Robert J. Ledvina, 89, died peacefully on Friday, October 29th, 2021, after a long battle with congestive heart failure. Born in the Township of Montpelier in Kewaunee County, WI on March 8th, 1932, to the late Anton and Martha (Cisler) Ledvina, and raised in the Town of Franklin, WI since the age of 3, he graduated from Kewaunee High School in 1950.
Bob enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1951, for three years. He began basic training in Alameda, CA and upon completion, was transferred to Boston, MA to serve on the Coast Guard icebreaker “Eastwind”. During this time, he visited Nuuk, the capitol of Greenland, and crossed the Arctic Circle on Mother’s Day, 1952, to become an official “Polar Bear”. In 1953, he was transferred to the US Coast Guard School in Groton, CT, when he became a third class radioman. He was then transferred to Chicago, IL as a radio operator, transmitting and receiving Morse Code throughout the Great Lakes region. In 1954, he was promoted to second class petty officer and transferred to Milwaukee, WI to service on the “Hollyhock”. He was discharged at the end of this service term on December 10, 1954.
In 1957, he met the love of his life, Carol (Meyer) Ledvina and they married on August 29, 1959, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Norman, WI. They remained in the area until September 1967, at which time they moved to Green Bay, and settled into what would become their lifetime home of 50+ years.
In 1964, he attended DeVry Technical College in Chicago, IL and received an associate degree in industrial electronics in 1966. In February of 1967, he started with Wisconsin Public Service at the Pulliam Power Plant in Green Bay. In 1970, he was transferred to the Kewaunee Nuclear Power Plant as an operator in training. He became a licensed nuclear plant operator in 1974, was promoted to shift supervisor in 1982, promoted to outage coordinator in 1988, and retired January 1st, 1995, after 28 years.
Bob loved to travel with Carol, and went to many States in the U.S. including Alaska and Hawaii. But their favorite place to travel was the Czech Republic where they visited the birthplace of his great-grandfather John, in the Town of Novy Klicov (pronounced novee kleechov) and traced the Ledvina family tree back to the 1730’s. A little known fact was that Bob spoke Czech as his first language, and it wasn’t until the first grade that he actually learned English, and promptly forgot his Czech. So as an adult, he studied the Czech language and taught himself to speak Czech again in preparation for these trips.
In his younger years, Bob enjoyed spending time with Carol, going to dances and bowling and having a good drink with friends…especially Old Fashions! As the family grew, he enjoyed time up North with family…fishing, waterskiing and boating. Bob was an avid woodworker, making many furniture items over the years, as well as craft items for St. Bernard’s Christmas Bazaar, and football lamps for St. Norbert College fundraisers. Later on, he enjoyed golfing with his buddies, breakfast outings with friends and relatives, and the occasional card game on Wednesday afternoons. Bob also had a love of music…he enjoyed singing, taught himself to play the accordion, and enjoyed playing his keyboard and serenading us with many polkas and religious songs over the years.
He was also active in many organizations: St. Lawrence Catholic Order of Forrester’s (85 years), St. Bernard’s Knights of Columbus 10243, VFW Post of Bellevue, Wisconsin Czechs, and in recent years sang frequently with the Wisconsin Czech Choraliers. He also volunteered at St. Bernard’s, at St. Vincent DePaul, and Bellin Hospital for over 17 years. Bob enjoyed watching and attending many sports events with Carol, enjoying many UWGB basketball and Packer and Badger football games.
Bob is survived by his four children: Peggy Ledvina, Bethesda, MD; Mike (Ann) Ledvina, Green Bay, WI; Mark (Sara) Ledvina, Green Bay, WI; and Laurie (Tim) Olson, Ledgeview, WI; and his seven grandchildren: Tony Ledvina, Pewaukee, WI; Brett (Abby) Ledvina, New Franken, WI; Ben Ledvina, Green Bay, WI; Alyssa (Jake) Reimer, Wrightstown, WI; Tyler Ledvina, Green Bay, WI; Nick Olson, Oak Creek, WI; Alex Olson, Clearwater, FL; two great-granddaughters, Everly Reimer and Iyla Reimer; a sister, Janet (Ledvina) Salentine, Luxemburg, WI; a sister-in-law, Gladys (Stahl) Ledvina, Ashwaubenon, WI; and two brothers-in-law, John Carrier, Middleton, WI and Clayton Meyer, Kewaunee, WI; as well as many other cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Carol; his grandson Matthew Ledvina; parents Anton and Martha Ledvina; parents-in-law, Charles and Rose Meyer; a brother-in-law, Lloyd Salentine; a brother, Tony Ledvina; a sister, Karen (Ledvina) Carrier; sisters-in-law, Lorraine (Meyer) Eesley, MaryAnn Meyer, Janet (Meyer) Parkos; and brothers-in-law, Bob Eesley and Don Parkos; among other relatives.
Parish Visitation will be held from 9:30 to 11:50 a.m. on Thursday, November 4th, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 12 noon at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 2040 Hillside Lane with Rev. Mark VanderSteeg officiating. Entombment will be in Allouez Chapel Mausoleum.
The family gives thanks to the Cardiology Team at Bellin Health; The Team at Renaissance Assisted Living, and Rennes Health and Rehab; and most specially, Dad’s most amazing caregivers, Jeanie and Rick Zimmerman, who without their selfless caregiving and love, he and Mom would not have had the best care anyone could ever hope for…they are the angels who took such care when we could not.
In lieu of flowers and gifts, the family wishes to support Bob’s favorite place to serve God and help others, St. Bernard’s Parish,