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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Robert P. Brockman

Issue Date: August 30, 2019

Robert P. Brockman, 91, passed away Friday, Aug. 23, 2019.

Born June 6, 1921 in Plymouth, to O.R. and Roma Brockman, as a child of the "Great Depression" there was no money for continued education, so he worked at Kraft Cheese Co. to save money for college. He began college, but World War II interrupted that and he enlisted in the United States Navy in 1942 and served in the Pacific Theatre during the war. Most of his naval service was spent in the myriad of Philippine islands and ended with the invasion of Okinawa as part of a task force that made a landing on Honshu after the Japanese surrender.

Prior to his discharge, he was promoted to executive officer of the LST 863. In 1946, he married Betty Weber, of Sheboygan who was a faculty member at Marinette High School. He became a teacher and also supervised basketball leagues for the Marinette Recreational Department. As an advisor to the high school yearbook, he won many national top awards for excellence, and was hired as a consultant for the yearbook of the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs.

He also opened fast food restaurants which he continued working in. A tireless worker, he spent many months working five days a week at his day job and five nights a week at the business. He was assisted and supported by his wife. In her illness he encouraged her to stay home and rest, but she accompanied him to work because she wanted to be with him.

He was active in the Wisconsin Education Association at the state level, he chaired many committees and served on the Board of Directors of the WEA Insurance Trust, was a member of the National LST Association, the American Legion and was State Treasurer of the LST Association. He also furthered his education and received two grants to study Oriental History and Culture at the University of Idaho and Media Administration at Purdue.

He also earned two Master's Degrees, an MA in History from Northern Michigan University and an MS in Media from the UWisconsin-Stout. With his belief in education, he donated $300,000 to his alma mater, UW-Madison for Marinette High School student scholarships.

He and his family traveled to many of the world's great historic sites, spending 30 days touring Europe and continued traveling until his wife's death in 1993 made travel impossible, devastating the family. He mourned the passing of his wife every day but retired from the school system the same year and continued traveling, spending the majority of the winter months on the beach in Florida for over 35 years. He visited all 50 states, most with family, traveled all seven continents, including Antarctica and more than fifty countries. Later, he enjoyed vacationing, bridge and dining in the company and companionship of Val LeBoeuf, but especially liked sneaking treats to puppy, Coco.

He is survived by two daughters, Barbara Guenther and Robin Ilse; five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Betty and a daughter, Betsy Werner.

Per his request, no formal service will be held. A party of family and friends commemorating his life will be held at a date to be determined. Hansen Onion Martell Funeral Home is assisting the family.


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