Robert "Bob" Norman Halsted, 96, passed away peacefully at the SSM Monroe Hospice Home on Wednesday, September 27, 2023 surrounded by his family. He was born on July 24, 1927 to Frank and Doris Halsted in Junction City, Kansas, the oldest of two children. Bob graduated from Junction City High School in May 1945 and anxious to join the war effort, immediately enlisted in the service. He served in the U.S. Navy, Army Air Corps and the U.S. Air Force. He served at Naval Stations Great Lakes, and Naval Station Newport RI and on the U.S.S. Oregon City (CA-122). He continued his service at Marshall Air Force Base in Panama; Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino, CA and Ladd Air Force Base in Fairbanks Alaska.
In 1947, Bob obtained his private pilot's license and attended Spartan School of Aeronautics in 1954 earning his Airline Service Mechanic certification. He continued his education and earned his mechanic, airframe and powerplant ratings later that year. As a civilian, Bob worked for the Junction City airport in Kansas, Sikorsky Airways in Bridgeport, CT and at New York Airways, New York, NY. He spent the remainder of his career working in federal civil service for the U.S. Army Aviation Systems Command in St. Louis, MO. While there he met the love of his life, Jody, and they were married on August 12, 1961. Having so much knowledge and experience in aviation, Bob was quick to identify any helicopter or airplane that flew overhead, amazing his friends and family! And to change things up, Bob focused on trains for a time and in 1964 received a patent on his invention of a Railroad Hot Box Detection System. After early retirement, they moved to Wisconsin and spent their remaining 46 years happily together with family close by.
Bob was an avid reader and believed that if you read the manual, you could learn to do anything. This was evident in his projects which included building a greenhouse, making and turning candles on a wood lathe, creating walnut jewelry boxes, making various clocks including a grandfather clock, and most cherished, a family walnut cradle that will be used for generations to come. His largest project was finishing the entire basement in their new Wisconsin home. Later in life he embraced technology, becoming proficient in PowerPoint, producing and presenting over 20 slideshows for his friends in Independent and Assisted Living. He also became the family historian and discovered that his Great Grand Uncle was Colonel Hans Heg, a civil war officer whose statue stands on the corner of the Capitol grounds in Madison, Wisconsin.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Winifred Josephine "Jody" Stone, his sister, Norma Halsted Voss and his great granddaughter, Peyton Elizabeth.
He is survived by his daughter, Sarah (Mark) Witke; 4 grandchildren, David Jung, Lauren (Jesse) Jung, Caitlin Witke, and Paul (Rachel) Witke; 3 great granddaughters, Parker, Valerie and Vivian and by many nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to thank the staff and residents at Aster Assisted Living for the care and friendship they provided for Bob, where he lived for the last 5 1/2 years. They also want to extend their thanks and heartfelt appreciation to SSM Hospice who cared for him and the family during his final days.
Private family service will be held at the Kansas Veterans Cemetery in Manhattan, Kansas. Naturally, this location overlooks the Manhattan Regional Airport!
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the ‘UW Foundation’. Please include a note to direct contributions as a tribute to Robert Halsted for the Child Life Program Fund 112901336. Mail to UW Foundation, US Bank Lockbox 78807 Milwaukee, WI 53278-0807. Gifts can also be made online at www.supportuw.org/give.