Dr. Robert C. “Bob” Dewel of Baraboo died on Tuesday, June 21, 2016, following a brief hospitalization at the age of 96.
Bob was born December 9, 1919, in Algona, Iowa, the fifth son of William C. and Emma Louise (Patton) Dewel. After graduating from Algona High School in 1937, he attended Grinnell College and the University of Iowa, from which he graduated in 1942 with degrees in Science and Dentistry. He was a member of Sigma Chi social and Psi Omega dental fraternities.
On August 30, 1942, Bob married the love of his life, Helen D. Chubb of Algona, at the Little Brown Church in the Vale. Shortly thereafter, he served in the 57th Field Corps and 111th Combat Engineers as a dentist in World War II from December 1942 to May 1946. During nearly two years in the European Theatre of Operations, Bob rose to the rank of Captain and served in the Battle of the Bulge.
Following the war, Bob practiced dentistry in his home state of Iowa; in 1961, he moved to Baraboo and purchased the dental practice of Dr. Clausen Stekl. In Baraboo, he joined the First United Methodist Church and Kiwanis, serving in President, Lt. Governor, and pianist roles over the next 50 years. Bob also served his profession as a member of the State Dental Society Ethics Committee.
After retiring from 43 years of dentistry in 1985, Bob served as a tireless volunteer and contributor to numerous local organizations, including as a docent and organist at the Al. Ringling Theatre, at the Circus World Museum, in support of the Sauk County Historical Society. Bob was frequently recognized for his contributions, including as the 1991 recipient of the Dippel Community Service Award and 2015 recipient of Baraboo’s Gem Award.
In addition, Bob was a prolific writer and historian through his retirement, publishing over 500 local history articles in the News Republic and multiple volumes of books. He received the third annual Canfield Award from the Historical Society in 2005 and was an avid student of the life of Benjamin Franklin.
Surviving are the Dewels’ daughters, Barbara (Jon) Brightman of Puerto Rico and Shirley (Richard) Riederer of Naperville, Illinois, and cherished grandchildren, Caitlin and Emily Riederer.
In addition to his wife and son David Robert, who died in infancy, Bob was preceded in death by his parents and four brothers: Duane, Tod, Gordon, and Don.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, June 28, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at First United Methodist Church, with Pastor Marianne Cotter officiating. Military rites and interment will follow at the Walnut Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Monday, June 27, from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. at the Al. Ringling Theatre and from 10 a.m. until the time of service on Tuesday at the church.
Memorials may be made to the Robert C. & Helen C. Dewel Fund at the Greater Sauk County Community Foundation to benefit the Al. Ringling Theatre’s organ, the First United Methodist Church, or to a charity of your choice.
The Redlin Funeral Home is assisting the family.