Robert George “Bob” Pellegrin, Mauston, died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, March 24 at the Marshfield Medical Center. Nearly 10 years ago, Bob was the fortunate recipient of a kidney donation. While the years since saw many health complications and hospital stays, Bob was deeply grateful for the time he got to spend with his daughter Wendi and son-in-law Scott and his two grandsons, Quintin and Jace. He loved hearing about the boys' progress in school, their interest in sports, and the big and little things in all of their lives.
Bob was born on December 21, 1947 to Clarence and Rose (Grabowski) Pellegrin of Mauston. He attended Mauston School and graduated from Mauston High School in 1965. He attended Juneau County Teachers College and later attended the University of Stevens Point, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in education. Bob earned his master’s degree in Education from Viterbo College-La Crosse.
Bob was proud of his participation in football at Mauston High School. He often spoke of the lessons he learned on the football field. In later years, Bob applied those lessons as he coached students and players at Adams Friendship School District.
On a very hot July 5, 1969, Bob married Mary Schultz at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Mauston. They began married life in a mobile home near Bob’s parents before purchasing their newly built home. Bob and Mary took great pride in being homeowners, planting large vegetable gardens and undertaking many home improvement projects over the years. Their best home improvement project, daughter Wendi, arrived in 1980.
Bob served in the Wisconsin National Guard. He worked with Mary at the Juneau County Fair’s 4-H Food Stand. Together, they toured Wisconsin with 4-H as part of the Exploring Wisconsin Program. This history program, combined with the field geology studies Bob did as part of his master’s degree program, gave Bob a deep knowledge of Wisconsin, knowledge that he gladly shared inside and outside of the classroom.
“Mr. P” taught at Castle Rock School, Adams Friendship School District for 37 ½ years. He shared his morning commute with principal and friend Ted Haschke and fellow teacher Gerta Scharfenberg. Bob was known for his science experiments (frequently conducted out of doors), getting all of the kids (boys and girls) involved in sports (football, softball, and kickball), and the music shows he developed and performed with his students. Bob was very proud of the songs he did with Wendi at these shows.
Bob, his father Clarence, Mike Bolghrin, and Dave Cherney had a band named The Professors. The group played many area halls and wedding dances throughout the 1970s. Bob really loved music and was a talented guitar player. In recent years, he was a member of a volunteer group who played at area care facilities. Bob was moved by seeing how the residents responded to the music, making sure that the play list included songs that got the toes tapping and smiles beaming.
Bob loved cars! Mary surprised him at his retirement party with photos of every car he ever owned. Bob could tell you all of the features of each and every car, including the things he could—and could not--fix. If you pulled in Bob’s driveway, your car got a mini-checkup. Bob didn’t just wash cars, he detailed them until they looked brand-new.
Bob loved sports. He was a proud shareholder of the Green Bay Packers. He rarely missed watching a game. He attended several games and shareholder meetings at Lambeau Field. If the Brewers were on the field, the radio or the tv was tuned to the game.
Bob’s stories about growing up with his cousins (playing football in the yard, riding horses--including his beloved Prince, working on cars, baling hay, and all of the other adventures) could move listeners to both laughter and tears.
Bob is survived by his wife of 49 years, Mary; daughter Wendi (Scott) Babcock of Aurora, CO and their sons Quintin (14) and Jace (11); mother, Rosie Pellegrin of Mauston, twin sisters Joan (Bill) Cowan and Jane (Daniel)Welch of Eau Claire, WI, and brother Ken (Roxanne) of Mauston, numerous nephews, nieces, cousins. Bob was preceded in death by his father, Clarence, parent in-laws Elmer and Gert Schultz, brother-in-law John Schultz, and nephew, Jacob Pellegrin. Beloved pets Molly and Mikey were there to greet Bob as he came home.
Special thanks to neighbor and faithful friend, Pete Leak, for all of his patience, help, and good humor through the years. Bob received outstanding care from the UW-Madison Kidney Transplant Team, the Marshfield Medical Center ICU, SICU.
Memorial service will be held on Saturday March 30, 2019 at 2:00p.m. at the Hare Funeral Home (217 W. Pearl St.) New Lisbon, WI. Relatives and friends are invited to gather at the Hare Funeral Home from 12:00p.m. until the 2:00p.m. time of service. Inurnment will take place at the Camp Douglas Village Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorials to the Adams Friendship Junior High Football program. Online condolences are available at www.harefuneralhome.com