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RACE JR., Robert M., age 72

Died: Friday, July 21st, 2017

Memorial Gathering: family will receive friends from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Monday, July 31, 2017 at the funeral home with a time for sharing memories at 7:00 p.m.

A private interment will take place in Lakeview Cemetery in Eau Claire, Wisconsin

In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer memorials which will be directed to the Chippewa Valley Boy Scouts, the Eau Claire County Humane Association as well as to some of Bob's other favorite charities.


Robert "Bob" M. Race, Jr., age 72, died peacefully on Friday, July 21, 2017, at his home in Eau Claire surrounded by his loving family after a 15-month battle with Glioblastoma brain cancer. 

Bob was born in Milwaukee to the late Robert M. and Mary Kay (nee Kalt) Race on November 17, 1944. He grew up in Whitefish Bay, WI and graduated from Whitefish Bay High School in 1962. After attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he enlisted in the United States Air Force as a Crash and Rescue Firefighter and was stationed at Torrejon Air Force Base in Madrid, Spain. It was there he met the love of his life, Julia Lopez, and they were united in marriage on July 18, 1966. He was honorably discharged in 1970.

Right out of the military, he worked for the Fire Insurance Rating Bureau and then joined R.W. Scobie, Inc./Midwest General Agency, an insurance wholesale operation, as a Field Representative, then an Underwriting Manager, a Branch Manager, and finally retiring after 40 years as Senior Vice President. He was widely respected in the insurance industry and mentored countless people over the course of his distinguished career.

Bob had so many talents, interests, and hobbies. He was an amazing, self-taught guitarist and singer and was very active in the Eau Claire music scene in the late '70s. He was proud to have been able to share his love of music in the popular local band, Hand Picked. However, nothing gave him more joy than being able to share his talent by teaching his grandson, James, to play guitar. They spent many hours playing bluegrass, folk, and blues together. Bob was a prolific reader and he enjoyed reading books on history, Africa, and adventure.

He was a member of the Eau Claire Rod and Gun Club for over 40 years, as well as the Eau Claire Peace Officers Pistol Club, serving in many roles with both organizations. He was an expert marksman and shot trap on several teams throughout the years. He was a 32nd Degree Mason and a member of the George B. Wheeler Lodge 351.

Bob loved to hunt and fish, but in later years he focused most of his free time fishing. He was a real "Musky Hunter" with his favorite fishing 'hole' being on the Chippewa Flowage. He was always the happiest during his vacations to the Flowage, including his most recent trip just one month ago.  

Bob was a loving husband, father, "Bumpa" and father-in-law (although disliking the title "father-in-law" as Heath and Ron were sons to him). His entire life revolved around his family and spending time with his children and grandchildren. He absolutely LIVED for them. They were his pride and joy and he was theirs. These past 15 months were extremely difficult, but were filled with a lot of love and laughter bringing them even closer together.

This battle with cancer really tested his lifelong advice to his children "Life isn't about being dealt a good hand, but in playing a poor hand well". He would remind them of that when they would complain about some situation that they were having difficulty dealing with throughout their lives. This man talked the talk and walked the walk. He always lived life to the fullest and that was extremely evident as he battled cancer. He would tell his family, friends and doctors "This thing is going to kill me, it's not going to BEAT me". Well, he beat that cancer every day!

Bob is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 51 years, Julia; daughters, Mary (Heath) Gooderham and Cassie (Ron) Wolf; grandsons, James and Christopher Wolf; sister, Shar Race; brother-in-law, Carlos Lopez; nieces, Teresa and Sonia Lopez, Susan McCoy and Liz Speaks; nephews, Juan Carlos Lopez and Alberto Lopez; several cousins, including, Bill Kalt, Tommy Kalt, and Jane Taylor; his "honorary daughter", Jill (Supple) Urdahl; and his furry cat babies, Lola and Maite.

He was preceded in death by his parents; grandparents, Erv and Vida Kalt and Milton and Joanna Race; uncles, aunts, and his brother-in-law, Ceferino Lopez; and sister-in-law, Pilar Wood.

Bob was so funny and engaging with a hilarious sense of humor as well as a man of great integrity and loyalty. To be his friend was to be part of a very special (but large) club. He leaves behind many, many friends, but cherished his special friendships with Gary Cowles of Pasadena, CA , Ann Marie and Jane Hoeppner, Don Chrystal, Bob Gabriel, and "Doctor Juan" Nunez all of Eau Claire. You all helped get him through this, thank you.

The family would like to thank all the doctors and nurses at Mayo Clinic Health System-Eau Claire, the wonderful team at Mayo Home Hospice (especially his nurse, Jean), and the nurses and CNAs at Grace Lutheran Communities-Prairie Point, he was so very appreciative of your care of him and our family.

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