Robert “Bob” E. Williams, Jr., age 70, died unexpectedly on December 30, 2018 after years of fighting diabetes and kidney disease.
Bob was born on May 25, 1948 in Milwaukee, the oldest of three sons to Robert E. Williams, Sr. and Marion (Vanden Breul) Williams. When he was 10 or 11 years old, the family moved to Menomonee Falls, where he went to Marcy Grade School. There he had many adventures with his brothers and the many friends in the subdivision building fortes and checking out construction sites. He knew at that time he wanted to be in the building trade and he wanted to be an Engineer. He went to Sussex Hamilton High School where he participated in football, wrestling and many other clubs. He and his wife Sue met in High School but never dated at that time. He had many parties in his parent’s basement with live bands, that he paid for with his many jobs including delivering the newspaper in the early morning hours. His love for throwing parties continued when he built a bar in his basement for just that purpose.
He attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering, graduating in 1971 with his bachelor’s degree in Architectural and Building Construction Technology and became a Professional Engineer. He worked at Bradley Washfountain while he was going to college. After graduating, he had a job with a small design firm, where he was the only engineer. In 1976, he started his own firm, Threshold Design, which later became TDI Associates. He was still a fulltime owner and employee when he died on Dec. 30, 2018. He was the true definition of a “workaholic”. He lived to work, and there was nothing that made him happier, 7 days a week, 10 or more hours a day. He loved solving other people’s structural problems and helping them build their buildings. He was involved in so many projects, that anywhere we went, he could point to a building that he designed or was a part of the structural team. As his health declined, he worked fewer hours, but there was no way he would ever retire. He just loved it too much. It was never a “job”.
He married his wife, Sue, in 1970 and together they had three children, Ann Marie, Becky, and Rob. In 1974 they moved into the Town of Lisbon, which was only going to be a starter home, so much so that he never even showed Sue the plans. They remain there to this day. He was on the Town Board and Library Board for more years than I can remember, until his health forced him to stop. He was a “force” in trying to get the Town to become a Village. He knew all the city and state ordinances and was always there to help his clients get their projects approved by all the various boards and councils. He never said “no” to anyone who walked in the door. As his office changed from different locations; our basement, Wauwatosa, Pewaukee, New Berlin, and Waukesha, Bob always remained dedicated to his clients and employees. He was a member of numerous professional organizations, and social clubs and always said “yes” when asked to take on a task.
He is survived by his wife, Sue (Schaefer) and his children, Becky (Rob) Kohlhepp, Rob (Peggy) Williams and his loving grandchildren, Addie, Ellie, and Will Kohlhepp and Jacob and Katelyn Williams. He is also survived by his brothers John (Pat) Williams and Jim (Kris) Williams and his brother-in-law Joe (Rose) Schaefer, and sister-in-law Mary (Jim) Pickart. His is also survived by aunts, cousins, nieces, and nephews. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Ann Marie and his parents Robert & Marion Williams, and in-laws, Lester and Frances Schaefer. He loved his family and was always very proud to be their daddo and papa. He will be so deeply missed by all.
A Memorial Mass will be held at 11:30 AM on Monday, January 7, 2019 at St. Charles Catholic Church 313 Circle Drive, Hartland, followed by a reception. Visitation will be from 9:30 AM until the time of the Mass. In lieu of flowers memorials appreciated to MSOE Annual Fund or St. Charles Cornerstone Project.
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