Robert W. Friend, 83, of Burlington, died March 15, 2013. in Decatur, Ill. He was born April 18, 1929, in Chicago, to the late John C. and Bertha (Walther) Friend. He spent his early life and received his education in Chicago.
He proudly served in the U.S. Army as a Staff Sergeant from 1947 until 1952, serving in Korea.
On Feb. 21, 1953, at the Union Grove United Methodist Church, he married Joann Osborne. Following marriage they made their home in Burlington. Joann preceded him in death July 15, 2012.
He worked as a test driver for both American Motors and Chrysler. He was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Burlington. He enjoyed his family and was an exceptionally fine “Mr. Mom” to their six children throughout their formative years. He enjoyed going to his grandchildren’s activities. His hobbies included bowling, golfing, fishing, playing cards, woodworking, gardening, cooking, hunting and in his earlier days coaching youth baseball.
Survivors include his children, Kathleen (Rodger) Koester, Decatur, Susan (Ken) Kumba, Burlington, Robert (Barb) Friend, Burlington, James (Kim) Friend, Burlington, Rebecca (Tom) Blyth, Waterloo, Deane (Sue) Friend, Fort Atkinson; grandchildren, Scott (Erin) Koester, Sarah Koester, Todd (Carlin) Koester, Mary (David) Hoffmann, Nicholas (Kelly) Kumba, Jill (Frank Brooks) Kumba, Jacob Kumba, William (Dana) Friend, Andrew (Eva) Friend, Cassie Friend, Riley Friend, Dylan Friend, Coriann Dorgay, Nolan Friend, Sydney Friend, Kirsten Blyth, Hannah Blyth, Sasha (Gatlin) Fenwick and Grace Musgrave; great-grandchildren, Madison, Lyncoln, Paityn and Joshua Koester, Cameron Brooks, Addison Kumba, Kayla and Dylan Graney and Jack, Fisher and William Fenwick; siblings, John (Joyce) Friend, Wayne (Kitty) Friend, Delores (Del) Stegemann, Shirley (the late Roger) Pratt, Joyce (Jim) Young and Carol (the late Wes) Gahres; nieces; nephews; other relatives and friends.
He was further preceded in death by his brothers, Clarence, Howard and Alvin, and sister, Eileen Martinson.
Visitation is Thursday, March 21, from 9:30-11:15 a.m., with services at 11:30 a.m., at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Burlington. The Rev. Kirk Lahmann will officiate. Burial will follow in Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Union Grove. Schuette-Daniels Funeral Home & Crematory, Burlington, is serving the family.
Memorials have been suggested to St. John’s Lutheran School in Burlington.