Robert S. Brewer passed away on June 3, 2021, one day shy of his 55th wedding anniversary with his wife Susan, and eighteen days before his 79th birthday.
There are several things that Rob didn’t like and won’t miss: yard work, driving around Chicago, routine maintenance, cleaning the basement or the garage, untangling Christmas lights, flying (on “silver tubes of death”), crowds, and vegetables.
But the list of things that he loved is longer. He loved meeting and talking to people. He could—and did—talk to everyone. He was a born salesman. After he completed his service in the Marine Corps., he started his career as sales manager at the company his parents founded, the E.F. Brewer Company. He traveled the country in that role selling medical equipment. Even years later, after he had left the company, whenever he found himself in a doctor’s office, he loved to check the bottom of an IV stand or stool to see if it had the E.F. Brewer logo on it.
He loved to tell stories, which he did better than just about anyone; he could make people laugh just with his facial expressions. He loved to drive and rarely took the same route to and from a destination. He loved to hunt, fish, and shoot. He loved dogs, particularly Speedy, Decoy, Puck, and Gloria. He loved a motel that would welcome his hunting dog—and smelled like wet dog. He loved his duck skiff. He loved the Okauchee Elementary School functions and came home from the school carnival every year with pink eyebrows and hair after having run the cotton candy machine. He loved his uniform of baseball caps, sweatshirts, jeans, and tennis shoes. He loved to make cheesy potatoes for the men’s group at church. He loved watching fishing shows like Wicked Tuna and old sitcoms like the Andy Griffith Show. He loved the beaches near Ft. Myers, Florida. He loved wandering around Scheels, Cabela’s, and Gander Mountain. He loved unhealthy food—chips and dip, Chicago dogs, canned corned beef hash, chocolate chip cookies, marshmallow peeps, and jimmy sundaes (with just enough ice cream to stick the jimmies together), to name a few. He loved hosting parties on the 4th of July and setting off fireworks on the patio (which invariably blew all of the flowers out of the garden).
He loved a road trip. Anyone who joined him learned not to hydrate, because he was famous for stopping only when the car needed gas (or when the transmission fell out, the engine started on fire, or the boat and hitch inexplicably detached from the car at highway speed). He was particularly happy when his road trips took him to water. Though he was happy on any body of water, he had some favorites: Upper Oconomowoc Lake, where he raised his family; Lake Michigan, Lake Namekagon, and Lake Oahe (SD), where he loved to fish; and Devil’s Lake (ND), where he loved to duck hunt. The illustrious "Ranger" Rob Brewer fishing career came to a fitting close in the summer of 2020 with his final two voyages on Lake Michigan, the first netting a prize-winning brown trout, the second concluding with a rescue and final trip to port aboard a coast guard cutter.
And he loved to help people. Not much made him happier than being able to give things to his friends and family. Need a pressure washer? He could dig one out of the garage. A boat mechanic? He had just the guy. A job? He would hire you or find someone who would. Things didn't always work out perfectly (or function at all in the case of the pressure washer), but his intent was always good, and he was never discouraged from helping his next friend in need.
Most of all he loved his family and friends, particularly his wife Susan, his daughter Alison and her husband Dean, his son Matt and his wife Kim, his daughter-by-choice Julie and her husband Tommie, his grandchildren Olivia and Charlie, his brother Jim and his wife Maribeth, Johnny "Skunk" McVay, and the countless other friends who became the honorary "aunts" and "uncles" of the Brewer family. He teased us, he entertained us, he yelled at us, he taught us, he rooted for us, and he left us with wonderful memories. He will be missed.
Rob was preceded in death by his parents, Ellsworth Franklin Brewer and Eleanor Stewart Brewer.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, June 18, 2021 at St. Anskar’s Episcopal Church, N48W31340 Hill Rd. Hartland Wisconsin. The visitation will be held at 11 am followed by a service at noon. (Masks must be worn in the church.) Please join the family following the service for a reception at the Delafield Hotel.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, or the Salvation Army.