Funeral services for Robert Weikert, age 95, of Milaca, will be held Saturday, September 3, 2016 at 11 AM at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Milaca with Rev. Tim Schaekel officiating. Interment will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery in Milaca with military honors provided by Hansen-Hayes American Legion Post #178 and Siemers-Hakes VFW Post #10794. Visitation will be from 5 – 7 PM Friday at Peterson-Johnson Funeral Home in Milaca and 1 hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday.
Robert Henry Weikert was born on June 27, 1921 to Jesse A. Weikert and Lucy A. (Miner) Weikert. Bob was raised living on the banks of the Apple River in Amery, Wisconsin. Living on the Apple River, Bob and his 3 brothers enjoyed swimming and ice skating on the river, as well as many hours hunting and fishing together in their youth. Bob graduated from Amery High School in 1939.
Bob joined the Navy on February 21, 1941 and received his basic training at Great Lakes Training Station in Illinois. He served in Florida and Hawaii as an airplane mechanic and was honorary discharged on February 16, 1947 at the rank of aviation machinist mate First Class, USN.
After leaving the Navy, Bob and his brother Albert bought a small retail lumber yard in Foreston, MN in November of 1946. They named the business Weikert Bros. Millwork Company and in 1957 they made the decision to manufacture kitchen cabinet parts and trim. Bob was a very inventive man in the wood working industry developing equipment and dry kilns. In 1966, Bob became the sole owner and the company continued to expand. All 5 of Bob’s children worked with him at the company over the years and some continue to work in the wood industry at this time. In 1978, at the age of 57, Bob decided to retire and sold the business. During these years Bob employed many young people from the surrounding area, giving many of them their first jobs. He was very proud of all his employees especially the long term employees that helped with the growth of his company which is now the Woodcraft Industries Plant in Foreston.
Bob married Myrtle Mary Peetz on June 3, 1952, to this union 5 children were born. All of his children have many memories of rock picking at gravel pits and along gravel roads. Bob and Myrtle enjoyed their camping, fishing and traveling trips with family and friends. Bob was an avid bowler most of his life and at the age of 93 could still bowl a 236 game score. He also enjoyed a good game of horseshoes with friends and family.
During Bob’s retirement years he devoted his time to lapidary work cutting and polishing Mary Ellen Jasper Stromatolites from the Mesabi Iron Range and Binghamite from Crosby, Minnesota. He was noted for the excellent polish he would get on slabs and spheres that he cut. He was very proud of his rock exhibits and especially his display at the Moose Lake Agate State Park. He enjoyed sharing his knowledge of Mary Ellen Jasper and Binghamite with other rock hounds around the country.
He passed away peacefully on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at Milaca Elim Home.
He is survived by his five children, Kenneth of Wanamingo, William (Vicki) of Cross Lake, Gene (Marlene) of Foreston, Patricia (Joseph) Cronin of Milaca and Howard of Foreston; 10 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Gladis Weikert of Dresser, WI; also by many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Myrtle; daughter-in-law, Linda; grandson, Michael and 3 brothers, Albert, Gordon and Harold.