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Robert (Bob) C. Nelson – Oct. 2, 1928 – Nov. 19, 2020


Born in Kenosha, on October 2, 1928, Bob was the son of the late George E. and Pearl L. (Bostetter) Nelson, Sr. A lifelong resident of Kenosha, he was educated in local schools.

On September 9, 1950, he married Rose Mary Gallo at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church Rectory. He is Father to Larry (Kathy) Nelson, and Judy (Al) Kohlmeier. His grandchildren and great grandchildren include; Kristy (Andre) Gowens (Bella, Emma), Brian (Lori) Nelson (Paige, Luke), Aaron (Nikki) Kohlmeier (Ella, Evan, Eli), Adam (Kate) Kohlmeier (Charley, Peyton, “Baby K on the way”), and Kellie Soderberg (Chloe).


He started his career with David Nelson & Son – Mayflower Moving & Storage Company. Bob, with his brothers (George, David, and C. Richard) and partner Horton (Al) Bane, formed Bane-Nelson, Inc. in 1965 to service the industrial and commercial community of Kenosha, Southeastern Wisconsin, and Northern Illinois. He served as President of Bane-Nelson, Inc. from 1965 until his passing. Bob was an inspiration to all his employees and family through his presence in his office, he led by example, and it gave him great joy to be among his Bane-Nelson family.

In his capacity as President of Bane-Nelson, Inc, Bob served as a Board Member of the Kenosha Manufacturer’s Association and of the Kenosha Area Business Alliance (KABA). Bob was a President and founding member of the TCCA (Tri-County Contractor’s Association of Kenosha, Racine and Walworth Counties), a Board Member of the ACEA (Allied Construction Employers’ Association), the President of the Wisconsin Chapter of the Metal Building Dealers Association and the President of the Eastern Wisconsin Erector’s Association.

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Bob spent his life in service to others…

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Military Service:

Bob served in the Wisconsin National Guard for 12 years, attained the rank of 1st Lieutenant and was Commander of the 126th Field Artillery Headquarters in Kenosha.  He served as an Area Chair for the Employer Support of the Guard & Reserves (ESGR) and was awarded the “2012-2013 ESGR Jack Weissgerber Award of Excellence”, while also receiving the “2018 ESGR Lifetime Achievement Award” from the United States of America Department of Defense.

Community Service:

Bob served as the 1985 United Way General Campaign Chairperson. In 1987, he was a Kenosha Civics Veteran Parade Honoree. Bob was voted “Business Person of the Year” in 1996, as presented by Heritage Bank. He was given the Chairman’s Award from Kemper Center in 1999. In 2004, he received the “Community Service / Humanitarian Award” from the Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce. Bob was an active member of the Rotary Club of Kenosha for 47 years and served on its Board of Directors. He further served on and with many other non-profit organizations including; St. Joseph Catholic Academy, Boys and Girls Club and Serra Club.

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Boy Scouts of America:

Bob had been an active supporter of the Boy Scouts of America for more than 58 years, including serving as a 2-term President of the Southeast Wisconsin Council. He was a recipient of the highest awards in scouting – the “Silver Beaver”, “Silver Antelope” and BSA “Order of the Arrow Centurion” Awards. Bob was given the “St. George Award” by the Archdiocese Committee on scouting. More recently, on October 24, 2020 the rebuilt tee pee pavilion at Boy Scout camp Oh-Da-Ko-Ta was dedicated in his honor.

Family and Friends:

Bob was an active member at St. Mary Catholic Church. He was a regular member of his good friend Father Mike Neumann’s Wednesday morning men’s prayer group. In 1985, he helped found his long-time men’s prayer group which still meets today.

Bob enjoyed many wonderful years of traveling with his wife Rose throughout the United States. He cherished family gatherings and loved spending time with his family at his cabin in Lake Delton, WI.

Bob was an avid Brewer fan and looked forward to watching the games on TV. He spent countless hours in the company of his dear friends William (Willy) Waldon, Joe Sexton, Tom McTernan and many others. He had an affection for Shelties, and the rescue dogs he raised throughout the years gave him great pleasure.

His legacy lives on in memory with family, friends, and at Bane-Nelson, Inc

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