Obit: Gadwill, Colonel Robert J. (1939 - 2019)

Transcriber: Robert Lipprandt 

Surnames: Berg, Foster, Gadwill, Halverson, Hilfiker, Johnson, Kirby, Lambert, Rusk, Taylor

----Source: The Ladysmith News (Ladysmith, WI) 5/10/2019

Gadwill, Colonel Robert J. (8 MAR 1939 - 8 MAY 2019)

Col. Robert J. Gadwill USMC (Ret.), age 80, passed away on May 8, 2019, peacefully at home after being diagnosed with ALS last November.

Bob was born March, 8 1939, at home, in Ojibwa, to John and Muriel (Halverson) Gadwill. He attended Cedar Brook School in Ladysmith and graduated from Ladysmith High School in 1957. He accepted a scholarship to the University of Eau Claire as motivation to further his education and play football facilitated by the father of Ladysmith Coach, Bill Zorn. He always gave credit to Mr. Zorn for “shaping” his life while in school and throughout his career.

He was commissioned a 2nd Lt. in the United States Marine Corps the morning of June 2, 1962, married the afternoon of June 2nd to Mary Lucille Johnson of Eau Claire and graduated from UWEC on June 3, 1962. Being a very busy weekend, he claimed it was a setting for how his life continued to evolve. Bob began his career in Pensacola, FL and then Quantico, Va. at the Marine Corps Officer Basic School where he earned his regular commission as a Combat Engineer and later as a Logistics Officer. During his time in the Corps, he was stationed in Hawaii twice, two tours in Viet Nam, Okinawa, Naval War College in Rhode Island, Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Va., Headquarters Marine Corps, Arlington, VA, the Industrial College of Armed Forces at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., Officer in Charge of Recruiting in New York City, and in San Francisco stationed on Treasure Island as the Deputy Director of recruiting in the ten Western states.

Bob is survived by his wife, Mary, daughters Denise Foster (Mark), Laura Berg (Peder) and son, Joseph Gadwill (Terri Lynn). Grandchildren, Kyle and Benjamin Foster, Megan and Matthew Berg, Alaena Taylor, Jacob and Zachary Gadwill, great-granddaughter, Charlie Marie Taylor, sister Peggy Rusk (Lawrence), brothers John (CiCi) and Michael (Diana) and brother-in-law, the Rev. Kevin A. Johnson and many nieces and nephews.

Preceding Bob in death were his parents, John and Muriel Gadwill, sister, Leann Hilfiker, in-laws Archie and Beatrice Johnson, brother-in-law Rex Johnson and granddaughter Amelia Ruth Berg.

Bob retired in August 1987. He and Mary traveled about the United States for two years in their Allegro motor home settling in Eau Claire to look after both sets of parents in their final years. After many community involvements, Bob focused on serving on the Board of Directors for the Eau Claire Energy Cooperative, he was President of the Indianhead Chapter of the Military Officer’s Association of America (MOAA), serving and representing military officers in the northwest quarter of Wisconsin, and on the Board of Governors, Buffington Trust for elderly housing. With the MOAA association, he was very proud to be involved in the installation of the wall plaque in the lobby of the Chippewa Veterans Home.

His free time interests involved sustainable forest management and restoration of the family property, in Exeland. These activities (at times) yielded to hunting, wildlife habitat management ---- and the priority of spending time with the grandkids during the summers at the homestead of Badger Creek.

A very special thank you to Dr. Steven Weiss of Mayo Hospital who diagnosed Bob with ALS ahead of many tests to identify the illness and continued to monitor him throughout. Also, Bob was fortunate to be involved with the ALS Clinic associated with the Veterans Hospital of Minneapolis.

Funeral Services were held Tuesday, May 14, at Christ Church Cathedral in Eau Claire with Bishop Jay Lambert and the Very Rev. H. Scott Kirby officiating. Military Honors were conducted at the church by American Legion Post 53. Burial was at Windfall Cemetery in Exeland.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials directed to the ALS Foundation or Christ Church Cathedral. Lenmark-Gomsrud-Linn Funeral Home & Cremation Services is assisting the family with arrangements.

To express online condolences please visit



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