Robert (Bob) William Kantor, Sr., age 86, died February 27, 2020, at Maple Ridge Care Center surrounded by his beloved wife Kathleen (Kappy) and family. Bob was born October 11, 1933, in Chicago, Illinois, to his parents William and Anna Piotrowski Kantor.
In 1944 Bob's father died, leaving his mother alone to raise their three small children. Bob became the "man of the household" at the tender age of seven. When Bob was fourteen, his mother married Joseph Plohasz, and the family then moved to a small farm in Swanville, Minnesota, where Bob was active in choir and theater while helping on the family farm. Bob graduated from high school in 1952. With military service inevitable due to his A-1 draft rating, he enlisted and spent two years with the U.S. Army. After his honorable discharge he enrolled at St. Cloud State College where he majored in Business Education. Bob had a beautiful bass voice and joined the college concert choir where he met blue-eyed soprano, his beloved wife-to-be, Kappy. Ballroom dancing was a highlight of their courtship together. They were married in 1958 and, after his graduation they moved to Solon Springs, Wisconsin, where he taught high school business classes and Kappy tended to their growing family. In 1962 they moved to Spooner, Wisconsin, where he continued teaching Business Education. He loved his profession and was always proud of his students, especially those who went into careers in business.
Bob was a man full of love, which came through in his many interests. He especially enjoyed his time in the garden where he grew many varieties of heirloom tomatoes from seed, sharing the bounty of his harvest with family and friends. He loved feeding birds, especially during winters when they were most vulnerable. This love of nature lead to a hobby of photography. He always had one of his many cameras at the ready, often skillfully retouching photos for friends at his trusty Macintosh computer.
He cherished his daily ritual of coffee with his buddies at a local restaurant, whom he claimed "could solve all the problems of the world while creating a few new ones." He loved cookies. Many a cup of coffee at the family kitchen table was enjoyed with a freshly baked cookie. He was often heard to jokingly proclaim "An empty cookie jar is grounds for divorce!" Kappy baked a lot of cookies...
Bob was a devout Catholic; a man of deep faith and service. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus for sixty years. He loved being in the choir at St. Francis de Sales Church and for many years he assisted at funeral liturgies there.
What he loved most was Kappy and his family. In his over sixty-one years of marriage to Kappy, they kept busy with school and church activities. Over the years they attended many concerts, sporting events, and family graduations, those from Grade 8 to several advanced degrees. In his retirement he and Kappy enjoyed winter trips to Florida.
He spent nearly two years at Maple Ridge Care Center after suffering a stroke in 2018. His family is very grateful for the loving, tender care he received there, with staff and several residents becoming an extended part of the Kantor family.
Bob is survived by his wife Kappy; his sons Robert Jr. (Monique) Kantor of Minneapolis, MN and Daniel (Sara) Kantor of Bloomington, MN; daughters Mary Kantor of Boston, MA, and Susan (Paul Welvang) Kantor of Edina, MN; grandchildren Joseph Kantor of Los Angeles, CA, Brian Kantor of Boston, MA, and Lydia Kantor and future grandson-in-law Tyler Garwood of Minneapolis, MN; brother Richard Kantor (Alice) of Big Lake, MN, and sister Elaine (John) Walker of Spooner, WI; and many treasured nieces, nephews, and friends.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents.
Bob's great heart has been stilled, but precious memories will help soothe the hole in the hearts of those who loved him.
Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4, at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Spooner. Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service at 12:00 noon. A private interment will follow later in the week. Memorials in Bob's name can be made to St. Francis de Sales Catholic School or Maple Ridge Care Center.
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