Robert “Bob” Cleberg, 89, Tucson, Arizona/Oregon, Wisconsin

August 17, 2018

Robert “Bob” Cleberg, 89, formerly of Tucson, Arizona, passed away peacefully with family at his side on July 28, 2018, at Beehive Homes in Oregon, Wisconsin.

Bob was born in Milwaukee on May 28, 1929, to John (Jack) and Frances (Reimer) Cleberg. After high school, Bob attended college and spent two years in the Army. Bob’s true passion in life was anything to do with cars. Bob had a tire and trucking business and raced for many years, qualifying for the Indy 500 time trials in 1960. He had much success and held many racing records. Bob also served as the Grand Marshal at the Western World Championship Sprint Race at Manzanita Speedway in 2008.

Bob was a talented tinkerer — if it was broken, he could fix it. He spent endless hours working on and rebuilding cars. Bob achieved one special dream in life—the restoration of his 1936 Ford coupe commonly known as “George.” Another passion for Bob was fixing and building airplanes. Later, he fulfilled another life goal and received his pilot’s license. This led to many flights to Wisconsin and the Northwest, along with multiple visits to the annual EAA gathering in Oshkosh.

Bob acquired the “Cleberg” sense of humor and was quite the funny man. He enjoyed teasing and having fun with friends and family. He was a huge chocolate fan and loved to toast the occasional glass of wine. One of Bob’s more entertaining talents was the ability to wiggle his ears, which was requested of him often, and he was able to perform even during his final hours. Bob was a kind, affectionate and warm, caring man to all.

Bob is survived by his daughter, Kathy Cleberg of New Mexico; step-sons, David (Darlene) Lange of Wisconsin and James (Nancy) Casey of Texas; nieces, Lyn Ehrhardt, Beth (Howard) Meekma and Amy (Mike) Schuch; nephew, Kim (Lisa) Ehrhardt. He is also survived by cousins, four grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and many great-nieces and -nephews. Bob was preceded in death by his wives, Dorothy Cleberg (d.1984) and Dessie Cleberg (d.2016); his sister, Denise; and his parents.

A celebration of life will be held Friday, Aug. 24, at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 610 Lincoln Ave., Rio, with visitation at 10 a.m. and service at 11 a.m. There are plans in the works to have a celebration of Bob’s life in the Tucson area at some future date.

Please consider a donation to Agrace Hospice or Alzheimer’s Association or a charity of your choice. The family wants to share a heartfelt thank you to the staff of the Beehive in Oregon, Wisconsin and the hospice team at Agrace. Please share your memories at www.InformedChoiceFunerals.com.

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