Robert W. Gabler, “Bob”, 92, of rural Augusta, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family early Thursday, July 16, 2020, at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire.
Bob will be dearly missed by Delores, his loving wife of nearly 66 years; to this union 5 children were born, 3 sons: Matthew and Patricia Gabler, William and Shelly Gabler, Kenneth Gabler, and daughter Deanna and Duane Klindworth all of rural Augusta; 8 grandchildren, Chloe (Michael) Major, Conrad (Jessica) Gabler, Cullen Gabler (Lindsay Brooks), Natalie (Lewis) Sandberg, Grant Gabler, Trent Gabler , Desyre Klindworth and Dylan Klindworth; 7 great grandchildren, Walter and Margaret Major, Joy Gabler, Audra, Bennett, Heath and Eastin Sandberg; sister and brother in-laws, several nieces, nephews and other relatives.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Lala (Arries)Gabler; stillborn daughter; sister, Lola and Francis Hanson; father and mother-in-law, Iner Sr. and Nina Stensen; brothers and sister-in-law, Paul and Everette Stensen, Iner Jr. and Virginia Stensen; and nephew Robert Stensen.
Robert Walter Gabler was born April 18, 1928, on the Gabler home farm in Otter Creek Township, rural Osseo. He attended Pride Country School and graduated at the age of 17 as the salutatorian of the class of 1945 from Lincoln Hill High School in Osseo. Following graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as a naval medic on the Naval Base at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in California. He also served as what would today be called the athletic trainer for the bases football team each fall. Following his honorable discharge, he returned and farmed with his parents. . Bob was a baptized, confirmed, and an active member of Thompson Valley Methodist Church, serving on the church board until it closed and then joined the Osseo Evangelical Lutheran Church. He was united in marriage to Delores Stensen on Aug. 7, 1954, at the Osseo Evangelical Lutheran Church. The couple farmed with his parents for a time and he also worked as the book keeper /accountant for the Dairymaid Coop in rural Augusta. It was there that he honed his skill with financial records. The couple then purchased their own farm in March of 1960 in Lincoln Township, in rural Augusta were they still resided. In 1968 he suffered a severe injury to his right arm and after Doctors initially told him they would have to amputate his arm, he asked for a second opinion and, after showing the surgeon he could move his fingers, he agreed to try to repair it. While recovering, his in-laws and nephew milked the cows and did farm chores. Making a full recovery, he doubled the size of their farm over the next decade.
Bob served for several years on the Augusta Farmers Union Coop board. Bob was a lifetime member of the Augusta FFA alumni. He was always willing to adapt new farming practices and was recognized over the years for land conservation practices. He purchased several Deutz tractors over the years because of their fuel efficiency. His sons still use theses tractors on their farms to this day. His sons all decided to farm in the early 1980’s. He was intricate in helping them purchase their own farms from adjoining neighbors. Bob and his sons all farmed together for the next 40 years. He also helped his daughter purchase her maternal Grandparent’s farm homestead. He was an extremely hard worker, going many years at a time without taking a single day off working morning till night. Bob helped on the farm physically, well into his 80’s and kept all the farm business records for 2 of his sons up until his last days at the age of 92 years.
In Bob’s life time he went from using horses to tractors & kerosene lanterns to Microsoft Excel. Spending time with his family and taking care of his farm was the lifestyle Bob enjoyed. Bob and Delores always tried to give their children opportunities to experience diversity. As an example, they hosted a foreign exchange student, (Christian Leeser) from Germany. To this day Christian calls Bob “his American Dad”. Throughout Bob’s life he loved history, music, keeping up with current news events and sports. In earlier years he had bowled on an Augusta league that traveled the area, he enjoyed watching all the Wisconsin sporting teams. Up until he and Delores bought their farm, Bob held season tickets to the Wisconsin Badger Football games. Bob was a huge baseball fan. He followed the St. Louis Cardinals on the radio in his youth and then the Brewers, were you could catch him keeping the game stats. Bob outwardly might have seemed quiet and reserved but to family and friends he will be remembered as a man with a great sense of humor who enjoyed a good laugh with family while reading the comic section in the newspaper. He was very unpretentious and always stressed to his children,” that if you do something well people will know it, you don’t have to tell them.”
He provided well for his family, was unselfish, honest, and a man of great character. Bob was a wonderful role model for his family. While his family is heartbroken by his passing, they will forever celebrate his long, full and exceptional life.
A visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, at the Anderson Funeral Home in Augusta, and from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. on Thursday at Osseo Evangelical Lutheran Church in Osseo.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday at the church with burial in Thompson Valley Cemetery, rural Augusta.
Online condolences can be left at www.andersonfhaugusta.com