Robert M. Ryan (Bob) age 81 of Glenwood City, WI entered into his eternal kingdom Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, WI, only two days before reaching his 82nd birthday.
Bob was born May 3rd, 1931 in Glenwood City, WI, the son of the late Morris and Elsie Ryan (Clausen) and brother to Gene (deceased) and sister Shirley Ellevold of Princeton, MN.
Bob was raised on the family farm on Highway 128 and attended Beaver Valley Grade School, graduating with the Class of 1949, from Glenwood City High School.
Bob was drafted into the U.S. Army and served his country from 1952-1954.
He served as a section chief for the 39th Field Artillery Battalion of the 3rd Infantry Division during the Korean War. The 3rd Infantry Division, the “Rock of the Marine” division saw bitter fighting in the Iron Triangle and at Outpost Harry. Bob was honorably discharged as a Sergeant First Class in 1954.
After his discharge he and others from the Glenwood City area went to New York and helped build the St. Lawrence Seaway. The seaway is a system of locks, canals and channels that permits ocean-going vessels to travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes.
He went to Kansas and worked in the fields during the annual Wheat Harvest along with others from the Glenwood area.
On August 29, 1964 he married Phyllis (Fink) Brandenburg and took on the job of raising five boys. They lived in Boyceville and then moved to Wilson in 1964. In 1977, Bob and Phyllis bought his parents’ farm by Glenwood City and he lived there the rest of his years. He raised beef cattle as a hobby and adopted every cat that came along.
Being raised on a farm, Bob always had a love for horses. He entered into competitions at Horse Pulling Events across western Wisconsin. The Elmwood Horse Pull was an annual event, whether he was pulling the stone boat with a team of horses or there to watch others that he used to pull with.
I am sure there were a few stories told, too. If someone had a story to tell, he would listen, and he always had one to tell. Sometimes two or three times, but we always listened because he was a good storyteller.
One story that came to life was at Thanksgiving time. We had the opportunity as kids to live the song “Over the River and Through the Woods” to grandfather’s house we go. The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh through the white and drifted snow. If there was snow Bob would hook up the team of horses to the sleigh and through the woods we would go. ‘Course the year that the Pabst truck tipped over by the front pasture wasn’t bad, either.
Bob worked as a bulldozer operator and helped build many roads that we drive on today. He started working for the St. Croix County Highway Dept., worked for L. G. Arnold Construction from Eau Claire, Hamersley Construction from Madison, and retiring from F. C. Raemisch Construction from Waunakee, WI in 1993. He was a member of Union 139 (Operating Engineers) and just received his 45 year pin.
Bob loved all the family gatherings and always made time for everyone, especially the kids.
Bob will be greatly missed by his wife of 47 years, Phyllis Ryan, children Rick Brandenburg of Douglas City, California; Larry (Debra) Brandenburg of Seville, Ohio; Mike (Deb) Brandenburg of Baldwin, WI; Grandchildren, Tim Brandenburg, Hudson, WI; Dan (Jenna) Brandenburg, Menomonie WI; Rebekah (Chris) Dean, Chesapeake, VA; Michael (Clair) Brandenburg, Hammond, WI; Brad Brandenburg, Lodi OH; Ryan Brandenburg, Lodi OH; Candy Brandenburg, Euclid OH and Tracy Brandenburg (Frevert) of Clinton, MN. His great grandchildren, sibling Shirley Ellevold, sister in-law Tammy Ryan (Gene) and many other extended family members and dear friends. He is also preceded in death by sons David and Roger Brandenburg and brother Gene Ryan.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Glenwood City, WI with Rev Diane House officiating. Burial will be held at the Glenwood City Cemetery. Visitation will be Tuesday, May 7, 2013 from 5-7 p.m. and 1 hour prior to services at the church. Anderson Funeral Home in Glenwood City is assisting the family with arrangements.