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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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October 28, 2020

9/11/2020 7:29:00 AM
Robert Lee Bastian

On Sunday Sept. 6, 2020, our father Robert Lee Bastian passed away at the age of 96, at the Friendly Village in Rhinelander. He was born on March 12, 1924, the son of Lee and Esther (Johnson) Bastian.

Dad graduated from the Rhinelander High School with the Class of 1943 and then went right into the U.S. Navy. He served with the 3rd and 5th Marine Divisions as a Naval Medical Corpsman and was known to the Marines as "Doc". The war took him to Guadalcanal, Saipan and the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The horrors of the war followed him his entire life. In his later years, when he lost his short term memory and his long term memory became acute, he was haunted with flashbacks and night terrors of what he had seen and lived through in the war. He did see the raising of the flag on Mount Suribachi, which he always considered one of the proudest and happiest moments of his life.

After his honorable discharge he returned to the states and married the former Louise Carpentier. They were blessed with over 65 years of marriage. He went to work for the Rhinelander Paper Company (St. Regis) in the sales and scheduling department. He worked in that department for his entire career. During those years Dad would also work a couple of side jobs in order to "feed all those kids."

Dad had many interests. He played in the basketball and bowling leagues, golfed, participated in Stunt Night, volunteered with the Belles of St. Mary's and was a regular reader for the 9 a.m. masses at St. Mary's Catholic Church. He loved fishing and hunting and he was able to do both, well into his golden years. For many years he was the oldest participant in the Boom Lake Musky Challenge. Fishing in the challenge each year with his son Lee and grandson Paul was the highlight of his summer.

When Dad was a junior high student his science class went out to an area in the Town of Pine Lake and planted hundreds of little pine trees. Little did he know that the property would someday be owned by his daughter and son-in-law (Sue and Dennis Edwards) and he would have the chance to enjoy the beauty of those trees up close after all of those years had passed. It was Dad's favorite place to fish and he thought it was the most beautiful and peaceful place there was. It held a special place in his heart, so Dad, may your heaven be you and Mom together again fishing the river at Denny and Sue's for that 50" inch musky that got away.

Although you are gone, each of us has our own special memories of you that we will always cherish. You were a true gentleman and a wonderful Dad. We love and will forever miss you.

Bob is survived by his daughters Mary (Michael) Denis, Diane (Gordon) Gilman, Christine (James) Bourcier, Susan (Dennis) Edwards and Laura (Dale) Kerchefski, his son Lee (Kim) Bastian, seven grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, three great-great-grandchildren, two stepgrandchildren, four step-great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, other family and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife Louise on June 10, 2017; his parents and his brother, Russell.

Due to the pandemic, private family services for Bob will be held. Interment with military honors will take place at the Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Cemetery. You may leave your private condolences for the Bastian family at His family would like to thank all the wonderful people at the Friendly Village who took such good care of our Dad. He was always treated with respect and we will be forever grateful. The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is serving the Bastian family.

Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, September 21, 2020
Article comment by: Judith Skinner

So sorry to hear about your Dad.

Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2020
Article comment by: bILL RODD RODD


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The Northwoods River News | Walker Communications, LLC
232 S. Courtney Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501 | Office (715) 365-6397 | Fax (715) 365-6361

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