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Robin Lee Gass, age 65, of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, in Eau Claire on Thursday, September 1, 2022.

Robbie, as he was affectionately called, was born in Chippewa County, Wisconsin, on October 20, 1956. He spent his childhood in Birch Creek, Lake Holcombe, and Cornell, graduating from Cornell High School. At a young age, he worked in his dad’s lumber yard after school with his two older brothers, Kelly and Kim. Robin had a happy childhood. He enjoyed being in nature, whether it was camping or hunting and fishing with his maternal grandfather Chet DeMars. Rob was a member of the Boy Scouts. He learned taxidermy via a correspondence course at an early age. Robin was a “natural” musician and played the piano “by ear” for friends and relatives. He also was quite artistically inclined, accumulating boxes of his drawings and stories. He also was handy at building, helping his father remodel several homes in Hot Springs, Arkansas where he lived with his parents many years before they moved back to the Midwest, living with his parents in their last home in Bloomer, Wisconsin.

In his late teens, Robin was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Though he was challenged by this devastating mental disease, due to the excellent mental health care provided by the state of Wisconsin, he was able to live a happy, independent life for several years. He was proud of having his own apartment at The Northern Apartments in Chippewa Falls, where he made many friends with whom he shared coffee, conversations, and gatherings in the lovely dining room.  Robin was also proud of his work and loved his “work family” at Chippewa River Industries (CRI), where he was treated respectfully and lovingly by staff and coworkers. Family and friends in the area visited him, especially his cousins Raina and Bob Pfundheller, who included Robbie in family gatherings, holiday celebrations, and fun outings. Though Robin lived a relatively simple life, he was not a simple man. He was a deep thinker, an attentive listener, a good conversationalist, and a storyteller. He had a quick and keen sense of humor, and often was the first to start us all laughing. Above all, he had exceptional empathy, kindness, and love for others, and especially loved his large, close extended family.

Robin was preceded in death by his parents, whom he adored: Melvin and Patricia Gass; as well as niece: Ashleigh Gass; and nephew: Todd Roy. 

Survivors include his beloved brothers and their wives: Kelly and Linda of West Fork, Ark.; Kim and Sue of Portage, Wis. and their families whom he also loved dearly, knowing all their names and individual personalities; six nieces; three nephews; and many great nieces and nephews. Robin also leaves behind many loving cousins; his Dressel foster siblings; and his two beloved surviving aunts: Clare DeMars of Chippewa Falls and Joan DeMars of Eau Claire.

The family would like to thank the amazing caregivers at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, especially the nurses and doctors on the 6th floor, who treated him with gentleness and dignity.

Services will be on 2 p.m. Friday, September 9 at Thompson Funeral Home, 1806 17th Avenue, Bloomer, Wis.   Visitation will be held from 1-2 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will follow the service at Cornell Cemetery. 

Thompson Funeral Home & Chippewa Valley Cremation Services in Bloomer is serving the family.  To express condolences online, please visit  www.thompsonfuneralhome.com.