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In Memory of Robert Birkett Sr.


December 8, 1924 - July 15, 2019

Robert John Birkett Sr. Age 94, of Rice Lake, WI died Monday, July 15, 2019 at his daughters home.

He was born on December 8, 1924 at the Fishtrap area, north of Winter, WI to John and Florence “Hazel” (Altaffer) Birkett. His folks, moved to Draper, WI, along with his Grandpa and Grandma Altaffer. They moved away from Moorcroft, WY because of the dry years and dust years, 1889. He and his siblings attended Fishtrap grade school, a quarter mile west of the farm. There was no bus service there. When Bob attended high school, he stayed at the Louis Karlson farm. After 2 years, the bus came as far as Fishtrap. When school was out, he worked at the farm until fall. “Many of us guys had no work, so we went every direction.” Bob got a job at the Campbell Soup Company in Chicago and stayed at an apartment with his buddies. He then worked at a lumber yard and bought a dump truck, got married to Rolena Boekeloo and they later divorced. He learned to run heavy equipment which he did his whole career. In the early 1970’s they moved back to Winter, WI and got a job with the Sawyer County Highway Department and moved to Rice Lake in 1986 and worked at ACW Sand, Gravel and Rock Inc for 18 years and then retired. Bob later married Meredith Lindstrom Coleman. He loved ice fishing, fishing, hunting and gardening.

He is survived by his wife, Meredith Birkett of Owen, WI; his children, Robert Birkett Jr. (Maureen) of DeMotte, Indiana and Valerie Caldwell (Rev. Ray) of Rice Lake; 12 grandchildren, John, Andrew, Timothy, Paul, Mark, Marie, Bennie, Joel, Jonathan, Jennifer, Sarah and James; many great and great great grandchildren; a sister, Florence Helfer of Winder, GA; many nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Florence “Hazel” Birkett; a daughter, Sandra Turner; a grandson, Robert Caldwell; 2 sisters, Ada Doolittle and Frances Karlson.

A celebration of his life will be held at Maranatha Evangelical Free Church in Rice Lake at the end of summer 2019.

Appleyard’s Home for Funerals in Rice Lake, WI is in charge of the arrangements.


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