Robert Edward Converse, 92, of Hager City, died Sunday, April 2, 2023, at Methodist Hospital in Rochester surrounded by family. He was born on May 31, 1930, in Granton, Wisconsin to Hugh and Martha (Schmolke) Converse. He grew up and attended schools near Neillsville, Wisconsin. He was drafted into the U.S. Army and following bootcamp he tested out and enlisted to serve in the US Air Force, which he did for eight years from 1949 to 1957. He was honorably discharged in 1957. He married Betty Peterson and they later divorced. On January 11, 1958, he was united in marriage to Norma Johnson. They lived in Milwaukee and he travelled to Janesville, Wis., attending Black Hawk Technical College for aircraft maintenance. He began working for Braniff Airlines in 1960, followed by 32 years, from 1962 to 1994, with Western Airlines/Delta Airlines retiring on September 1, 1994, all as an aircraft maintenance mechanic. Although, retired, he continued to work with his son, Wesley at Red Wing Aviation until 2015. He and Norma lived many years in the Hager City area where they also farmed and raised their family. He was a member of Svea Lutheran Church, Hiawatha Valley Pilots Association and the Harding-Hall-Darrington American Legion Post #357. He served on the board of Hager Telecom for a number of years. Not only being an aircraft mechanic, he also had his commercial pilot’s license and owned a few smaller aircrafts over the years. He was an avid Packer fan and enjoyed watching western movies. Most of all he enjoyed spending time with his family and attending all his grandchildren’s activities.
Robert is survived by his children, Wesley (Lillian) Converse of Red Wing, Kevin Converse of Hager City, Brian (Diane) Converse of Geneseo, IL, Norman (Cathy) Converse of Black River Falls and Mary (Oren) Pengra of Eau Claire; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren; great-great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Norma on June 4, 2021; his parents, one son, David; two brothers, who were twins, Phil and Fred and one sister, Irene Converse.
Funeral service will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 11, 2023, at Svea Lutheran Church with Pastor Al Aakre officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday April 10, 2023, at the Mahn Family Funeral Home, Bodelson-Mahn Chapel and at the church for one hour prior to the service. Memorials are preferred to the church.
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