Robert Harold Darwin died peacefully at the Avow Hospice House in Naples Florida on the morning of May 15, 2021, following a brief illness. Bob (to all who knew him) enjoyed reminiscing with family and friends and even played a few hands of Euchre during the last few days of his life.
The trout in Montana’s Gallatin River can now rest a little easier.
Bob was born in Grand View, Wisconsin, on August 27, 1923, the son of Sherwood and Anna (Johnson) Darwin. He graduated from Drummond High School, Drummond, Wisconsin in 1941, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1948. He was a World War II veteran and served in the Army Air Corps. Bob worked in accounting and real estate until his retirement to Naples, Florida in 1987.
Bob was a member of Lely Presbyterian Church in Naples where he volunteered his help with repairs and maintenance for many years.
Bob married Helen Neer in Cable, Wisconsin on September 13, 1947. They lived in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and Rice Lake, Wisconsin, before moving to Midland, Michigan in 1951. Though he found himself far from the home he loved, Bob was close to his siblings and their families. It was important to him to get together whenever possible, whether in Michigan, Wisconsin, or Florida in later years.
Bob and Helen made friends easily wherever they went. The Enchanting Acres community in Naples became their home after retirement, and the friendships they established were lifelong. It was there that Bob became passionate about shuffleboard and learned to oil paint. Bozeman, Montana eventually became Bob and Helen’s summer home. They developed friendly ties to the managers and returning campers of the Sunrise Campground, and Rocky Creek and the Gallatin River provided the fish for many memorable stories. They lived in their motorhome during the summer, traveling across the United States and setting up camp in campgrounds or the driveways of their children.
Above all else Bob and Helen loved their family and friends. From the time they moved to Midland, they traveled twice a year with the kids to Cable Wisconsin where they reunited with North Woods relatives and old neighbors. They were devoted to their grandchildren and taught them many practical skills, as well as how to thrive and enjoy life. By sharing their love of a good card game and the outdoors, they assured there would always be a foursome for a euchre game and an enthusiastic fishing companion wherever they visited. Grandma and Grandpa were mentors, advisors and champions for all their grandchildren.
Bob was interested in others’ lives and experiences and listened intently to their stories, He was patient and sympathetic to people who struggled for whatever reason, and without judgement. Bob was impressed by personal achievement, but what endeared him most to people was their thoughtfulness, humility, and courage.
He will be deeply missed by his family and friends.
Survivors include one brother, George, of Zephyrhills, Florida; one son, Bruce, of Houston, Texas; two daughters, Beth McNeil and her husband Dan of Allegan, Michigan and Carol Dailey of Bozeman, Montana; eleven grandchildren, Ananda Scott, Ira Woyar (Amy Jahnke), John Adams (Naomi Adele Smith), Seth Dailey (Alyce), Shawn Dailey, Colin Dailey (Lindsey), Jamin Dailey (Breezy), Stephanie Dailey, Chad Dailey (Emma), Laurel Darwin, and Sarah Darwin; three step-grandchildren, Kathryn McNeil, Elisabeth McNeil Sinclair (Drew), and Jaden Adams; nine great grandchildren, Karissa Dailey, Lorra Daily, Anika Dailey, Brielle Dailey, Nevaeh Bako, Delaney Dailey, Callaghan “Beau” Dailey, Olive Dailey, Tess Scott, and Isabelle Scott; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Bob was preceded in death by his beloved wife Helen, his parents, eight sisters: Beatrice Zydor, Lucille Erickson, Marguerite Thornton, Edith Edwardson, Grace Brakken, Isabella Darwin, Bernice Darwin, and Isla Mae Lemmen, and four brothers: Donald Darwin, Raymond Darwin, Jerold Darwin, and infant Roy Darwin.
Bob will be buried in the Cable Cemetery next to his wife Helen. Arrangements were entrusted to the Bratley-Nelson Funeral Home in Hayward, Wisconsin and the Fuller Funeral Home in Naples, Florida.
A graveside service will be held for Bob at noon on Saturday, August 7, at the Greenwood Cemetery in Cable, WI. Following the burial service there will be a gathering at the Brick House Cafe' for his friends and family.
Bob was deeply saddened by stories of children facing cancer and would be honored if, in lieu of flowers, a donation were made in his memory to St. Jude Hospital whose work he supported. Donate now to St. Jude and help kids fighting cancer
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