Robert Hartwig
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Robert Richard Hartwig, 84, of Wausau, passed away quietly at home on Friday, Oct. 14, 2011.

Robert was born Sept. 9, 1927, to Erwin and Emily (Zunker) Hartwig. He was united in marriage to his loving wife of 57 years, Mary Jo (Dunlevy) Hartwig. Bob and Mary Jo raised four children, Mary Elizabeth, Jim, Linda, and Daniel.

Upon graduating from Wausau High School in 1946, Bob served two years in the Marines. After attending the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County and Marquette University, Bob returned to Wausau. In 1950, borrowing money against his life insurance policy, Bob purchased a drill and lathe, and began producing custom components for local manufacturers. From this simple beginning, Bob's company grew into Hartwig Manufacturing Corp., one of the Midwest's premier bridge fabricators. The company won several awards for its work from organizations such as the National Steel Bridge Alliance and the American Institute of Steel Construction.

Bob and Mary Jo were tireless supporters of the Wausau Community and did not seek recognition for their many contributions. Their gifts, both personal and through the Robert and Mary Jo Hartwig Family Foundation, were often given anonymously and benefited a variety of organizations and needs. In 1980, Bob was among the inaugural recipients of The State of Wisconsin Governor's Award in Support of the Arts. He and Hartwig Manufacturing were "among the community resources that brought about the (arts) renaissance in Wausau." In 1981, he received a distinguished service award for his years of service on the Wausau Hospital Center Board of Directors.

From early on, Bob was concerned about his company's impact on the environment. He saw it simply as "doing the right thing." The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources saw it as more than that. In 1990, they awarded Bob and Hartwig Manufacturing the Brogan Award for Environmental Excellence.

Following the sale in 1992 of Hartwig Manufacturing to national conglomerate Pitt-Des Moines, Bob "retired." But, retirement did not come easily. A man with an unparalleled work ethic, Bob continued in business, forming a partnership that eventually purchased Northern Wire LLC in Merrill. During this time, he also served as president of his beloved Rainbo Lodge in Vilas County.

Bob loved fly-fishing, bird hunting, gardening and puzzles, and will long be remembered for numerous projects and hobbies, such as producing maple syrup, quilting, canning, picking strawberries and making jam. But, his greatest joy came from spending time with his family in Wausau, at their cottage in Northern Wisconsin, and their home on Sanibel Island, Fla.

Bob will be profoundly missed by those who loved him.

Bob is survived by his wife, Mary Jo Hartwig of Wausau; four children, Mary Elizabeth Hartwig of Milwaukee, Jim (Jori) Hartwig of Grand Rapids, Mich., Linda Hartwig of Franklin, and Daniel (Ellen) Hartwig of Wausau; three grandchildren, Elizabeth, James and Daniel Casey; one brother, John (Mary Ann) Hartwig; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; and two sisters.

The family would like to thank the caregivers of Interim Health Care who lovingly took care of Bob at home, especially Terry, Chelsea, Ashley and Pam, as well as the medical staff at Aspirus Hospital and Wausau Manor Rehabilitation.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011, at St. Matthew's Catholic Church, 229 South 28th Ave., Wausau. The Rev. Bob Thorn will officiate. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 18, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Brainard Funeral Home, 522 Adams St., Wausau, and again from 10:30 a.m. until the time of the services at the church on Wednesday. Burial will take place in Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be given to the Women's Community of Wausau or the Boys and Girls Club.

Condolences may be given at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Wausau Daily Herald from Oct. 16 to Oct. 17, 2011.
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15 entries
November 2, 2011
It was shocking to find this news on the Internet. He was a friend in the early 1950's when he gave up his car for a much older model to obtain funding for his start-up business. A date at that time was a walk down one side of Third Street to Franklin Street and back on the other - with a bag of popcorn from Pete's Popcorn Wagon! Sympathy to his family.
Old Friend
October 28, 2011
To all the Hartwigs

We remember Bob as a kind, caring, and generous neighbor and friend. His gentle spirit will be missed.
Love to Mary Jo
God Bless
Jerry & Rosemary Schroeder
October 19, 2011
To all of you: Our thoughts and prayers are with you that you may find strength and peace during this sad time.
Carla & Randy Wolfgram-Janikowski
October 19, 2011
Sorry to see this in the paper, Bob was a great leader in our community and will be remembered for his qualities. Take care family, it's never easy and God bless.
Patrick Bartelme
October 18, 2011
To the Whole Hartwig family....on behalf of the O'Brien's we were very sad to hear the news and wish all of you peace and God's blessing in this difficult time. For myself, I will never forget our visit when I brought my son Colin to meet "my neighbors in Wausau" and your warmth and friendship. Your family has always meant so much to ours and the fond memories of looking back to a better and simpler time always brings a smile to our faces. Bless you all.
Michael O'Brien
October 17, 2011
So sorry - we will miss seeing Bob at Bosley. He was always so kind to all of us. We looked forward to seeing Bob and Mary Jo whenever they were in town. My heart is sad.

Michele Green
michele green
October 17, 2011
My sincerest condolences to the Hartwig family. I pray you all find peace knowing he is in Heaven and finally at rest.
Krista Emmons
October 17, 2011
So sorry to hear of your loss; may you find peace and acceptance
Michael Swanson
October 17, 2011
My thoughts and prayers go out to your whole family during this time of sadness. May your family find peace knowing he is with his Lord.
Julie Ziegel-Kamke
October 17, 2011
my the peace of knowing he is in heaven with all its joys help you through this difficult time .
lisa rechek(bluhm)
October 17, 2011
To know and work for Robert Hartwig, Hartwig Mfg.was the best of working life.
My sincere condolences to the Robert Hartwig family. GOD BLESS.
Howard Schultz
October 16, 2011
I would like to extend my sympathy to all the family members in the loss of a great man. Bless all of you in this time of loss.
Dianne Kluever (Duernberger)
October 16, 2011
Mare, Lin, Jim, and Danny, I'm thinking about you. I'm so sorry that you lost your daddy. I love you all and am here for you if you need anything. My heart breaks for you...Warm hugs and love to MJ. xxoo
Kari Ziegler
October 16, 2011
Oh My Dearest I wish I could give you one last kiss...We will miss you so..Mary Jo & Famliy..oour hearts are breaking...Many Many prayers & hugs..coming to you.

All Our Love and Deepest Sympathy

John & Lynn Huber
Sam's Pizza
October 16, 2011
so sorry about your husband and dad. my dad kenny worked for your dad and he always talked about how nice he and Jack were! Bob will always be remembered with fond memories. my thoughts and prayers are with you . jody mogensen zahn
jody zahn
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