Robert T. Wolniak, 76, of the Chippewa County Township of Cleveland, passed away Tuesday, September 22, 2020, at Marshfield Medical Center in Eau Claire. He was born January 3, 1944, in Chicago, Ill. to Joseph and Martha Wolniak. He graduated from Tilden Tech High School in 1962. On October 31, 1964, Robert married Donna Irving in Chicago, Ill.
Bob was trained in mechanics in his teens, becoming a licensed aircraft mechanic at the end of high school, and was introduced to the die casting industry soon after high school. He was eventually trained in fluid power systems and became a foreman at a manufacturing firm. Bob then started his own industrial machine repair company.
His love for the country lifestyle was cultivated at an early age. While his children were young, Bob and Donna purchased a hobby farm near West Bend, Wis., then later a 120-acre tract near Boyd, Wis., all the time learning about farming practices on his own time. Eventually he purchased a small 160-acre dairy farm near Holcombe, Wis. and milked cows for 4+ years before returning to his first love and talent of industrial machine repair. Launching Wolniak Machine Corporation in the early 1980s, his company employed many machinists and mechanics. He traveled the country fixing machines at many diecasting companies, including extensive work in the automotive and outboard marine industries, designing many retrofits and injection “shot” systems. Bob holds several patents in machine design. Bob and Donna moved in 1999 to their beloved 100+ acre wooded lot on highway 64 near Cornell Lake. They retired in 2003. He transformed much of the former farmland into ponds and trails. He loved the varied wildlife and giving rides on his “gator.” His favorite activities also involved playing the organ, fishing, clearing and harvesting trees for firewood, and going out to eat with friends at his favorite breakfast restaurants as often as he could.
Bob is survived by his wife, Donna, of 55+ years; his sons, Bob M., and David V; his grandchildren Alex and Darya; his sister, Mariann; and brothers David J., Tom Sr., and Daniel.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and his brother Joe.
Funeral Services will be held at 11:30 a.m. Monday, September 28, 2020, at Thompson Funeral Home & Chippewa Valley Cremation Services in Bloomer with Rev. Bob Wolniak officiating. Visitation will be held two hours prior to the service at the funeral home.
Thompson Funeral Home & Chippewa Valley Cremation Services in Bloomer is serving the family. To express condolences online please visit www.thompsonfuneralhome.com