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1947 Robert 2024

Robert A. Brehm

October 12, 1947 — June 7, 2024


Robert (Bob) Allen Brehm, 76, passed away in Oshkosh on June 7, 2024 after a short illness. He was a gentle giant, a man of great principle who showed his love for his family in every action and deed, every day of his life.

Born October 12, 1947 to Raymond Brehm and Zola (Horn) Brehm in Colby, Wisconsin, Bob grew up on a dairy farm, part of a multi-generation farming family in central Wisconsin, working with his parents from milking to the hayloft and even once snuggling with a bull, but living to tell the tale. At Colby High School, he played basketball, baseball and football, did well in school, then attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and UW-Oshkosh, where he earned his M.B.A.

In 1967 he met the love of his life at the age of 19 while she was visiting Colby with her college roommate, Mary (Vorland) Singstock. He told his coworker the next day that he had met the woman he would marry and he did: Bob married Judith Jane Thompson on November 9, 1968, at the Newman Center in Oshkosh. They had their first of three children in 1969 and two more followed in 1973 and 1978, making the family home in Oshkosh.

Bob worked for Muza Metal Products for 28 years, retiring as Vice President/General Manager in 1997. Also during that time, he and Judy bought SAILTEC, Inc., a global marine hydraulics manufacturer for luxury and racing sailboats. Together, they grew SAILTEC through the years into a diverse marine hydraulic product line specializing in sailing and motor yachts with an international reputation for excellence. As its president, he designed several new products that are on boats in 35 countries, racing and sailing across all of the oceans on the globe. The company was a great passion of Bob’s, allowing his engineering talents and business mind to thrive. He loved his work and refused to retire because it made him so happy.

His early career also included teaching business classes at Fox Valley Tech, where he created a financial literacy curriculum for students. Bob was active in the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce and an avid golfer, one time sinking a hole-in-one at Westhaven, which only slightly impressed his kids at the time.

He was well-loved at the campfires at Casey Lake for 43 years, where he was the hands-down winner for the largest, most golden roasted marshmallow of all time. He taught his Colorado grandkids to fish with admirable commitment and patience with the favored Barbie fishing pole.
Through it all, Bob was the sweet, quiet source of strength for his family, with a dry humor that was always good for a surprise laugh. He showed his love for his family in every act as the most devoted husband, reliable father and glowing-with-pride grandpa to his four grandchildren. His love for his wife Judy was a driving force in his life, leaving an inspiring legacy for his family. 

He is survived by his partner of more than 55 years, Judith (Thompson) Brehm, children Tanya Duffy (David), Tamara Brehm and Tyler Brehm; grandchildren Liam Duffy, Quinn Duffy, Griffin Duffy and Isabelle Brehm; sister-in-law Phyllis Thompson (Mike Nigl), brother-in-law James (Kay) Thompson, sister Sharon Lazzara and brother Paul Brehm (Marilyn); and his Casey Lake family.

At his request, a private service will be held in the coming weeks. The family would like to thank the nurses and staff at Mercy Medical Center for their compassionate care. Honorariums may be made in Bob’s name to the Salvation Army (Oshkosh).

 “Those we love don't go away. They walk beside us every day. Unseen, unheard, but always near. Still loved, still missed and forever dear.”

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