Obituary for Robert Leigh

We are saddened to announce that Robert “Bob” G. Leigh, 60, of Sobieski, WI, formerly of Pittsville, WI, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, July 17, 2022. He was a loving husband and father dedicated to his family and serving his country and community.

Bob is survived by his beloved wife of over forty years, Deanna Shoemaker Leigh, his two sons, Jacob (Laura) Leigh, and Nathan (Megan Backmann) Leigh, and his grandson, Sullivan “Sully” Leigh. He is further survived by his siblings Bonnie Wolff, Peggy (Dudley) Webb, and James “Jim” (Patty) Leigh, his wife’s siblings Deb (Mike) Coon, and Duane “Spike” Shoemaker, as well as his nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and his dog, Jack.

Bob is preceded in death by his parents, James “Jim” and Lois Dawes Leigh, his mother-in-law Doris Shoemaker, and his brother-in-law Bob Wolff.

Bob was born November 15, 1961, and grew up on the family farm in Pittsville. He attended Pittsville High School, class of 1980. He excelled in 4H, wrestling, and the barbershop quartet. During his senior year, Bob began dating the love of his life and high school sweetheart, Deanna. They were wed on January 9, 1982. In their four decades of love, they shared many adventures, blessings, and heartaches, and through it all, they remained crazy in love and newlyweds to the end.

Bob was a patriot and exemplified service to one’s country throughout his lifetime. Just before his senior year of high school, Bob signed up for the U.S. Navy. He was in active service from 1980-84, during which time he earned the Navy Achievement Award at age 19 for saving an aircraft carrier and everyone aboard after an oil leak threatened to start a fire at sea. He re-upped in 1986 to able reserves and was reactivated in 1991 to serve in the First Gulf War. He earned the Navy Expeditionary Medal for spending more than six consecutive months at sea. By 1991, he had earned the rank of First-Class Petty Officer, at which time he ended his years of service. He proudly served as part of the Pittsville American Legion post 153 for 12 years.

As a father to his two sons, Bob always prioritized quality time and making memories that would last a lifetime. They bonded through camping trips, hunting trips, and road trips to national parks. He was a fixture in his boys’ band and Boy Scout programs. He naturally became a role model and father figure to many young people who adored his stories, his misuse of vocabulary, and his ability to laugh at himself. Bob became the best “Papa” ever to his grandson Sully. They were absolute best buddies.

Bob completed his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from UW-Platteville in 1989. During his three decades in the field, Bob’s skillset and expertise were well-respected. At each of his workplaces, he was known as an infamous prankster but also highly regarded as a mediator of people, a hard worker, a friend, and a man of impeccable character. Bob also enjoyed giving back to his community by serving wholeheartedly, partnering with disabled veterans during an annual deer hunt, and serving in his local church.

He had a profoundly generous and hospitable spirit, and the family homes he created with Deanna in Sobieski and Pittsville were inclusive, safe havens and always open to friends and strangers-soon-to-be-friends. Ask anyone, and they will tell you that Bob was a gatherer, an includer, and a peace-maker. He was likely to be found lingering in conversation with whomever he encountered. He didn’t walk away from a conversation until bouts of laughter had been shared, leaving those who crossed his path feeling more joyful and more open to the good things of this world. This was never more apparent than in his hunting adventures through which he turned strangers into lifelong friends at every diner, every hunting lodge, and every campfire he visited.

His sweet spot was in the woods, the mountains, and the wild. This is where he felt closest to God.

Bob was endlessly quotable. Some of his favorite phrases were: “stop and smell the roses,” “keep the glass half full,” “it was in the script,” “make time for happiness and living life,” and “I rest my case.” The scripture he cherished most was: Romans 12:17-18 “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”

Bob’s passing leaves a vast cavern of loss for his family. There will never be anyone like Bob. Yet, we are grateful for the treasure of years with him and know he is at peace with Jesus. We imagine he’s likely on a heavenly engineering project, which he will manage with precision and perfection.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm on Saturday, July 30, 2022, at Rembs Funeral Home in Marshfield where military rites will be conducted by American Legion Post 153 – Pittsville after the service. A celebration of life will follow at Rembs Celebration Center in Marshfield.

Instead of flowers, the family asks that you donate to Bob’s favorite charity for returning veterans, Camp Victory (

Condolences may be sent online at

News Desk
Author: News Desk

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