HELENVILLE — Robert Lee Bolton, 97, of Helenville, passed away Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019 at his home.
Robert was born July 18, 1922, in Phillips, the son of John and Amelia (Zacharius-Metzig) Bolton.
Robert had a strong work ethic and held down various jobs from an early age. He developed practical skills and worked in different trades until 1942 when he was inducted into the United States Army. Robert honorably served his country in World War II, courageously earning two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, as well as an Oak Leaf Cluster in the Pacific Theatre.
Upon his return from service, Robert began dating his first wife, Mary (Kurtz). They were married on Feb. 9, 1946. Together they had six children.
Robert and Mary were married for 52 years; Mary passed away Oct. 23, 1998.
To support his family, Robert continued to work hard to improve himself. He purchased an excavating and septic business in 1973. In order to install septic systems, sewers and water lines, Robert returned to school and earned his Master’s Plumber Restricted License.
Later in his career he owned a sawmill business with his brother, John.
In his later years, in his spare time, Robert dedicated himself to knitting hats which he gave to veterans. He knitted and distributed over 2,000 hats. Hat number 1,000 was graciously accepted and worn by none other than Country music star Charlie Daniels.
Robert was introduced to Betty Guendert by a close friend. On opening day of deer hunting season, Nov. 20, 1999, Robert got a four-legged deer (eight-point buck) in the morning, and in the afternoon a two-legged dear (Betty) when they were married. They lived happily together.
Robert is survived by his wife, Betty; four children, Sandy Schnabl of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., Patrick (Marji) of Sullivan, Carol Bolton of Appleton and Susan (Timothy) McGuire of Rome; four stepchildren, Cynthia Guendert, Daniel (Sharon) Guendert, Randall Guendert and Jodee (Dan) Stahmer; his brother, Harold (Ellen) Bolton of New Berlin; and his sister, Kathryn Isacson of Bloomington, Ind.; as well as 11 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, three step-grandchildren and one step-great-grandchild.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Mary; two sons, Michael and Daniel; his brothers, John and David; and his sister, Marion.
A celebration of Robert’s life will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 22, at Pagenkopf Funeral Home, 1165 E. Summit Ave., Oconomowoc. Visitation will be from 4 p.m. until time of service.
Masonic rites will be performed. Burial will be held in the near future at Highland Memorial Park Cemetery, where military honors will be accorded.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the following charities would be appreciated: Arbor Day Foundation, Rainbow Hospice or a veterans’ charity of your choice.