Robert “Big Bob” Gardner, 74, of Chippewa Falls passed away Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, in Eau Claire with his family by his side.

Bob was born Nov. 8, 1944, in Eau Claire to Arthur and Virginia (Anderson) Gardner. He graduated from Memorial High School in 1962. He served in the Army from 1961-1964 and spent time in Korea and Puerto Rico.

Bob married Sonja Dunn in 1961, and together they had two sons, Robert “Bobby” Gardner Jr. and Joseph “Joe” Gardner. They later divorced in 1989. Bob later married Vickie (Berzinski) Gardner in 1994.

Big Bob loved cars. From the well-known red Rolls Royce convertible to the numerous limos he owned over the years. He opened Bob & Joe’s Auto Sales in 1971 in Chippewa Falls, where he spent many years working with his brother-in-law, Randy Bauer and his son, Joe. He spent lots of time entertaining friends and family. He spent many years shooting trap for various teams at the Pines Ballroom in Bloomer. He enjoyed history and anything to do with World War II, including collecting old memorabilia. His numerous hats and T-shirts he wore would bring more than a smile to most people’s faces.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his loving wife of 25 years, Vicki Gardner; his sons, Robert (Susan) Gardner Jr. of Eau Claire and Joseph (Andrea) Gardner of Eau Claire; grandchildren, Joseph Gardner Jr. and Jordyn Gardner ; siblings, Gregory (Patricia) Gardner of Altoona, Monica (Randy) Bauer of Eau Claire and Scott Gardner of Eau Claire; nieces and nephews, Brad (Amy) Gardner, Trever (Tammie) Bauer, Trista (Chris) Lontz, Kalena Berzinski, Sarah Mitchell, Samantha (Tom) Mitchell, Stephanie (Rockey) Locke, Shelby Mitchell, Mila Mitchell, Rachelle Berzinski, Connie Grimm, Janelle (Joe) Mitchell, and Melinda (Craig) Oliver.

A celebration of Bob’s life will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, at Chippewa Valley Cremation Services-Celebration of Life Center, 1717 Devney Dr., Altoona, Wisconsin, and from 7 to 10 p.m. at Chippewa River Distillery, 402 West River St., Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, 54729.

To express condolences online please visit www.chippewavalleycremation.com.

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