WAUSAU, Wis. — Clement R. “Bob” Rondeau, 84, of Ironwood, Mich., died peacefully Saturday, June 15, 2013, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital in Wausau, with his loving wife by his side.
Bob was born July 3, 1928, in Ironwood, son of the late Clement and Beatrice (Johnson) Rondeau, attended local schools, and graduated from Luther L. Wright High School in 1946. He then entered the U.S. Army, serving in the 88th Infantry, Blue Devil Division, in Trieste, Italy, at the end of World War II, and later served a year in Korea. He was married to the former Irmtraut J. Gretler on Aug. 7, 1949, in Rottenmann, Austria. Following his honorable discharge from the Army, he studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, then graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Tulane University in New Orleans with a degree in petroleum geology.
Bob was employed as a geologist for Texaco in New Orleans and served as district manager for PUBCO in Albuquerque, N.M. He then started his own oil exploration company in Harahan, La., operating the company for many years until he and Irmtraut lost everything they owned in Hurricane Katrina and moved to Ironwood in 2005.
Bob was written up in Who’s Who in America as a foremost geologist and was sponsored by Lowell Thomas in New York City to be a member of the prestigious Explorers Club of America.
His professional affiliations also included the Phi Beta Kappa Society, New York Academy of Sciences, Society of Exploration Geophysicists and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. He was a member of American Legion Post 91 of Jackson, Miss., 88th Infantry Division Southeastern Chapter and Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Ironwood.
He loved reading, hunting, fishing and nature. Family values were first and foremost in Bob’s life.
Surviving are his beloved wife, Irmtraut, of 63 years; two sons, Michael (Natasha), The Woodlands, Tex., and Charles (Linda), Redondo Beach, Calif.; five grandchildren, Adam and Darren Rondeau, Denver, and Charlie, Nicole and Emily Rondeau, Redondo Beach; two brothers, Joseph (Ann), Port Washington, and Royal, Ironwood; a sister, Betty (Jim) Arasim, Big Pine, Calif; numerous nieces and nephews; and extended family in Europe.
Besides his parents, Bob was preceded in death by three sons, Matthew in 1964, Paul in 1978, and Stephen in 2002; and three brothers, Michael, Richard and Raymond.
Out of respect for his wishes, cremation has taken place.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, July 3, at 11 a.m., preceded by visitation in the St. Joseph Family Room at 10 a.m., at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Ironwood, with the Rev. Robb Jurkovich, celebrant.
Lunch will be served at Manny’s on Houk Street in Ironwood immediately upon return from the cemetery.
Bob’s obituary can be viewed online and condolences given to his family at mckevittpatrickfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Ironwood.