Francis J. "Bob" Gardipee

Private services were held for Francis J. "Bob" Gardipee of Mequon, who passed away on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2006 at the age of 86.

Bob was born in Green Bay where he enjoyed the life of a vagabond. Spending his teen years in Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps, he became a baker and then a saddle maker for the government before enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. Bob flew 28 missions in a B-17 bomber over Germany before becoming a prisoner of war, receiving a Purple Heart and five air medals. He spent the next 40 years in construction before retiring to become catfish king in Fremont.

Bob belonged to the American Legion, Purple Heart, Disabled American Legion and POW.

Bob was the beloved husband of June (nee Kreutzfeldt) for 66 years; loving father of James (Kathy), Richard (Elizabeth), Brent and the late Robert Gardipee; dear grandfather of Wendee, Bobby Joe, Andrew, David, Brian, Lisa, Sarah, Megan, Jared, Amy Sue and Lindsay; dearest great-grandfather of Sam, Zachary, Evan, Emily, Mathew, Zacharis, Gabriella, Eli, Katie Ann, Marissa, Ericka and Breanna; dear brother of Florence Balisteri and Donald Gardipee. Bob is further survived by many nieces and nephews.

Bob was preceded in death by his son Robert Gardipee; four brothers; and a sister.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside thoroughly used up, totally worn out and proclaiming "wow, what a ride."