Robert H. Topinka, 92, of La Crosse, died peacefully on March 4, 2015 following a brief illness, with family members by his side. Bob was born on August 24, 1922 in Mountain Iron, Minnesota. He graduated from Hibbing (Minnesota) High School. In early 1942, Bob enlisted in the United States Navy. His six years of naval service included war-time work in the South Pacific in a special intelligence unit monitoring enemy radio transmissions
During naval training in Chicago, he met Clara (Radke) Topinka. They were married on November 17, 1945. Following completion of his military service, Bob attended and graduated from broadcasting school in Chicago. Bob worked in radio management for many years, most recently as chief executive of WKTY radio in La Crosse. Bob and Clara were also partners in a retail floor covering business in La Crosse. Bob and Clara proudly raised seven children together. Bob was a special person who lived a full and happy life. Only a few months before his recent illness, he continued driving to his regular exercise program at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse. He participated in the program for more than 40 years. His family and friends will always remember him as a great husband, father and grandfather, and for his intelligence, thoughtfulness, generosity, kindness, and exquisite sense of humor.
Bob is survived by Clara, his wife of more than 69 years; his seven children, Frank (Debbie) of North Bridge, Massachusetts; John (Conchita) of Memphis, Tennessee; Mary Stetter (Bill) of West Allis, Wisconsin; Ralph (Jo Bernhardt) of Evansville, Wisconsin; Anne of La Crosse, Wisconsin; Joe (Danielle Freudenthal) of Fort Mill, South Carolina; and Karen of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin; 12 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 12:00 PM Saturday, March 7, 2015 at St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral, 530 Main Street, La Crosse. Msgr. Charles Stoetzel will officiate with inurnment to be held at Catholic Cemetery, 519 Losey Blvd. Family and friends may call from 10:00 to 11:30 AM Saturday, March 7, 2015 at Blaschke & Schneider Funeral Homes, 1501 West Ave, So., until departing for church.