Robert (Bob) J. Bootz of Waupaca, Colonel Retired, died surrounded by his family on Friday, January 2, 2015 from anaplastic thyroid cancer.
Bob was born in Appleton, the son of the Robert and Kathryn (Van Lieshout) Bootz. He attended Holy Cross School and Sacred Heart Seminary (Oneida). This past year he connected with several of his Sacred Heart buddies and enjoyed rounds of golf with them. Bob graduated from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point as a 2nd Lieutenant through ROTC. Bob retired from the US Army as a Colonel after 37 years of service, serving in Vietnam. Bob and Jeanne used to tease that they moved thirteen times in the first nine years of marriage, finally coming back to Wisconsin where he served in the Reserves as battalion commander in Fond du Lac and Appleton. He was a member of St. Mary Magdalene’s Catholic Community, where he served many years in the choir and especially loved his mission trips with the high school students through Community in Action. Bob worked at Moore-O-Matic for years and then held a fulfilling position as elementary principal at Catholic schools in St. Rose (Clintonville), Most Precious Blood (New London), and St. Peter & Paul (Hortonville). Oh, how he loved working with the elementary students! Bob was passionate about his golf. Over the years, he won tournaments, taught young children the game, and lived and breathed golf during Wisconsin’s all-too short golf season. Although his sons tried to beat him, Dad retains the title of Family Golf Champion. His summer joy was his job at FoxFire Golf Pro Shop, where he found many dear friends in golfers and staff alike. He put his creative talents to work in his stained glass, winning an award at the Waupaca Art Show and gifting many people with his talents. He and Jeanne enjoyed traveling, visiting all 50 states and many countries overseas. The cruise to Alaska last June had been on the top of their list for years. Bob was also passionate about his family.
He is survived by Jeanne, his wife of 43 years. He was so proud of his sons and their families, Ben of Evanston, IL; Andrew (Angela) and their sons Paxton and Hugo of Monona, WI, and Daniel (Jeanne) and their daughters Esme and Lulu of Nelsonville, WI. He often said that his sons and daughters-in-law made a difference in people’s lives. That meant so much to him. He was also a “second dad” to many others, including Cliff Andre of Germany and Ben Achten of Waupaca. He is further survived by his sisters, Barbara (Jim) Sanderfoot of Kaukauna and Mary Law of Ellicott City, MD and his brother Peter (Cathy) of Kaukauna. He is further survived by his mother-in-law, Lulu Turner, brother-in-law Ross (Deb) Turner, and sister-in-law, Nancy (Dennis) Miller of Mauston, WI; nieces and nephews: Susan Sanderfoot, Jane (Gary) Gates, Lisa (Jeff) Pribble, Kelly (Craig) VanderHeiden, Katie Bootz, Kamy (Eric) Hopfensperger, John (Kelli)Turner, and Tara (Katena)Roberts-Turner, Ben (Erin)Miller, Theo (Kacie) Miller, Abi (Dan) Miller, Olivia (Adam) Baldwin, and Gabe Miller and all his great-nieces and nephews. He is also survived by so many friends it would be hard to even start listing them as they cover his life from childhood to today. Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Kathryn Bootz; his father-in-law, John Turner; his nephews, John Sanderfoot and John Law; his niece, Annie Turner, and his “ other son” Jeremy Carney.
The Memorial Mass will be on Saturday, January 10, at 11 a.m. at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Waupaca with Father Richard Lesniak, celebrant. Full military rites will follow the mass and burial will be later in the spring at the Central WI Veterans Memorial Cemetery, King. Memorial visitation will be on Friday evening from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Holly Funeral Home in Waupaca. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in Bob’s name. “Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots – but you have to play the ball where it lies.” – Bobby Jones