Robert C. "Bob" Nelson
1928 - 2020

Robert C. "Bob" Nelson

1928 - 2020

Robert C. "Bob" Nelson, 92, of Kenosha, was called home by his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on Thursday, November 19, 2020, at Froedtert South – Pleasant Prairie.

Born in Kenosha, on October 2, 1928, he was the son of the late George E. and Pearl L. (Bostetter) Nelson, Sr. A lifelong resident of Kenosha, he was educated in local schools.

On September 9, 1950, he married Rose Mary Gallo at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church Rectory.

Bob started his career with David Nelson & Son – Mayflower Moving & Storage Company. Bob, with his brothers (George, David, and C. Richard) and partner Horton (Al) Bane, formed Bane-Nelson, Inc. in 1965 to service the industrial and commercial community of Kenosha, Southeastern Wisconsin, and Northern Illinois. He served as President of Bane-Nelson, Inc. from 1965 until his passing.

In his capacity as President of Bane-Nelson, Inc, Bob served as a Board Member of the Kenosha Manufacturer's Association and of the Kenosha Area Business Alliance (KABA). Bob was a President and founding member of the TCCA (Tri-County Contractor's Association of Kenosha, Racine and Walworth Counties), a Board Member of the ACEA (Allied Construction Employers' Association), the President of the Wisconsin Chapter of the Metal Building Dealers Association and the President of the Eastern Wisconsin Erector's Association.

He continued to be an inspiration to all his employees and family through his presence in his office until his passing. He led by example, and it gave him great joy to be among his Bane-Nelson family.

Bob spent his life in service to others. Bob served in the Wisconsin National Guard for 12 years, attained the rank of 1st Lieutenant and was Commander of the 126th Field Artillery Headquarters in Kenosha. He served as the 1985 United Way General Campaign Chairperson. Bob was a Kenosha Civics Veteran Parade Honoree in 1987. In 1996, Bob was voted "Business Person of the Year", as presented by Heritage Bank. He was given the Chairman's Award from Kemper Center in 1999. In 2004 he received the "Community Service / Humanitarian Award" from the Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce. Bob has also been an active supporter of the Boy Scouts of America for more than 58 years, including past 2-term President of the Southeast Wisconsin Council. He was also a recipient of the highest awards in scouting – the "Silver Beaver" and "Silver Antelope" Award. Bob was also given by the Archdiocese Committee on scouting the "St. George Award" and he received the BSA "Order of the Arrow Centurion Award". More recently on October 24, 2020 the rebuilt tee pee pavilion at Boy Scout camp Oh-Da-Ko-Ta was dedicated in his honor. Serving as Past Area Chair for the Employer Support of the Guard & Reserves (ESGR). He was awarded the "2012-2013 ESGR Jack Weissgerber Award of Excellence" and he received the "2018 ESGR Lifetime Achievement Award" from the United States of America Department of Defense. Bob was actively involved in the community as a member of the Rotary Club of Kenosha for 47 years and served on its Board of Directors as well as for many other non-profit organizations, such as: St. Joseph Catholic Academy, Boys and Girls Club and Serra Club.

Bob was an active member at St. Mary Catholic Church and of his good friend Father Mike Neumann's Wednesday morning men's prayer group. In addition, Bob was a founding member in 1985 to his long-time men's prayer group that still meets today.

In addition to family gatherings, Bob enjoyed many wonderful years of traveling with his wife Rose, throughout the United States. He also loved spending time with his family at his cabin in Lake Delton, WI.

Bob was an avid Brewer fan and looked forward to watching the games on tv. His affection for the rescue Sheltie dogs he raised throughout the years gave him great pleasure. We all believe Bob would truly say that his greatest joy would be the love he has for his family and friends and his deep & lasting faith in God.

Survivors include his wife of 70 years, Rose Nelson; two children, Larry (Kathy) Nelson and Judy (Allan) Kohlmeier; five grandchildren, Kristy (Andre) Gowens, Brian (Lori) Nelson, Aaron (Nikki) Kohlmeier, Adam (Kate) Kohlmeier, Kelley Soderberg; 11 great-grandchildren, Bella, Emma, Paige, Luke, Ella, Evan, Elias, Charley, Payton, Kloe, and baby on the way.

Bob is further survived by sister-in-law, Charlene; nephews, Scott (Kathie), Rick (Pat), Kevin (Deanna), and Jeff (Terri) Nelson and families; brothers-in-law, Gino (Jackie), John (Caroline), Joe (Lorena), and Dino Gallo. Bob is also survived by many other nieces and nephews.

Aside from his parents, he is preceded in death by three brothers, George E. (Irene Buri) Nelson, Jr., C. Richard (June) Nelson, and David L. Nelson; brothers-in-law, Mike (Eileen), Al (Marge), Ronnie (Beverly) Gallo. He is also preceded in death by his sister-in-law, Linda Gallo.

Many special "thank you's" go to: Bob's doctor, Rodrigo Mata III, MD, who always took great care of Bob. The nurses and doctors who cared for Bob at Froedtert South Hospital during the last two weeks. His wonderful friend & Chaplin, Dave Baugher who saw and gave great comfort to Bob every day while in the hospital, and allowed us to speak to him through the phone and facetiming/skyping; what a blessing you were to all of us. To his loyal friend William (Willy) Waldron who loved and cared for him, they truly enjoyed each other's friendship. Tammy Clauser, who was Bob's loving caregiver these past two years. Also Bob's life-long friends, Tom McTernan and Joe Sexton for all the many years of wonderful memories and friendship that they shared together.

We are all so thankful for the many wonderful, cherished and faithful family, friends, and employees who have blessed Bob with their friendship and love.

In lieu of flowers, the family would like any donations/memorials for Bob to go to; St. Mary Catholic Church, St. Joseph Catholic Academy, the Three Harbors Council Boy Scouts of America, Sleep in Heavenly Peace–WI Racine/Kenosha, Shalom Center, and Boys and Girls Club of Kenosha.

Due to the current health concerns, a mass for Bob will be held privately at St. Mary Catholic Church and Internment at Green Ridge Cemetery. A celebration of life will be held in the summer for friends and family when it is hopefully safer.

Proko Funeral Home & Crematory

5111-60th Street Phone: (262) 654-3533

Visit & Sign Bob's Online Memorial Book at:

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Published by Kenosha News on Nov. 29, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
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Add a Message
5 Entries
Thomas Frost
December 5, 2020
Our sincere sympathies to the Nelson and Kohlmeier families.
John and Lynn Lawler
December 1, 2020
Larry and Kathy, our sympathies at the passing of Bob. May he rest in peace, having done an exemplary job here on Earth.
David & Marilyn Lauer
November 30, 2020
My sympathy to Rose, Judy, Larry and Bob's entire family on his passing. He was an inspiration for us all with a love for God and a work ethic rarely matched. He was like a father, brother and mentor to me all rolled into one. His quiet demeanor was far reaching to all he worked with and all the organizations he participated in. He will be missed. May he rest in peace.
Keith Gumbinger
November 29, 2020
Dear Family and Friends of Bob, What a great a man - he literally helped build the city of Kenosha but built so much more by his dedication, goodness and faith. May God bless him with the joys of heaven.
Fr. Bill Hayward
November 29, 2020