We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home and Cremation
Robert Lee Van Kirk, 74, of Sparta, lost a hard fought battle with cancer on Friday, May 27, 2022 at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse. He was born on July 1, 1947 to Helen Taylor of Sparta and raised by his grandparents, Beonka and George Van Kirk.
He married Judith Hyatt on July 22, 1967. They raised four children together. He was also a “dad” to many others.
Over the years Bob worked for the foundry, Monroe County Publishers, the highway department, drove mail truck at Fort Mccoy, Monroe County Transport, and owned a pool hall. Of all of his jobs, the one he loved most was working for the Sparta Police Department as a patrolman and a detective. After he retired, Bob kept busy helping anyone who asked.
He had many special friends and an ability to talk to anyone. He was known for “telling it like it is” and never holding a grudge. He enjoyed wood working and built a few homes. He shot a lot of pool games, because that was his greatest passion.
Bob is survived by his wife, Judy; children, Tim (Kris) Van Kirk, Jennifer (Curt) Schlaver, Jackie (Travis) Hampel, and Thomas (Carolyn) Van Kirk; grandchildren, Brandon Kruger, Sarah Van Kirk (Holden Betts), Benjamin Van Kirk, Katelin Bauer-Van Kirk, Jessica (Justin) Putman, Cortney (Jordan) Hesse, Jacob (Megan) Hampel, Joshua (Haley) Hampel, Matthew Hampel (Logan Larsen), Mason Hampel (Shauna Anderson), Ayla Schultz (Michael Larson), and Trystan Schultz (Olivia Kempfer); great grandchildren, Kaylee and Jaxson Hesse, Nyxson, Ellie, Bensen, Paxten, Bentlee, and Everligh Hampel, Nevaeah and Eastyn Meyer, Ryela Schultz, Brennan Schmitz, Stella Lundin, and Brody Larson; and siblings, Lois (Steve) North, Edith Taylor, Donna Kadow, Arlene (Howie) Kneifl, Vickie (Mark) Bernarde, Jim Taylor, and Dean (Cathy) Taylor. Also, many close friends, including his pool league buddies.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Helen Taylor; Robert Taylor, brother, George Taylor; sister, Debra Scheire; father-in-law Norbert Hyatt; mother-in-law Elaine (Schotten) Hyatt; and many aunts and uncles.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 am on Wednesday, June 1, 2022 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Sparta, with Father Eric Berns officiating. Burial will be in St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery, Sparta with the following serving as pallbearers: Jacob, Joshua, Matthew, and Mason Hampel, Benjamin Van Kirk, Brandon Kruger, and Trystan Schultz.
Visitation will be from 4pm to 7pm on Tuesday, May 31, 2022 at Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home and Cremation, Sparta and 9 am to 10:45 on Wednesday at the funeral home.
Online condolences may be offered at www.schanhoferfh.com
Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home and Cremation, Sparta, is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.