In Memoriam: Former Association President Robert “Bob” Kools

Robert Michael Kools, age 88, of Appleton, passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 14, 2023, at CopperStone Assisted Living in Neenah. Bob was born in Appleton on December 29, 1934, to the late Gus and Gertrude (Bellew) Kools. He graduated from Appleton High School and Marquette University.  

In 1958, he was united in marriage to Marlene Hartl.  The couple enjoyed 63 years together until her passing. After graduating from Marquette and marrying Marlene, Bob proudly served his country in the U. S. Army.  

Bob and his brothers took over the family business, Kools Brothers Inc. from his father, uncles, and aunt.  Kools Brothers, Inc. initially fabricated ornamental iron and then transitioned to a farm equipment manufacturer. Later in life, he retired as a sales representative for Darryl Sykes and Associates. 

Bob was active with the Optimist Club as well as the Appleton Elks Lodge where he achieved the rank of Exalted Ruler in 1981-82. He proudly served as president of the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association (FEMA) from 1980-1981.

Bob was a man of sharp wit and a hopeful outlook on life.  He was a helpful soul who was quick to volunteer. To hear Bob say “one day at a time” was not uncommon.  He used this mantra to help him through forty plus years of sobriety.  

Please join the Association in offering condolences to the Kools Family.

Memorial Services: Mass will take place at 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 27, at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 1617 W. Pine St., Appleton. Friends may visit the church on Friday from 9 a.m. – 10:45 am.  Interment will take place at St. Mary Catholic Cemetery, Appleton.  In lieu of flowers, memorial funds have been established for St. Bernard Catholic Church, the Genesis Club, and Annabelle’s Amazing Graces.

Live Stream: Bob’s service will be live streamed andd may be accessed by clicking or entering the following link before the service:

Click here for the complete obituary.