Robert “Bob” E. Rompre, 81, of Beaver Dam and formerly of Waupun, died peacefully at his son’s home in Sun Prairie on Monday, Sept. 13, 2010.
Robert was born on April 11, 1929, in International Falls, Minn., to Elmer & Martha (nee Reine) Rompre. Bob’s passion for hockey began at a young age and he was excited to be offered a scholarship to play center ice for Colorado College. Bob was drafted by the United States Marines and would have been sent to Korea if he had not tried out for and made the United States Olympic ice hockey team. The 1952 Olympics in Oslo, Norway, were especially memorable to the “Flying Finn” as Bob not only helped his team win an Olympic silver medal, but he also set an Olympic record for scoring four goals in one game. After playing in the Olympics, he had an offer to play professional hockey for the New York Rangers, but instead he decided to finish his college career. He was united in marriage to Nancy Hooker in Colorado Springs, Colo., and together they moved to Waupun, where Bob owned and operated Rompre’s Department Store. Later, he also ran Rompre’s Karpet Korner in Beaver Dam. Bob was one of the founders of the Waupun Ice Hockey Association, and he enjoyed coaching there for many years. Bob played hockey for the Fond du Lac Bears, where he was the team’s leading scorer, won two state championships, played in many national tournaments and coached before he, along with his number eight, retired in 1975. When he wasn’t playing or coaching, he also enjoyed scouting for the U.S. hockey team and officiating for UW-Madison Badgers hockey games. In 1989, Bob was honored to receive the William Thayer Tutt award from the United States Hockey Association for his years of dedication to the sport. In 1992, he was enshrined to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in Eveleth, Minn., where his Olympic silver medal is now on display. Bob helped organize both the Wisconsin and Minnesota hockey halls of fame, and was later inducted into them both. He was a charter member of local Blue Line Clubs and active in amateur hockey associations at both the state and national levels. He was a charter member of the Waupun Christmas Club, the past president of the Waupun Chamber of Commerce, an active member of the Kiwanis Club in Waupun and past president of Rock River Country Club in Waupun.
Robert is survived by his children, Michael (Chris) Rompre of Sun Prairie, Jim (Doreen) Rompre of Beaver Dam, and Patty (special friend Kurt Smith) Tappendorf of Galesville; his grandchildren, Ryan, Meagan, Karli, Dustin, Melissa, Katie and Renae Rompre, Aaron and Brenda Tappendorf, Sarah Arentz, Laura Beirne, Staci Mariani and Traci (Jeff) Chisholm; 12 great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Jim Rompre, and his son Thomas J. Rompre in 2009.
A funeral service will be held on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010, at 6 p.m. at Cornerstone Funeral & Cremation Services, 135 Keller Blvd in Beaver Dam. Visitation will be held at the funeral home prior to the service beginning at 4 p.m. Burial will take place on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010, at 10 a.m. in Forest Hill Cemetery, International Falls, Minn. Memorials may be directed to the Alzheimer’s Association, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, D.C. 20090-6011. The family would like to extend a special thank you to Maria and Kelsey of Hospice Care Inc. for their loving care.
Cornerstone Funeral & Cremation Services in Beaver Dam is honored to be serving the family. You may send private online condolences or sign the family’s guest book at www.cstonefs.com.