Obituary for Robert L. Dettinger

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Robert “Bob” Lee Dettinger passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Monday, May 1, 2017 at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse.

Bob was born to Violet and Leslie Dettinger in La Crosse, Wisconsin on January 19, 1935 and graduated from Galesville High School in 1952. He joined the Air Force in 1953 and served 10 years as a radar specialist in Korea, Alaska, and a variety of locations across the Midwest. He met Wilma Gifford while stationed in Amarillo, Texas. They were married in April of 1957, and had two children, Karen Marie and David Brian. They settled in Onalaska to raise a family in 1963. Following the Air Force, Bob spent most of his career at Metallics in Onalaska. Second to his family, he was most passionate about his volunteer work at the American Legion in Onalaska where he twice received volunteer of the year awards. His other retirement activities included golfing with friends, travels to Alaska and Branson, Missouri, and western books and movies.

Bob is survived by his wife, Wilma; daughter Karen Dettinger (Bob) of Verona, Wisconsin; son David Dettinger (Diane) of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin; and grandchildren Christopher Jolly, Alex Dettinger, and Emily Dettinger.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and by two brothers, Laverne and Bill.

Memorial services will be held on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at Onalaska United Methodist (212 4th Ave N., Onalaska, WI) at noon with Pastor M. Park Hunter officiating, friends may visit with the family from 10 a.m. until the time of the service. Burial with Military Honors will be held at the Onalaska Cemetery. A memorial gathering will be held following the burial until 3p.m. at the Onalaska American Legion (731 Sand Lake Rd., Onalaska). In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred. Dickinson Family Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be given to the family at