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, WI 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 Wisconsin 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 Vietnam, 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), John (CiCi), 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 will be at Christ Church Cathedral, 510 S. Farwell Street, Eau Claire on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 11 a.m. with Bishop Jay Lambert and the Very Rev’d H. Scott Kirby officiating. Visitation will be from 9:30 a.m. until time of services. Military Honors will be conducted at the church by American Legion Post 53. Burial will be held at the Windfall Cemetery in Exeland, WI.
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 www.lenmarkfh.com.