Robert “Bob” Ellingen of Fond du Lac, passed away peacefully on August 15th, 2022. Bob / Dad / Grandpa / Gramps / Papa lived a long, rich, and wonderful life that was filled with many friends and family, as well as an abundance of laughter and love. His quick wit, gentle spirit, and steadfast commitment to those around him will be what his loved ones miss most in his absence.
Bob was born in West Allis, WI on June 6th, 1928, to William and Erna (Martens) Ellingen. He grew up in a home that valued hard work, honesty, and commitment to family, and he carried those morals with him throughout his life. A lifelong learner, Bob attended primary and secondary school in West Allis where he was involved in student government, played football, and was (begrudgingly) a clarinetist in the marching band. Bob was a graduate of the UW-Madison class of 1950 where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Dairy Science and fondly remembered paying $42 a semester for tuition. Throughout his life, Bob remained a proud alumnus and fan of all Badger sports. After graduation, he enlisted in the Air Force and served as a food inspector working stateside during the Korean Conflict.
Following his time in the service, Bob began a long and fulfilling career in the dairy industry where he worked for Bordens, Tolibia Cheese, and ended his career as a dairy inspector for the State of Wisconsin. Whether it was his first job as a newspaper carrier for the Milwaukee Journal or his career in the dairy industry, Bob took great pride in his work. He was dedicated, had astute attention to detail, and a great appreciation for the value of a hard-earned dollar. His family will miss many, many things about Bob, especially his expertise when it came to the highly overrated expiration dates on food products.
Above all else came Bob’s family. He met his soulmate and one true love, Lillian (Kraintz) Ellingen, at West Allis Central High School where they attended Junior Prom together. They married on August 15, 1953 and remained dedicated to each other for over 60 years. Their union was a beautiful example of lifelong devotion, respect, and friendship as it provided an ongoing standard of love to their children and grandchildren, especially as he cared for Lil before she passed away in 2013. His family has gained comfort knowing Bob and Lil were reunited eternally on the 69th anniversary of their wedding. Together Bob and Lil had 4 children, 6 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren. As a father and grandfather, he was a sympathetic listener, a provider of wisdom on everything from gardening to finances, and a constant source of encouragement and support. While Bob took great delight in spending time with family, he was also a wonderful friend to many, an avid bridge player, a fan of all Wisconsin sports, and a bourbon connoisseur (as long as it was less than $15 a bottle).
Bob’s spirit will live on through his children; his son Mark (Debbie) Ellingen of Fond du Lac; his son Dave (Toni) Ellingen of Escondido, CA; his son Paul (Teresa) Ellingen of Fort Wayne, IN; his daughter Beth Ellingen (Steve Hinker) of De Pere; his grandchildren: Stacy Ellingen, Lindzee (Shonn) Gibson, Stephanie (Mark) Schiess, Spencer Ellingen, Annie Hinker, and Bobby Hinker; as well as his great-grandchildren: Jayce, Sloan, Tessa, Charlie, Olson, and Brooks. He was preceded in death by his wife, Lil, as well as his brother, Bill.
In honor of Bob’s wishes, a private family service will be held. Memorials may be made to SSM Health Hospice Home of Hope in Fond du Lac.
Services are in the care of Uecker-Witt Funeral Home, 524 North Park Avenue, Fond du Lac, WI, 54935. Additional information and guestbook can be found at ueckerwitt.com