Robert E. Eernisse ‘Rube,’ 91

Robert E. Eernisse “Rube” of Grafton passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013, at his residence surrounded by his loving family. He was 91 years old. Bob was born in Grafton on July 20, 1922, the son of Oscar Eernisse and Viola Staewin Eernisse. After graduating from Grafton High School, Bob served his country with the U.S. Navy as a Seabee in World War II. On April 17, 1945, he married Marvelle Hilgart at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Grafton. She preceded him in death in 2012.

He was an avid athlete, active in basketball, baseball, boxing, volleyball and bowling. He was an all-star pitcher for Land O’ Lakes baseball for many years. He also played softball for the Grafton Bowl team until he was 80 years old. Rube had a passion for baseball and was able to attend Milwaukee Brewers spring training in Arizona the past three years with his family.

Bob worked as a material handler for Simplicity Manufacturing in Port Washington for 25 years, retiring in 1987.

Rube was a 59-year member of the Grafton Volunteer Fire Department where he was the village of Grafton fire inspector for over 20 years. The fire department was a very important part of his life. He enjoyed the camaraderie and brotherhood that the department afforded.

Bob was also a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church, the Rose-Harms American Legion Post 355 and the Grafton-Cedarburg Post 10171 Veterans of Foreign Wars.

He is survived by his seven children, Lynn Mary Holzer of Grafton, William (Nadine) of Grafton, Bruce “Virgil” (Janice) of Cleveland, Tenn., Brian (Becky) of Oostburg, Laurie (David) Schwalbe of Grafton, Lee Anne Reif of Grafton and Lisa (Randy) Mueller of Saukville; 23 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; his sister, Ruth (the late Clarence) Fiedler of Hartford; his brother. James (Carol) Eernisse of Waubeno; sisters-in-law, Georgia Eernisse of Cedarburg, Jean Eernisse of Port Washington, Marceline (Leroy) Paulin of Grafton, Beatrice Blank of Sanibel Island, Fla., Beverly (Eugene) Proefrock and Marilyn Clemins of Grafton; brother-in-law, James (Lucille) Hilgart of Grafton; nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Marvelle; three sons, Joseph, Robert Jr. and Bert; daughter-in-law, Linda; and two brothers, Earl and Donald Eernisse.

Funeral services will be held this evening, Sept. 3, at 7 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 701 Washington St., Grafton. He will be laid to rest with military honors at St. Joseph Parish Cemetery in Grafton. Visitation will be held at the church today, Sept. 3, from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.

The Eernisse Funeral Home is honored to serve the family. Online condolences may be left at