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1936 Robert 2024

Robert Edward Draeger

February 28, 1936 — June 17, 2024

Madison, WI

Robert Edward Draeger passed away peacefully on the afternoon of June 17th, 2024, due to complications following shoulder surgery in March.

Bob was born in Antigo, WI on February 28, 1936 (exactly one year before his wife was born in the same hospital!) to Carmen and Edward Draeger. He and his older sister Bonnie and younger brother Jim grew up in Antigo and often regaled us with wonderful stories about their childhoods.

After graduating from high school and St. Norbert College, Bob married his high school sweetheart, Mary (Gibbons) and they spent the next 64 years together. They moved to Elgin, Illinois when Bob got his first teaching assignment and their oldest daughter Kelly was born shortly thereafter. In 1962 the family moved to Madison, welcomed their second daughter Claire, and have resided there since.

Bob taught English at both East and West High Schools, retiring in 1998 after a dedicated 35-year career. Dad is remembered to this day by many as a no-nonsense teacher with a good sense of humor who cared very much about his students and their futures. He was always thrilled when kids remembered him years after graduation and enjoyed hearing about their lives as adults.

After retirement, Bob volunteered at Access to Independence, Chavez Elementary School and Hospice. In his spare time, Dad enjoyed reading, music (especially opera), playing the piano, doing crossword and jigsaw puzzles, a good joke, traveling, Marilyn Monroe, and spending time with family.

Our dad was truly one of a kind. He was funny, thoughtful, generous, and loved us no matter what. He cared faithfully for our mom for 20 years and never complained. I don’t know how we got so lucky as to have him for our dad, but we surely did. We will be forever grateful and love him always.

Bob is survived by his daughter Kelly (Tracy) Lark and their children Emma (John) Coughlin and Aaron (Katie) Lark, his daughter Claire Draeger and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife Mary, his parents, his sister Bonnie, brother Jim, and extended family.

We would like to thank Stacy and the staff at Oak Park East and Jordana Hall for the exceptional and compassionate care they gave our dad.

Services are planned for Thursday, June 27th at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church with visitation from 9am until time of service at 11am. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Thomas Aquinas, 602 Everglade Drive, Madison, WI, 53717 or to the family for a memorial in Bob’s name.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, June 27, 2024

9:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church

602 Everglade Dr, Madison, WI 53717

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Mass

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church

602 Everglade Dr, Madison, WI 53717

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Interment

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Starts at 12:15 pm (Central time)

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