Where Caring Is A Family Tradition
Robert J. Kairis Sr., age 82, died Sunday, March 19, 2023, at his home in Winneconne.
Robert was born January 4, 1941, to the late John and Ethel (Duley) Kairis at home on the Kaiser farm in Ashford, WI.
He was baptized at St. Martin’s Catholic Church in Ashford WI, took his first Communion at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Berlin, WI and was Confirmed at St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Fond du lac, WI.
He was involved in Golden Glove Boxing, Boy Scouts and was an Altar boy for five years. His elementary schooling took place in a one room school house in Berlin (Big Island). After moving to Fond du lac in 1950, Bob attended high school at St Mary’s Springs and Goodrich High School where he played right field on the baseball team and lettered in football.
From 1958 until 1961, Bob served his country in the U.S. Navy. During his enlistment, he was in San Diego, California and sailed on the U.S.S. Rochester to Japan, Austria, Philippines and Hawaii. His accomplishments include Master-At-Arms, Fireman’s Apprentice and Seaman First Class.
On January 30, 1983, he was married to Darlene Roberts Miller. On March 4, 1985, he chose a life of sobriety, he was a member of A.A. for 38 years and remained sober until his death.
Robert became a mason, worked for Hutter Construction Company and was a member of Wisconsin Masons, Local Union #9. Even after his work as a mason was done, every time he went for a ride he was eyeing up and commenting about the masonry work of others.
Bob and Darlene enjoyed traveling, especially in 2007 when they cruised Alaska, took a flight to the Arctic Circle and rode a train through Mt. McKinley and the Yukon. At age 55, he took up ballroom dancing.
Bob also enjoyed watching NASCAR, football and basketball. He liked snowmobiling and stock car racing, and was an enthusiast all his life of Model A Fords and Lionel trains. After retirement he enjoyed car shows, old engine shows, auctions, and tinkering in the barn, always fixing something. Bob also loved his animals, including his hobby farm animals, and his furry friends Buffy, Sunshine and Tinker, who survive him.
Since 2006 he has been a member of St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Winneconne.
Robert is survived by his wife, Darlene; his son, Robert (Laura) Kairis; daughter-in-law, Jeanne; step-children, Dawn Koehler, Bill (Mary) Miller, Julie Miller and Dusty (Lori) Miller. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Tara (Pat), Beau (Carly), Austin (Deena), Noah (Megan)and Kristina (Bryan); step-grandchildren, Jenny (Mike), Naomi (Josh), Adam (April), Becky (Pat), Billy (Brie), Chris, Sean, Nolan, Avarie, Dominic, Collin, Kristen (Matt) and Ryan (Rachel); great-grandchildren, Wyatt, Levi, Lilah, and Raven; step great-grandchildren, Liam, Hughes, Winston and Monroe; and his “mentally adopted sons” Paul, Rick and Dean. Bob is further survived by his sister, Dorothy McCrory a Godchild, Daryl Duley; sisters-in-law, Shirley Boeder, Nancy Cabler; and brother-in-law, Dennis (Alice) Roberts.
Along with his parents, Robert was also preceded in death by two sons, Jim and Mike; his brothers, William Kairis, Ken Kairis and Tony Kairis; brothers-in-law, Bob McCrory, Leroy Boeder, Bob Cabler; and sisters-in-law, Judy Henning Ballwanz, Diane Prahl.
We remember Bob and the special time he gave of himself, as he listened and took an interest in you. He was a strong man, with a soft heart and a firm grip, built as a farm boy. When his feet could reach the pedals of the tractor, his dad let the hired man go. Bob had a job. “You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy.”
A visitation for family and friends will be on Saturday, April 15, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. until Noon at St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church 8 S. 4th St., Winneconne. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, April 15 at Noon at the church with Pastor Mark Albrecht officiating. A luncheon will follow, and after lunch the interment with military honors take place at the Bell Cemetery, Town of Winneconne. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to OperationSmile.org.
Bob’s family wishes to send many thanks to Ascension at Home and Hospice Compassus for the great job they did caring for Bob.
Mueller Funeral Home-Winneconne is assisting the family. If you wish please submit online condolences to muellerfh.net.
Sara Anderson wrote on March 31, 2023
Darlene, I am so so sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. I remember all the kitties that he used to take care of and his beautiful train set. Hugs Sara