Robert Allen "Bob" LansenSeptember 11, 1925 ~ February 5, 2018 (age 92)
Bob Lansen passed away on February 5, 2018, after a brief illness. Lucid to the end, his body simply couldn’t keep up with his mind. An unfailing optimist who loved his family and friends, loved to sing, and reveled in life, his favorite saying was, “Life is great. I woke up again this morning, and it’s another beautiful day.”
Bob was born on September 11 (he said that it was a great birthday until 2001), 1925 in East Chicago, Indiana to Ruth and Allen Lansen. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1943 at age 18, becoming an officer and B-29 navigator. In 1946, he married the woman whom he always referred to as his ‘bride’, the love of his life, Dorothy Ryder. Their marriage would be a love story lasting 58 years. Dorothy passed away in 2004.
In the 1950’s he joined Monsanto, where he became one of their top ten national salesmen. During those years, he and Dorothy built two houses in Griffith, Indiana, and were active in social and church organizations. He then joined his client and lifelong friend, Howard Curler, as the sales manager of Howard’s company, Curwood, in New London, Wisconsin. He and Howard would remain close friends until Howard’s death. Striking out on his own, he founded and grew Duralam, Inc., in Appleton, Wisconsin, which was to become a strong regional packaging company. He showed tireless ambition and worked ceaselessly, never complaining about the endless hours required to create his company.
Despite his grueling schedule, Bob and Dorothy were wonderful parents to their five children, found time to golf as members of Butte des Morts (Appleton) and Waupaca country clubs, to travel (Hawaii, Vegas, and New York were favorites), and to socialize with their many friends. Bob had a beautiful voice, and no party was complete without his rendition of I Left my Heart in San Francisco or On the Street Where you Live.
In the 1970’s, Bob became a close friend to another client, Leonard Gentine. He ultimately sold Duralam to Mr. Gentine’s company, Sargento Foods, Inc. They would remain close to until the latter’s death. Leonard’s sons, Louis and Larry, continued to be involved in Bob’s life until the end. Bob and Dorothy moved to Cape Coral, Florida in 1974, where they played golf, made new friends, and Bob successfully managed his investments. He was intensely proud of his children and grandchildren, and would list their accomplishments to anyone who would listen. In later years, he became a trusted advisor to daughter-in-law Tara (Thomas) in building a successful New York-based information technology company (Compufit, Inc.), now led by grandson Daniel.
Bob was predeceased by his wife, Dorothy, his parents and sister Marjorie, and his sons, Greg and Douglas. He is survived by his older sister, Evelyn, son Dr. Thomas Lansen, daughters Lori and Carol Lansen, grandchildren Dr. Nora Lansen, attorneys Thomas Lansen, Jr., and Dessa Willson, Daniel Lansen, four great grandchildren – Ella, Penelope, and Ryder Tobin, Walker Lansen; and many nieces and nephews. A wake will be held at Fuller Funeral Home, 1625 Pine Ridge Road, Naples on Friday, February 9, from 2 to 4 pm; and a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Ann’s Catholic Church, 475 9th Avenue South, Naples, on Saturday, February 10 at 11 am.