Robert Lamken, 83, lost his battle with cancer March 17, 2012, at the Howard Young Medical Center in Minocqua.
Robert was born to the late George and Johanna Lamken Sept. 19, 1928, in Springfield, Ill. He spent much of his childhood roaming the woodlands and fields on the farm that his parents purchased near Rosholt. He graduated from Rosholt High School in 1946. Following graduation Robert's adventurous spirit took him across the United States where he spent time working odd jobs in places such as Yellowstone National Park and Washington State. In 1949, he joined the United States Navy Air Force Reserves in Glenview, Ill., and from 1950-52 traveled to more than 19 countries while serving in the Korean War.
In 1952, Robert Lamken began a four-year apprenticeship with Mundt Electrical Construction Company. On Oct. 3, 1953, he married the love of his life - his "Swede" - Elaine Johnson, of Wittenberg.
They bought a house in Rib Mountain where together they began raising their two children. Robert eventually moved his family to Weston and continued working as an electrician for Van Ert Electric until his retirement in 1991. Robert had an extremely strong work ethic, but throughout his life he also made sure to take vacations with his family, enjoy good times with friends, hunt, fish, and often frustrated his wife by disappearing for hours in the woods around his home where he cut firewood, built trails, and devised strategies for outsmarting the elusive whitetail. In 1961, Robert and Elaine purchased land near Lake Tomahawk, built a cabin, and eventually retired to their "River Retreat" in 1992.
Following retirement, Robert continued to fulfill his dreams of traveling, hunting, and just plain enjoying life. He and Elaine visited Florida every year during those cold Wisconsin winters and savored retirement during the summer months in Lake Tomahawk. Robert also spent many weeks over the years in Montana where he and friends embarked on numerous hunting excursions. During his life, Robert shot 119 bucks - a fact which he was, understandably, extremely proud of. In his hunting journal, which he kept since 1960, Robert describes shooting that many bucks in a lifetime as being "hard to beat." Robert was also an active member of the American Legion Post 318, the VFW, and a member of Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church in Minocqua. He was known for his love of the outdoors and those witty, humorous comments he interjected at every possible opportunity during conversations with family and friends.
Robert is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Elaine Lamken; children, Sheila (Ted, Jr.) Burger of Wausau and Scott (Tammy Seefeldt) Lamken of Eland; siblings: Edward Lamken of Arkdale, Luella Norton of Wausau, and Gloria (Ron) Leaf of Elk Grove, Ill.; grandchildren, Nick Burger, Brianna Wright, Brooke Gutowski, Keesha Campbell, Katie Schoessow, Adam Seefeldt, and Amber Seefeldt; and great-grandchildren, William, Elaine, and Nora.
The funeral service will be held Saturday, March 24, 11 a.m., at Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Wittenberg.
Rev. Max Gray, pastor at Calvary Lutheran Church, Minocqua, will officiate.
Visitation will be held Saturday, 9 a.m. until the time of services at the funeral home.
Robert will be buried at Redeemer Lutheran Cemetery, Wittenberg, with military rites conducted by the Elderon VFW Memorial Post #8068.
The family guestbook and condolences are available at schmidtschulta.com.
Robert Lamken will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. He was an incredible individual who mentored and inspired many throughout his lifetime. Robert often said that he would "live until he dies," and will indeed be remembered as someone who lived life to its fullest.