Cover photo for Robert D. Canfield's Obituary
Robert D. Canfield Profile Photo

Robert D. Canfield

April 25, 1947 — November 19, 2023

Sun Prairie

Robert D. Canfield

Robert D. Canfield, 76, of Sun Prairie, died Sunday, November 19, 2023. Bob was born in Sparta, WI to Willis and Marie Canfield in April 1947, and lived in Shennington, WI near Tomah, WI.

When Bob was about 6 yrs. old, his family moved to Tomah, WI. where Willis secured employment managing the local coop/creamery and Marie went to work as a receptionist for a local Doctor. Around 1959, the Canfield family moved to Chippewa Falls, WI.  Marie worked as the Office Manager for Northwestern State Bank in Chippewa Falls, WI.  Willis went to work for Bowman Dairy. Bob grew up with one sister, Beverly, who is 2 years younger. Today, Beverly is retired and lives with her husband Tom, retired from Boeing, in Federal Way, Washington. Bob’s nephew, Jason, also lives in Washington.

In 1965, Bob graduated from Chippewa Falls High School. Like so many graduates at the time, Bob had 10 days of post-high school rest & relaxation before he had to report to boot camp.  Bob was in the US Navy for four years, stationed on the east coast.

Following his tour of duty in the Navy, Bob worked at Uniroyal Tire nights and went to school days.  When Uniroyal went on strike, Bob decided to move on.  Bob secured employment with the City of Wausau’s Assessors Office where he worked for a year before moving back to the Eau Claire area and worked for the City of Eau Claire’s Assessors Office for three years.

In 1978, Bob decided to pick up stakes and moved to Madison WI. In Madison, he received his Associate’s Degree in Accounting from Madison Area Technical College in 1978. Bob went to work for the State of Wisconsin - Department of Correction where he worked in the procurement division for the State’s detention/prison facilities.  Bob retired from the Agency as the Director of Procurement after over a 30-year career. Given Bob’s invaluable experience, Bob was retained as a consultant to the Department of Administration for over 7 years subsequent to his retirement.

After retirement, Bob began consulting in May 2006, with individuals and small companies regarding home and office protection, firearms training, and self-defense. This consulting evolved into a business concept – The Horseman’s Armory – which Bob ran for several years.

Bob has one daughter, Kristina, who is 53 and lives in Bend, Oregon. Kristina and her husband Ron have two children, Kaitlin, 24 and Ryan, 22.  Bob tried to get to Oregon to visit them as frequently as he could.

An avid outdoorsman and enthusiast, Bob enjoyed hunting, fishing and tinkering in the yard around his cabin in Central Wisconsin. For many years, Bob had been a student of Asian society and culture as well as a practitioner of Asian martial arts.  He studied several styles, techniques, and disciplines over the years, including Hung gar Kung Fu, 1Run Palm, and Kun-Taw.

Bob was admitted an Entered Apprentice, passed to the Degree of Fellowcraft, and raised a Master Mason in Eau Claire Lodge #112 during 1971-72. When Bob moved to Madison, WI, he transferred his membership to Middleton Lodge #180 where he served as Worshipful Master in 1982 and again in 1984. In the fall of 1979, Bob joined the Valley of Madison. He was a member of the Ill. Denman G. Kramer, 33° Class. Bob was one of the outstanding ritualists of the MSRV, not only having recited the various speaking parts in the 14th and 18th Degrees, but also in the old 4th, 30th, and 31st Degrees, the current 32nd Degree and, most notably, as King Herod in the 17th Degree, Lucifer in the old 19th Degree, and Sir Francis Cranston in the 20th Degrees.

Besides his outstanding ritualistic ability, Bob was a natural leader and served the Valley of Madison in several leadership positions. Bob was Thrice Potent Master of the Madison Lodge of Perfection in 1991-1992, Valley Secretary from 2003-2011, and Most Wise Master of the Chapter of Rose Croix in 2004-2005.  Bob was the Deputy’s Representative for the Valley of Madison since 2011.

Bob’s service to Scottish Rite and Masonry was notable.  In 2002, Bob was honored with the Henry L. Palmer Award for Meritorious Service by the Wisconsin Council of Deliberation.  In 2004, Bob was selected for membership by the Supreme Council of Sovereign Grand Inspectors of the Thirty-Third and Last Degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction as an Honorary Member.

With respect to the York Rite portion of his Masonic Career, Bob joined Evansville Chapter, Madison Council, and Robert Macoy Commandery in 2009-2010. Bob served as Eminent Commander of Robert Macoy Commandery in 2014-2015. Bob became a Noble of the Mystic Shrine of Zor Shriners in 1980.  Bob was a life member of Zor Pipes & Drums Unit.  Bob was active as a Piper in the Pipes and Drums Unit for over 18 years.

In addition to his Masonic involvement in the Symbolic Lodge, Scottish Rite, York Rite, and Zor Shriners, Bob was active in several other Masonic Organizations.  He was a Past Puissant Sovereign of Winnebago Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine and was the Intendant General for Red Cross of Constantine at the time of his death.  Bob was also a Past Sovereign Master of Great Lakes Council #273, Allied Masonic Degrees, a XI Grade Member of the Wisconsin College Societas Rosicruciana In Civitatibus Foederatis, a member of the Royal Order of Scotland and the Western Wisconsin York Rite College #85.  Bob also served as Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Madison Masonic Center Foundation.

Bob was very active and involved in community affairs.  Bob had been a Commissioner on the Sun Prairie Police & Fire Commission for over 24 years.  Since October 2013 and until his death, Bob was a Deputy Sheriff for Lafayette County in Wisconsin.  During the period April 2014 – August 2014, Bob attended the Madison Area Technical College’s Law Enforcement Training Academy and was the oldest student ever to complete the training.

Bob was a driving force in the Valley of Madison for over 41 years.  He has given so much to Masonry and the Community.  We owe Bob a huge debt of gratitude for his dedication, leadership, service, advice & counsel.  The bar Bob has set is very high and one that we all should strive to emulate.  We, the members of the Masonic Fraternity that have been fortunate to have known Brother Bob, will miss him.

Bob has unselfishly given his time and energy to his family, career, community, and Masonry.

A Rose & Salt Service as well as a traditional Masonic Service is planned for Saturday, December 9, 2023, at Noon at the Eau Claire Masonic Center, 616 Graham Ave, Eau Claire, WI 54701.

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Masonic Service

Saturday, December 9, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Central time)

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