Robert “Bob” Gresens, age 75, passed away bravely and peacefully, on his own terms like a true Marine, surrounded with an incredible amount of love from his family on November 3, 2021.
Born on March 29, 1946, to Ann Marie Bachmann, he was raised by his mother and her husband, Kenneth M. Gresens, in Appleton. He graduated in 1964 from Appleton West High School, where his strongest inspiration came from his teachers.
Bob joined the United States Marine Corps while in high school. He served honorably during the Vietnam War Era from 1963 to 1971, achieving the rank of Sergeant. Bob’s experience in the Marines played a very important role in his life. He frequently pointed out that the Marines taught him the value of discipline, teamwork and investing in a cause larger than himself. He was an active member of the Vietnam Veterans Chapter 351 and American Legion Post 38. He loved being a Marine and teaching the history of Vietnam to others through many speaking engagements.
“By golly” (as Bob would often say) he was blessed with “the gift to gab” and loved talking with people and sharing his many experiences. His gift led him into the world of sales where he found his passion selling vehicles. For many years, he was doing what he loved to do, selling commercial vehicles for Fox Valley Truck and Bergstrom GM.
As much as Bob loved being a Marine, he loved his family so much more. He was an amazing husband, dad and grandpa. He married his longtime friend Marie in 2015 and they joined two beautiful families together as they looked forward to their new adventures in life as husband and wife.
He was always happiest when he was traveling or around a campfire with family and friends having a cold beverage. Bob was an avid outdoors lover and cherished deer hunting with his family and friends. He had a love of finding the weekend chicken barbeques all over the state, enjoying a good old fashioned with Korbel Brandy or firing up the grill to be the master griller. When his cousin Tony’s band was playing locally, he was sure to be there to listen with a cold drink, his wife and a smile. Bob loved being at every event he could possibly attend for his kids or grandkids. His life was full of love for all his family. He loved dogs, especially his own that he had in his younger years, Toby and Heather. Bob’s self-discipline made him a true perfectionist! He liked his things his way, neat and orderly. Although he could be head strong at times, deep down he had a huge heart and he gave the best hugs. Bob was a great man and will be missed by everyone. His love and memories will live on forever.
Bob is survived by his loving wife, Marie; his children Kerry (Dennis) Bielke; James (Lisa) Gresens; Renee Hazen; Stacey (David) Elliott; Donna (Scott) Roesler; Susan (Jon) Abbey; Chad (fiancée, Julie Hytrek) Hanshaw; and Shaun (Amber Dunn) Kettner. His grandchildren Daniel (Amanda), Kristina (Nathan), Jonathan, Brielle; Jacob (Kayla), Marissa (Zak), Bailey, Riley; Alison, Elizabeth, Paige; Kayla, Dylan, Stephanie and Nick; Alexandria (Even), Katelyn; Nicole, Dylan, Jade, Jacob; Summer, Kyle, Ben, Jacob, Hunter and Emma. His great grandchildren Zelda, Lily, Ava, Cambria, Owen, Veanna, Pieper, Payton, Aubree and Tucker. His cousin, Tony (Laurie) Wagner; Kerry and Jim’s mother, Linda Arter; good friends Lowell “Buzz” (Char) Leitzke; Ray (Tammy) Waslo; Ken (Dee) Weckwerth and all his many loving friends.
He is preceded in death by his mother, Annmarie Rose Gresens, his aunt & uncle, Grace “Honey” and Jay Wells, his grandparents, Clarence and Anna Bachmann and his step-grandparents, Walter and Florence Gresens.
Memorial Service will be held on Friday November 19, 2021 at 11:00 am at Faith Lutheran Church in Appleton. Visitation will be held on Thursday November 18, 2021 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Wichmann Funeral Home and on Friday, November 19, 2021 from 10:00 AM until the hour of service at Faith Lutheran Church.
We would like to thank the amazing staff at Theda Care Regional Medical Center-Appleton and anyone that assisted in the care of Bob during his final days.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Bob’s name to one of the following organizations: The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 351 https://www.vvawi351.org/ ; the American Legion Post 38 http://www.appletonpost38.org/; or Fox Valley Humane Association https://www.foxvalleypets.org/