Robert J. Mendlesky
Robert J. Mendlesky, 74, a Fond du Lac native and current
Eagle River resident, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, May 1, 2020 at
Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, WI. Bob had been fighting courageously to
overcome Leukemia since last year. He was born in Fond du Lac on November 14,
1945 to Raymond and Ruth (Everson) Mendlesky. Bob was a 1963 graduate of St.
Mary’s Springs Academy. On April 16, 1966, he married Margaret Prellwitz at
Presentation Church in North Fond du Lac. Bob served in the U.S. Air Force including
a tour of duty in Vietnam.
Bob adored his grandchildren, and his family was most
important to him. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, woodworking, and was an avid
bowler in his younger years. Bob was always working on various projects as he
was not one to sit around. While raising his three young children with his
wife, he began his career in Research & Development at Mercury Marine. In
the 1970’s, Bob helped in the development of the “Sno-Twister” and
“Trail-Twister” snowmobiles for Team Mercury and was a mechanic on the race
team. Working full time at Mercury Marine and raising his family, Bob earned a
bachelor’s degree from Marian University. In 2006, he retired from Ford Motor
Company as a research & development engineer. As a retired Ford engineer,
Bob assisted in the development of the cutting-edge hydrogen powered engine at
Hydrogen Engine Center in Iowa. Bob & Margaret then retired to Eagle River
in 2008 and built a home for all their children, grandchildren and friends to
gather at once. To remain active, Bob worked part time at the World Snowmobile
Headquarters for close to a decade. He was a member of St. Peter the Fisherman Parish
in Eagle River.
Bob was a very dedicated volunteer with the Anvil Lake
Association (ALA). He was a respected member of the ALA Board of Directors. His
engineering expertise and leadership have been an essential part of Eurasian
Watermilfoil (EWM) Management on Anvil Lake. He coordinated the construction
and maintenance of their Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting (DASH) unit for EWM
harvesting. In addition, Bob also devoted many hours each year to organizing
the reimbursement paperwork involved with their grants from the DNR.
Bob is survived by his beloved wife, Margaret; three
children, Kathleen (Jeff) Gravelle, Ann (Ken) Krueger and Michael (Becki)
Mendlesky; eight grandchildren, Kyra Gravelle (fiancé Sean Ahern), Mason
Gravelle, Marissa Gravelle, Logan Krueger (fiancé Cathryn Duffy), Nicole
Krueger, Callie Mendlesky, Conner Mendlesky and Tori Breitzman; two
sisters-in-law, Patricia Prellwitz and Mary (Steven) Klima; and nieces and
nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Richard
(Barbara) Mendlesky; and a niece, Laura Foster.
A Mass of Christian Burial and gathering to celebrate Bob’s
life will occur at a later date. Cremation has taken place.
The family wishes to thank the medical team at the James
Beck Cancer Center in Rhinelander, WI, as well as Dr. Guru and staff at
Froedtert Hospital for their compassionate and excellent care of Bob.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to
Uecker-Witt Funeral Home, in care of Margaret Mendlesky, 524 North Park Avenue,
Fond du Lac, WI 54935, and will be donated to honor Bob’s passions.
“Wherever a beautiful soul has been there is a trail of
Additional information and guestbook can be found at