Wayne A. Rohrberg
Oct. 30, 1926 — Nov. 20, 2015
Wayne A. Rohrberg was born on October 30, 1926, in Racine, and passed on November 20, 2015, in Oconomowoc.
He was preceded in death by his father, Arthur C. Rohrberg; mother, Hilda Eckhart Rohrberg; brother William T. Rohrberg; and his wife, Evelyn Smigielski Rohrberg, who was the love of his life.
He is survived by his sister- in-law Dagny Rohrberg, niece Amy RohrBerg, niecein- law Gretchen Honsell, nephew-in-law Wayne A. Markley and niece Christiane J. Markley (Rohrberg).
Wayne Rohrberg graduated from the University of Wisconsin’s Engineering School on August 17, 1951, and was happy to have a ride home after graduation, not having to hitchhike home to Racine, as he often did. He went on to work as a chemical engineer for several employers over a long career. He worked hard each day using his valuable education of which he was very proud. He also spent a great deal of time using his education to work on pet projects around his home.
Wayne often said that his solace was playing tennis and being physically fit. He belonged to a co-op-based tennis club in Racine, where he not only played but also helped maintain the courts and was also instrumental in its expansion. He was a stellar Badgers enthusiast, particularly for the football team with a special affinity for the marching band and not to exclude Badgers basketball and Badgers hockey. For over 50 years, he would travel from coast to coast to watch his beloved Badgers play from the biggest bowl games to the pre-season games at Camp Randell. He frequently traveled to the games by Greyhound bus, thus dubbing himself The Greyhound Badger. He was also a member of the UW Donor’s Club and the UW Alumni Association.
Prior to attending the University of Wisconsin, Wayne served as a class V6 in the United States Navy and the Naval Reserves from August 4,1946, to August 31, 1950, spending much of his time in the South Pacific during the early days of his service. Wayne was a dedicated husband as well as a loyal brother.
Mentioned earlier, he was a woodworker who loved to create and build items for his home. He would often say that his favorite invention was thermal wear which was not available during the Depression when money and coal were hard to come by and when he would walk to school in the dead of winter wearing his only coat purchased from Montgomery Wards. Besides the Badgers and woodworking, he enjoyed his walks in nature where he loved to bird watch and view its wildlife, particularly the deer, which all brought him endless joy.
In his later years, he moved to a condominium that had a screened-in porch facing a preserved wooded area. He was especially appreciative of this as he spent many hours watching the world outside. His childhood taught him love and passion as well as the value of a dollar. These were the fundamental forces throughout his life that were apparent to those of us who knew and loved him.
The proudest moment of Wayne’s life was when he married Evelyn Smigielski, the love of his life, on July 6, 1987, at the Jerome Church of Oconomowoc. He was fortunate to have known Evelyn in his 20s and reunited with her, by chance, through the classifieds when he was in his 50s — a true fairy tale of destined lovers. Please send your remembrances in the name of Wayne A. Rohrberg to Retzer Nature Center of Waukesha, Wisconsin Nature Conservancy or, of course, the UW Badgers. The funeral is Saturday, January 9, at Pagenkopf Funeral Home, 1165 E. Summit Ave., Oconomowoc. The viewing is at 10 a.m. and the ceremony at 11 a.m.
Pagenkopf Funeral Home is serving the family. For more information, call 262567-4457 or visit www.pagenkopf.com.