James "Bob" Passed away peacefully of age related problems on August 13, 2013, at Linden Grove Long Term Care Facility in Waukesha, WI. Bob was 92 years old. He was preceded in death by his devoted wife of 64 years, Irene (nee Turkovich) in 2008. Born in Milwaukee, WI, Bob is survived by his loving children Nancy (Paul) Thorgaard and Ronald De Blaey. He is further survived by two grandchildren, Scott and Matthew Thorgaard. Bob was a WWII veteran, having been drafted after his work on the Manhattan Project as a tool and die maker. After the war, he married Irene and went on to pursue a lifetime career of playing guitar and banjo. He was a lifetime member of the International Musician's Union, Local 8. In the 1950s he was a founding member of the Bel Trio. The Trio traveled extensively throughout the Midwest playing engagements in Sioux Falls, Detroit, Omaha, Chicago, and Hamilton, Ontario to name a few. After touring the Bel Trio opened the Bel Club at 54th St and Lisbon Ave. According to Bob, lines of people waiting to get in the Club stretched completely around the block. The Bel Trio also performed on WTMJ TV twice a week in their own show, "The Bel Trio Show." Throughout the sixties and seventies Bob performed with popular groups in the Milwaukee area, including the Four Star Quartet and Mayor Maier's International Folk Band. He continued to perform with numerous other musicians and appeared in such popular venues as Gastby's, Someplace Else, Frenchy's Restaurant, the John Ernst Café, and many others. Together with an accordionist, Bob played well into age 91. Gathering at the Funeral Home on Sunday, August 25, 2013, 1-3:00PM. Celebration of Bob's life at 3:00PM. Private burial at Pinelawn Memorial Park.

Published in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Aug. 18, 2013
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