Robert (Bob) E. Groppe

Robert (Bob) E. Groppe fell asleep with Jesus at his Grafton home on Friday, April 17, 2009, at age 70.

Bob was born on Aug. 9, 1938, in Washington, Mo., to Flora and Edwin Groppe. He studied education and music at Concordia University, Seward, Neb., and married Eva Schneider in 1963. Bob’s life was defined by his service to the Lord and selfless dedication to his family. For 27 years, Bob taught math at St. Paul Lutheran School in Grafton. Bob’s love of music was shared through countless years of playing the organ at St. Paul Church as well as being the music director for both the children’s and male choir. After retiring from teaching, Bob worked at Concordia University, Mequon, for 11 years.

Bob is survived by his beloved wife, Eva (nee Schneider), of 45 years; four children, Steve (Kelly) of Cedarburg, Kelly (Tim) Buchholz of Milwaukee, Jeff (Tina) of Hartford, and Bob (Kimberly) of Hudson, Ohio; and 11 grandchildren whom he dearly loved, Nathan, Meghan, Andrew, James, Danielle, Michaela, C.J., Abbie, Alex, Emma, and Ethan. Bob is further survived by his sister, Kathyrn (Dan) Walther of Washington, Mo.; brother-in-law, George (Natalie) Schneider of Oak Creek; and sister-in-law, Bonnie (Ray) Konkel of Wisconsin Dells; as well as many other family members and friends.

Bob lived each day admiring and being thankful for the woman he married over 45 years ago. Even though illness complicated almost every aspect of his life, Bob still enjoyed every meal, every trip, and special occasion with Eva. They were inseparable.

As a father, he taught his children self-discipline, a love of music, a love of the Lord, and an appreciation of nature. He spent many hours serenading them with piano or organ music. He also made sure, regardless of the weather, that the birds that he loved so dearly were fed. Eva would oftentimes see him pushing his wheelchair through a couple inches of snow just to get to the feeder.

Have you heard the one about?" (Fill in the blank for the joke of a lifetime) On most occasions, that is how a conversation between Bob and everyone he met, whether friend, family, or service worker, would begin. The question, answered with either a "yes" or "no" would inevitably be followed up by a short and humorous joke that indubitably left the listener with a large smile and a chuckle. Bob lived his life much that same way, bringing joy and smiles to everyone he encountered. He touched the lives of many people.

Bob cherished every moment he had with his grandchildren. While he was an absolute "card shark," playing pinochle and sheepshead against adults, he would sometimes be known to throw the game against the younger ones. If he wasn’t playing a game with them, you’d surely see him cuddled up on the chair reading them a story or cheering on his beloved St. Louis Cardinals.

He was an amazing, God-fearing and resilient fighter, an inspiration to us all, a man whose mere presence brought joy to the world. He will be missed dearly.

Funeral services will be held today, April 21, at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Grafton, with Pastor Larry Prahl officiating. Visitation will be at the church from 4 p.m. until the time of the service at 7 p.m. A private burial will be held at St. Paul Cemetery on Wednesday, April 22. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the St. Paul Lutheran Organ Fund or St. Paul Lutheran Sharing Shelf are appreciated.

Mueller Funeral Home is serving the family. For online condolences please go to www.muellerfuneralhome.com.