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On April 8, 1930 a legend of a man was born to Clifford and Clara (Riley) Robey and they named him Francis Clifford Robey. Affectionately known by many and most as “Sonny”, he was ever the outdoorsman/hunter, patriot, hard worker, family man, and an all-around great guy. He left this world in the early morning hours of October 21, 2016 at the age of 86, with his loving family by his side, hearts breaking having to say goodbye, but thankful to the good Lord for having him in our lives, and happy that he would be at rest with our Heavenly Father in his heavenly home.
He grew up in his beloved Mudbrook (New Auburn) along with his two brothers Malcom (Mac) and Duane, and two sisters Ruth Ann and Myrna. In 1943, at the young age of 13, always eager to help out in any way and be of help in whatever way possible, he went to work at his Grandma’s farm. In 1945 and 1946 he helped out at the farm of his relative Orville Pingel, and in 1947 he worked in the wood and saw mill at Clarence Ryner’s, all the while attending New Auburn High School. He was a proud high school graduate of the Class of 1948.
Following High School he went into the Army and was sent to Japan. With the Korean War conflict in 1950, he was sent to Korea and proudly served his country, experiencing firsthand the sacrifice made by too many, but the honor of serving by their side. He was always one proud Veteran, and with pride and virtuous valor he would don his Korean War Veteran hat and share with rectitude the fact that he served our country.
In May of 1951 he returned back to the U.S. and in June, continuing his service in the military stateside, worked as an Army Recruiter in Green Bay until 1953 when he was then sent to do the same in Rice Lake. He was then sent to Colorado, and in 1954 was sent to Fort Hood TX, exiting the military life in June of 1955.
On September 10, 1955 he married Rhodora Rufledt in a double wedding along with Rhodora’s sister Goldene and long-time friend (and fellow Mudbrooker) Verdon “Jim” Frank.
Having fulfilled his duties and time to the military, it was time to don his civilian-life hat, and so his talents were put to use with a variety of experiences and jobs -- first at O&N Lumber Company of New Auburn, then working a brief period for Presto, then to Rockford Illinois working for J.I. Case in the Machine Shop, then farming for his in-laws, was working at Crane’s Feed Mill when President Kennedy was shot and killed, and let’s not forget Madison Silo Company where he fell 32 feet from silo scaffolding breaking both legs. He then worked for Johnson Plastics in Chippewa Falls as a Machinist and was there for 19 ½ years when he then went to Bloomer Plastics and worked until his retirement in 1995.
Sonny and Rhodora were blessed with four children, Joel in 1956, Yvonne in 1957, Suzanne in 1958, and Thomas in 1969.
Sonny was a warm-hearted, kind soul. He enjoyed and appreciated this earth the good Lord gave us, made the most of what he had, what was given, and whatever he could do, fought the good fight, always remaining true and honorable. It was a pleasure to have him around, and have him on this earth.
He is survived by, and will be so very missed by, his wife of 61 years, Rhodora; to his three children whom he instilled those wonderful and prideful Robey values --Yvonne Baier and her children and their families - Russell (Tami) Baier (3 children), and Erin (Brandon) Peterson (2 children); Suzanne (Paul) Michels and their children and families - Deon (Shawn) Bowe (3 children), Denise (Scott) Fagerlin (4 children), Karla (Dallas) Gearing (4 children), Cassandra Michels (Jeff Becker), Clarissa (Ryan) Naset (1 child), and Kiley Michels (Justin Meinen); son Thomas (Rebecca) Robey – his daughter Maranda (Jake Weibel), Rebecca’s children Chris, Tyler, Shania, and Jenna; 17 great grandchildren, and further survived by his brother Duane Robey, sisters Ruth Ann (George) Lund, and Myrna (Fuji) Ferris, sister-in-law Rhea Robey and Goldene Frank, and brothers-in-law Norbert and Norman Rufledt, and numerous nieces and nephews who adored him as much as he did them.
He was preceded in death by his parents Clifford and Clara Robey, son Joel Robey, great-grandson Mason Peterson, brother Malcolm (Mac) Robey, sisters-in-law Lucille Robey, Alberta Robey, Marilyn Rufledt, Florence Yakish, Evelyn Toufar, brothers-in-law, George Yakish, Lawrence Toufar, Jim Frank, Wally Eisner, Don Badura.
He was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Eagleton, American Legion, NRA, and held an Honorary Membership to the Mudbrook Sportsman’s Club.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the wonderful and loving care given from the staff at MCHS-Bloomer, MCHS-Hospice, Dr. Wirtz, and Dr. Bruxvoort.
Funeral services will be Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at 11:00 AM at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Eagleton. There will be a visitation on Monday, October 24, 2016 from 4:00 – 8:00 PM at Olson Funeral Home in Bloomer and one hour prior to services at the church on Tuesday. Interment will be in the Rufledt Cemetery with Military Graveside Rites by the Bloomer American Legion and VFW.
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