Robert B. Bestul
- Born: 27 Oct 1929, Scandinavia, Wisconsin
- Marriage (1): Lola Mae Abbott on 9 Jun 1956 in Almond, Wisconsin
- Died: 2 Jan 2007, Clare Bridge Cottage in La Crosse at age 77
Research of Naideen Straw Martsfield
La Crosse Tribune (WI)
January 4, 2007
Robert Bestul, 77, of Viroqua, died Jan. 2, 2007, at Clare Bridge Cottage in La Crosse.
Born Oct. 27, 1929, to James and Hattie Bestul in Scandinavia, Wis., Robert showed strong interest in music and scholarship from an early age. He graduated as valedictorian of the Scandinavia Union Free High School class of 1947.
In 1951, Robert completed his bachelor's degree at Central State College in Stevens Point, Wisc., with a major in History and minors in Music and Mathematics. He served the US Army as a signal company radio operator stationed in Berlin, Germany from 1951 to 1953, where his musical skills were readily applied to tapping out Morse code.
Upon completing his military service, Robert began his lifelong career in education at Almond High School in Almond, Wis., where he taught History, Chorus and Band. There he met Lola Abbott, to whom he was married on June 9, 1956. Early in his career, Robert attended summer classes at Vander Cook College of Music in Chicago, from which he earned a masters of music education degree in 1957.
Robert and Lola's endeavors focused on cultivating music and fine arts in their community, with Robert teaching high school and junior high band and Lola providing piano and vocal lessons. The couple sang throughout the years in church choir, with Robert directing and Lola acting as a frequent soprano soloist. They shared this lifetime devoted to music with their three children in Spring Green, Wis., Wisconsin Dells, Wis., and Viroqua, Wis. Robert finished his teaching career in Viroqua, which remained the couple's home in retirement.
Robert was a soft-spoken, steadfast educator, remembered by many for the hours of preparation he devoted to assuring that his lessons were always ready and the band's performances were always polished. Similar dedication and selflessness characterized his contributions to church and community. Former students often recall the band room's simple tag-board posters, on which Mr. Bestul had neatly written principles and aphorisms he wanted to impart; one of these was, "Strive for perfection," a piece of advice to which he was always faithful.
In retirement, Robert and Lola continued their participation in community music and fine arts events. The couple also enjoyed travel to Europe, especially Norway, and locations around the United States.
Robert is survived by daughter and son-in-law, Kari Bestul-Schultz and Dan Schultz, Wisconsin Dells; daughter and son-in-law, Kris and Dennis Torkelson, and their daughters, Sarah and Hannah, River Falls, Wis.; son and daughter-in-law, Kurt and Libby Bestul and their daughters, Hattie and Sallie, Viola, Wis.; and mother-in-law, Hilda Abbott, Wautoma, Wis.
He was preceded in death by his wife Lola; granddaughter, Abigail Torkelson; grandson, Benjamin Torkelson; father-in-law, Milton "Bud" Abbott; father and mother, James and Hattie Bestul; and his sister and brother-in-law, Donna and Harold Kahler.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan 6, at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Viroqua. Pastor Lindsay Jordan will officiate with burial in the Scandinavia Lutheran Church Cemetery in Scandinavia, Wis.. Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 5, at the Vosseteig-Larson Funeral Home, 123 West Decker, Hwy. 56, Viroqua. Friends may also call at the church on Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m.
The Vosseteig-Larson Funeral Home of Viroqua is serving the family.
Copyright (c) 2007 La Crosse Tribune
Record Number: 0701040143
Robert married Lola Mae Abbott, daughter of Milton Homer Abbott and Hildegarde Marie George, on 9 Jun 1956 in Almond, Wisconsin. (Lola Mae Abbott was born on 12 Apr 1937, died on 20 Apr 2004 in Bethel Home in Viroqua. and was buried in Scandinavia Lutheran Church Cemetery in Wisconsin.)