MARQUETTE, Mich. — Robert M. Thurmaier, 73, of Ontonagon, passed away Nov. 4, 2013, at Marquette General Hospital.
He was born Sept. 15, 1940, in Evergreen Park, Ill ., to Michael and Johanna (Appel) Thurmaier, and grew up in Crystal Lake, Ill. He attended Bradley University and the Illinois Institute of Technology, graduating from the latter institution with a degree in civil engineering. He worked as a civil engineer for the Illinois Department of Transportation for 35 years, inspecting bridges for Cook County as well as serving as a district engineer in Gurnee, Ill.
Bob served in the United States Navy as a Seabee from 1967-1969, stationed at Great Lakes Naval Air Base, as well as bases in Rhode Island and California.
In 1964, he married Lynn Nordblom in Kenilworth, Ill. They shared 49 years of marriage, residing in Chicago and Northfield, Ill ., and then in Ontonagon in a house that Bob helped design.
In his retirement, he became particularly skilled at woodworking, producing numerous birdhouses and handcrafted items for his friends and family. His birdhouses now hang around the world, from California to Florida, and even in the Czech Republic, Sweden and Finland. He was especially excited when he learned that birds had made homes in his houses.
In addition to his love of woodworking, Bob enjoyed dining out, traveling, barbecuing, taking meticulous care of his lawns (on his adored John Deere tractor), and a good cocktail with his friends.
Robert is survived by his wife, Lynn; son, David, of Kansas City, Mo .; daughter, Jill, of Minneapolis; and sister, Cecilia (Bob) Jolls, of Chapel Hill, N.C.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and brother, Roland.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bob’s name to the National Audubon Society at support.audubon.org.
Friends may view Robert’s obituary and leave message of remembrance at canefuneralhome.com.