Robert “Bob” W. Tully, 85, of Baraboo, passed away on Saturday, June 13, 2015, at St. Clare Hospice House.
Robert was born on Jan. 25, 1930, in Wauwatosa, the son of Richard and Elsie (Buxbaum) Tully. He grew up with an older sister, Lenore, and extended family that included his Tully grandmother, four uncles, five aunts, and five cousins. Most of these relatives resided within walking distance of his home. More distant clan members lived on outlying farms and in places close enough to visit on Sunday afternoon drives. His Buxbaum relatives lived in Milwaukee. This larger family provided wonderful role models and a procession of interesting characters to enrich his childhood.
Bob attended Wauwatosa schools and Lawrence University, where he received a joint degree from the Chicago Theological Seminary and University of Chicago Divinity School. He was ordained by the United Church of Christ in 1955.
He began his service as Associate Minister of Central Congregational Church in Topeka, Kansas, where he met the bright, perky church secretary, a Londoner named Vi Hare. She quickly became the love of his life and the two were married in April 1958 at Vi’s home church in London’s East End.
Together, they settled into the parsonage of Hope United Church of Christ in Sturgeon Bay for an 11-year pastorate and the birth of their three sons. The family then moved on for a 24-year pastorate at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Watertown. Both of these congregations built new facilities during his years of Service.
Upon retirement in 1993, Bob and Vi settled in Baraboo and did volunteer work. This included helping briefly at the International Crane Foundation and Circus World Museum, volunteering for over 12 years at St. Clare Hospital in day surgery, and devoting 18 summers to greeting visitors every Friday at the Nature Center in Devil’s Lake State Park. In addition, Bob was one of the founders of the Friends of Devil’s Lake and was an avid foe of invasive plants.
Bob was a member of First Congregational UCC, Baraboo, and his interests included reading, hiking, gardening, travel and picking up litter.
Survivors include his wife, Vi of Baraboo; sons, Steven (Pat) Tully of Waterloo, Mark Tully of Baraboo, and John Tully of Viroqua; grandchildren, Kyla of Chicago, and Ian of Galesburg, Illinois; great-grandson, Devin, and great-granddaughter, Liliana; step-grandchild, Vanessa Morales of Waterloo; niece, Barbara Wolfe; nephew, Thom Wolfe; cousin, Marilyn (Bob) Olson; and other relatives and friends.
Memorial services will take place at a later date. The Rago-Baldwin Funeral Home, 520 East St., Baraboo, is assisting the family with arrangements.
Memorials in honor of Bob may be given to First Congregational United Church of Christ, 131 6th Ave., Baraboo, the Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired, 754 Williamson St., Madison, WI. 53703 or you may pick up litter anywhere you see it.