Robert “Rob” Oehlkers
Robert “Rob” Oehlkers peacefully ended his earthly journey, the evening of Saturday, Dec. 14,2019, surrounded by his loved ones at Agrace HospiceCare. Robert was born in New Jersey and lived his childhood in Secaucus. He was the middle son of John and Elsie (Grip) Oehlkers of Secaucus, N.J. He married Meredith Engel on June 23, 1963, in Merrill, WI. Robert and Meredith were the parents of Dennis (Bobbi) Oehlkers and Jacquelyn Shelton. Subsequently with joy, they were grandparents to Rachel Hanson, Cassandra (Justin Cass) and Daniel Mattie and great-grandparents to Taylor and Carson Williamson, Isabel Hanson, Jaydin, Jordin and Alanna Cass. Robert is also survived by two brothers, William (Lois) Oehlkers of Rhode Island and Kenneth (Christina) Oehlkers of New York City; and brother-in-law, Peter (Carol) Engel. He was preceded in death by his parents; and father-in-law, Harold Engel and mother-in-law, Hildegarde (Asmus) Engel of Merrill. Robert graduated from Wm Dickinson High School in Jersey City, N.J. at age 15. Joined the U.S. Air Force at age 17, was trained as a technician and spent the majority of his time with the Armament & Electronics Maintenance Squadron of the Strategic Air Command in California. In 1963, he graduated from RCA Electronic School in N.Y., N.Y. and joined RCA in Hightstown, N.J. working on building and testing parts of Tiros and Nimbus Space Satellites. In 1967, he worked for the Space Science and Engineering Center of the UW-Madison which is the research and archival center for data obtained from satellites related to Meteorology. The systems developed there revolutionized the way we receive weather reports today. He was part of a team that built systems and trained maintenance staff at Kennedy and Johnson Space Centers and various Universities and organizations needing meteorology information in the United States, Spain, and Australia. He flew weather balloons in New Zealand and Ascension Islands. Over a span of 10 years he was a distance education student at UW-Platteville and obtained a BS degree in Business Administration. Then he received a Master of Science Degree in Continuing and Vocation Education in 1998 at University of Wisconsin-Madison while he continued to work at the Space Science and Engineering Center. He retired in 2002.
Robert was an avid Baseball fan and traveled the United States and Canada over period of five years with grandson, Daniel Mattie visiting every major league baseball stadium. Since then he has visited every new major league stadium; his last trip was in May of 2019 to Georgia for an Atlanta Braves game. He was a Yankee’s fan as a child, but was a Brewer’s fan of late. Rob and Meredith created many memories of vacations traveling in their retirement years by Amtrak train. Rob will be greatly missed for his sense of family, his kindness. Interest in, encouragement of, and faith in others, and his sense of humor. He was always a faithful member of his church family.
During this time of unprecedented health concerns and the fast-changing public health circumstances, a memorial service will be held at a later date. Please visit www.gundersonfh.com. for updates as they become available and we encourage you to share your online condolences with Robert’s family. Gunderson East Funeral & Cremation Care is assisting the family.