Robert Karl Reynolds, Sr.

June 27, 1941 ~ April 10, 2022 (age 80)


Robert (Bob) Karl Reynolds, Sr. passed away unexpectedly on April 10, 2022. Bob was born on June 27, 1941 in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, the oldest son of Karl S. and Harriet (Skip) Florence Fuhry Reynolds. Bobby, Tommy, and Jeffrey had big sister Barbara from Karl’s first marriage to keep them in line. Bobby became “man of the house” when his father Karl died in a flying accident in 1948. The years of growing up in Sturgeon Bay and associations with the Reynolds Brothers Cherry Orchard and Canning Company ended when Bobby’s mother, Skip, married Colonel Joseph J. Peot. The new family moved several times to different Army bases. Living in so many places left Bob with an internal map of the continental U. S.— decades later he still remembered the highway systems and rivers. Bob had a long list of schools he’d attended before graduating from Sandia High in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Bob returned to Wisconsin and met his Beth at a fraternity party on the campus of University of Wisconsin. He fell backwards into a vat of beer and Beth pretended not to be impressed but they were “going steady” shortly after. Bob made many  trips to Chicago where Beth worked after graduation and they had weekend adventures including stumbling into a bar to hear Bob Dylan (they weren’t impressed).

Bob married Alice Elizabeth (Beth) Verner and they settled in Wausau with their only child, Robby. Bob sold insurance and Beth made a home. In 1976 a job opportunity brought them to Jackson, Michigan where they made a family out of their new friends. Bob was “voluntold” for a lot of things including becoming a scout master for his son’s den and an usher at church (St. Paul’s Episcopal). He prided himself on a neatly kept lawn, a strong gin martini, and a good joke when the conversation lagged.  Bob was the best man in his son’s wedding. He and his daughter-in-law made great fun of being the “out laws” of the family. Terri called him Padre when she was 15 and it stuck— “Mr. Reynolds” seemed too formal for the guy that always came down to eat a slice of pizza in the basement with Robby’s friends. The nickname was used by the next generation, too— with Terri’s nieces and later friends finding “Padre” to be the perfect thing to call him.  Bob loved the Packers (and hated The Cowboys).

He loved Douglas Lake and sitting on the dock or in a lounge in the backyard. He took us all for rides on the Chris-Craft. He loved chocolate-chip meringues and spicy Mexican food (“not Beth’s ‘Spanish rice’” because that was just tomato sauce and rice…) When he retired Bob settled into his chair with a book and the remote control— checking the weather channel and the local news and rarely missing his afternoon stories.  Bob’s only grandchild, Jack, was most of the reason he quit smoking his beloved pipes. Whenever Jack would ask “how old are you, Grandpa?” The reply was the same, “older than dirt.” He survived lung cancer, two hip replacements, and a cardiac valve replacement. He was the toughest man we knew with the softest heart.

Bob is survived by his son Robby (Terri); grandson, Jack; brother Karl Jeffrey Reynolds and  brother-in-law Sydney Pope Jones; sisters-in-law, Marlene Reynolds and Bonnie Verner; nieces and nephews; great-nieces and great-nephews; and so many friends. He was preceded in death by his wife, Beth; parents and step-father; brother Thomas; and sister Barbara.  Robby, Terri, and Jack are so sad to have lost both “Sr. Reynoldses” in such a short time but are grateful that they are together again— no doubt arguing about something.  We hope to celebrate Bob’s and Beth’s wonderful lives with friends and family this summer.

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Celebration of His Life Service will be held at a later date.

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