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The Pfiffner

d. March 30, 2016


10-11 a.m., Saturday, April 23at Christ Episcopal Church, 624 Bay St., Chippewa Falls.


11 a.m., Saturday, April 23at Christ Episcopal Church, 624 Bay St., Chippewa Falls.

The Honorable Robert Francis Pfiffner, 98, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, March 30, 2016, lovingly surrounded by his family.

He was born on March 20, 1918, the son of Frank and Mary (Koslowski) Pfiffner, in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. He attended St. Stevens Parochial School for eight years, then Emerson High School, graduating in June 1936. The next two years he attended Central State Teachers College (now UW- Stevens Point) after which he matriculated to the University of Wisconsin at Madison and was graduated with a BA degree in 1940. In 1942, he received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School. After being admitted to the bar, he became associated with the law firm of Nash and Nash in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, where he practiced a short time. Later, he was called into service and chose the Navy, receiving his boat training at Great Lakes Training Center.

During his stay at Great Lakes, he received word that he was eligible for officer's training and after attending various officer schools, he was commissioned an Ensign and assigned to Motor Torpedo Program or PT Program at Melville, Rhode Island. PT Squadron 36 was commissioned at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and he became the Executive Officer of PT 526.

The Squadron was transported on cargo shops down the Atlantic Coast in 1944 to the Panama Canal and the Squadron passed through the Canal under its own power. When arriving at the Pacific Ocean, the Squadron again loaded onto cargo ship decks and steamed to Milne Bay, New Guinea where they were unloaded and began to patrol. Soon thereafter, they were directed to the Island of Woendi from where they patrolled the coast of New Guinea.

The Squadron joined the invasion flotilla to the Philippines, ultimately reaching the Leyte Gulf. The Squadron patrolled from Leyte and was engaged in the Battel of Surigao Straits where the Japanese were soundly beaten by the U.S. Navy Forces. From Leyte, the Squadron joined the forces and took part in the Luzon Landing and patrolled the coast to the China Sea. When the forces were in control of the landing, the Squadron was ordered to the Island of Tarakan just off Borneo where the Squadron patrolled various rivers ad coast of Borneo.

After the nuclear bombing of Japanese cities, the war was about to the end, Bob received orders to depart back to the U.S. After various places of land duties, he was discharged in 1946 and returned to Stevens Point.

Shortly thereafter, he was told that an attorney, Harold Stafford of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, was looking for an associate. On May 28, 1946, he joined Stafford in the practice of law.

On July 20, 1946, he married Corrine Klish and subsequently two sons were born, James and Tom. They resided in Chippewa Falls.

In 1967, he was appointed Judge of the 19th Judicial Circuit which consisted of Chippewa, Rusk and Sawyer Counties, by then Governor Warren Knowles. After court reorganization, he became Circuit Court Judge of Chippewa County, serving until 1983. When he retired, he continued as a Reserve Circuit Judge, finally retiring in 2004.

In 1987, he married Courtenay (McKenzie) Francis. They resided in Chippewa Falls and loved their life together. They also spent time in Florida and Arizona.

He enjoyed retirement. He was a volunteer tutor for the Literacy Volunteers- Chippewa Valley. He was also a member of the Elks, the VFW and Notre Dame Parish. He loved to play golf and fly fish for trout on the Brule River, as well as reading and doing crossword puzzles. He did two crossword puzzles every day almost until the end of his life.

He is survived by sons Jim Pfiffner and Tom (Laurie) Pfiffner; grandchildren Mica (Collin) Bennett, Erica (Jon) Wahler, Simon (Elizabeth) Pfiffner and Zachary (Katy) Pfiffner and great-grandchildren, Maxwell, Norah, Claire Bennett, Alaina and Mila Wahler, Lucas Pfifffner; Step-children, Courtenay "Missy" (Jeff) Stepanek of Eau Claire, John H. "Hunt" (Laurie) Francis, Jr. of Chippewa Falls; Sarah (Timothy) O'Neil of Eau Claire; grandchildren, Matthew (Lori) Stepanek, Michael (Diana) Stepanek, Elizabeth Stepanek, Alice (Tony) Cherian, John Francis III, Courtenay (Jason) Bydash, Timothy (Amy) O'Neil, Jr., Calley O'Neil; great-grandchildren, Kyra, Camryn, Teagan and Daxton Stepanek, Maddie and Patrick O'Neil and Evelyn Bydash.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Corrine in 1985; his second wife, Courtenay in 2014; his daughter-in-law, Pamela Pfiffner in 2014; and his siblings, Margaret, Dorothy, George and William.

A service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, April 23 at Christ Episcopal Church, 624 Bay Street, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin with the Reverend Msgr. Mark Pierce of the Church of Notre Dame will be officiating, assisted by Rev. Canon Aaron Zook of Christ Episcopal Church.

Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service Saturday at the church.

Memorials may be designated to Notre Dame Parish.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of The Pfiffner, please visit our flower store.


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