Robert Otto Braesch was born Feb. 16, 1954 in Storm Lake. He was the 6th and last child born to Arvid Otto and Alvira Jean (Wenck) Braesch. Robert was baptized at St. John Lutheran Church, rural Albert City, on March 21st, 1954. This began his lifelong relationship with his God that continued throughout his illness. Bob's godparents were Ralph and Lydia Carlson and he had a relationship with them that became deeper throughout his life. He was confirmed at St. John Lutheran Church by the Reverend Carl Wenger, his mentor, pastor and very dear friend on April 7, 1968.
Bob attended all 13 years of school at Albert City-Truesdale School. While in school, he was active in music, speech, wrestling and very active in the FFA. He graduated from high school in 1972 and spent two summers working for the Lake Patrol at Lake Okoboji. Bob attended a couple of semesters at the junior college in Ankeny and took college classes in various areas throughout his life. On June 8, 1974 Bob married Rebecca Peterson at the United Methodist Church in Laurens. They spent the first year of their married life on an acreage at rural Albert City, where Bob was employed at Poca Vista and as a carpenter with his great uncle, John Petersen. In September of 1975, Bob began working for Heetland Electric in Laurens and they moved to Laurens.
In July of 1978, Bob and Becky became the parents of a son, Joseph Arvid. In September of 1981, daughter, Betsy Lou was born. Bob loved being a father. He had so much fun with his children. In October of 1981, he became employed at Positech Corporation in Laurens where he was still employed at the time of his death. Positech was the perfect fit for Bob.
One of his favorite parts of the job was helping with the entertainment at some of the Christmas parties. In his life's travels, he soon began selling what he had serviced. He was encouraged to form the integrated solutions part of Positech and run that area of the company, which he did and loved every minute of it. He loved the challenges his job presented to him. In the first part of 2004, he joined a group of fellow employees in purchasing Positech from Columbus McKinnon.
Bob would often take one or both of the kids with him to Positech on the weekends to help him out with some project or another and they both learned to run a video camera at an early age to help Dad with his customer videos that he made on weekends.
One of the favorite ways he shared Positech with his family was through their entertaining of Bob's customers in their home over the years. When they would come in to Laurens to look at the equipment they had purchased, there was not always a place open for them to enjoy an evening of fellowship and dinner, so Bob began asking Becky if he could bring them home. Thus began a tradition of many home cooked meals for many customers over the years. Most left at the end of the night good friends and regular customers.
When Joe and Betsy attended college at Northwest Missouri State in Maryville, Bob and Becky began attending Bearcat football games and became die hard fans. They spent many hours on the road to and from games. In November of 2002, Joe married Angie Bowman. In September of 2006, Betsy married Weston Sharp. He loved teaching his 2 sons anything he could about how to make something work with nothing. On May 23 of 2007, Bob and Becky became grandparents! Kyla Necile became one of Bob's favorite things at a very early age.
Bob served on the board of trustees of the Laurens Light Plant for 23 years and as chairman of the board for the communication utility since its inception. He was instrumental in the forming of the communications utility when it was put to a vote to the citizens of Laurens. Bob was very proud of what Laurens had available to their citizens in this area. He enjoyed the many acquaintances he made with this group and the things they were able to learn and do for the area.
When Joe and Betsy were both busy building new lives of their own, Bob was looking for a little hobby and he decided to attend a training school offered by the bishop's office to become a Lutheran lay pastor. He and Becky used this as an experience to make many new friends as Bob filled in at St. John at Palmer, Our Savior's at Rembrandt, Immanuel at Alta, St. John at rural Albert City, Grace in Marathon, and, of course, Bethany in Laurens. He also filled an odd Sunday here and there in other churches in the area. This was a ministry he really enjoyed along with meeting all the people at the churches.
After a bout of pneumonia, follow up appointments were booked with the pulmonologist in Fort Dodge who, on Aug. 6th, informed Bob and Becky that Bob had an inoperable malignant tumor in the upper lobe of his right lung. Bob began chemo treatment on September 3 at St. Anthony's Hospital in Carroll with the John Stoddard Cancer Center out of Des Moines. Being Bob, he used this experience to make lots more new friends and the doctors and nurses that became a regular part of he and Becky's lives soon became dear friends. Many experiences were shared including the birth of 2 new grandchildren. Kaelen Derek Braesch was born to Joe and Angie on Nov. 17 and Gwendolyn Kate Sharp joined Wes and Betsy on Nov. 28. Bob really enjoyed being there shortly after both their births.
Bob passed away on July 8, 2010, at 11:06 a.m. in the Pocahontas Hospital.
Bob is survived by his wife, Becky, his sons Joe and Wes, his daughters Betsy and Angie, his grandchildren Kyla, Kaelen and Gwen, his cat, Stud Junior. He is also survived by his mother Alvira Braesch of Albert City, his mother in law and father in law, Bill and Lou Ann Peterson of Laurens, his brothers, Tom, Terry, Steve, Tom, Scott and Brent, his sisters Carol, Nancy, Karen, Kathy, Letha, and Lori, his god children, Morgan Darrow, Spencer Darrow, Randal Leistikow, Jason Braesch, and Blake Manwarren, his aunts, Darleen Caskey, Wilma Wenck, and Phylis Braesch, his uncle Dewayne Peterson, many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, cousins, and many special friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, Arvid Braesch, grandparents Herman and Lena Braesch and Daniel and Katherine Wenck, brother Damon Peterson, dear friend Greg Porath and other family members. Services for Bob were held on Sunday, July 11, 2010, at Bethany Lutheran Church in Laurens.