Remembering the Life and Legacy of Bob Mulder

WHCA/WiCAL is saddened to report the passing of Bob Mulder, long-time  administrator of Mulder  Health and was a Member of the WHCA Board of  Directors from 2015-16. Bob was a tremendous advocate for long-term  care and a friend of the WHCA.

Bob served in the Navy from 1972-1976, and then ran Mulder Health Care, the business his parents started, as the administrator for nearly 40 years until he retired in July of 2016.

Bob is survived by his wife of 37 years, Colleen; children Jared, Sarah, and Matthias; and grandchildren. Bob enjoyed taking trips, hunting, fishing, and being a grandfather.

“Bob’s constant devotion to others carried him through nearly 40 years as an administrator, and he enriched the lives of so many residents and staff,” WHCA Executive Director John Vander Meer said. “We wish his family and friends comfort in this time of grief.”

Please take a moment to review Bob’s obituary below and reflect on his years of service to the long-term care profession.

Robert “Bob” F. Mulder, 65, ascended to God’s loving arms peacefully in his sleep, at home in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017.

Born in La Crosse, to Robert and Grace (Williams) Mulder Oct. 7, 1952, Bob had a Christian upbringing and attended grade school in Rockland, and graduated from West Salem High School. He attended Western-La Crosse and UW-Eau Claire, harvesting skills in business, accounting and social work that would serve him well in his 40 year professional career as the owner/administrator of Mulder Health Care Facility. Bob’s quiet engaging manner, wisdom, and wit with the residents, staff and family members that he served, was dearly missed when he sold his business and happily retired in 2016.

Bob was a U.S. Navy veteran (1972-1976) serving actively in the U.S. Navel Security Group in Todendorf, Germany; an experience he relished as he was able to explore Europe in a Volkswagen Beetle, that he purchased with funds he earned working weekends as a short order cook near the Navy base.

On June 7, 1980, Bob married his soulmate, Colleen Schomberg, in an outdoor wedding at the family farm of her parents in La Crosse. To this blessed union were born three children, Jared, Sarah, Matthias. Bob was a devoted and loving husband and father and every day spent with him was a gift. A highlight every year were family vacations, where Bob’s fun-loving and adventurous spirit exploring new lands and places, planted excitement for travel in his children that continued with them into adulthood.

Bob was active in the community of West Salem, where he and Colleen raised their family; serving for many years on the Village board and working with the June Dairy Days Festival. He was a member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Masonic Lodge 125, and the Berg-Hemker-Olson American Legion Post 51 of West Salem. He was appointed by the Governor of Wisconsin, to serve on the Wisconsin Nursing Home Examining Board; a position he held for many years.

Once Bob became a father, he loved to share his varied and multiple interests with his children. As they grew they enjoyed watching him fly and build model airplanes, being their t-ball and flag football coach, playing a game that they would pick out together in a store, and always adventures outside. Bob enjoyed spending time at the family farm in Arcadia, hunting, fishing, woodworking, daily crossword puzzles, reading, winters with Colleen in the Florida Keys, campfires with an assortment of his prized cut wood, maintaining four bird-feeders and a good joke. He always stopped at a child’s lemonade stand to buy lemonade, and the American flag flew daily in his front yard. Bob enjoyed being a father and was always proud of his children, but watching them grow into happy, successful, independent adults with families of their own gave him great joy and happiness. Bob was so proud and happy to have the blessings of being a grandfather and his three grandchildren loved and adored their “Bobpa.”

Bob will be forever missed and cherished by his loving wife, Colleen; children, Jared Mulder, Sarah (Bryan) Buxton, and Matthias Mulder; grandchildren, Kylie Mulder and Tate and Sullivan Buxton; brother, David (Tamara) Mulder; sisters, Carol (Harry) Griswold, Rachel (Steve) Tabor; brothers-in-law; Doug (Sue) Schomberg, Tom (Nancy) Schomberg, and Wade (Kris) Schomberg; sisters-in-law, Cheryl (Steve) Sprecher and Marla (Bob) Uebele; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Bill and Donna Schomberg; and many nieces, nephews and friends.

Bob was currently receiving immunotherapy for cancer at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse and the family would like to sincerely thank Dr. Mariner and the infusion nurse team for their compassionate and knowledgeable care as well as thanks for sharing jokes and warm blankets during treatment.

Strong, positive, and hopeful as ever, Bob went to sleep his last night on this earth, planning his next day’s activities but awoke instead in the heavenly arms of his Savior, Jesus Christ.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents and daughter-in-law, Catherine Mulder.

Memorials may be given in Bob’s name to: Our Savior’s Lutheran Church (ELCA) West Salem; Masonic Lodge 125; or the Bob-Hemker-Olson American Legion Post 51 of West Salem.

The family is planning a private outdoor Christian burial service with military honors in the spring of 2018.

Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Homes and Crematory, Jostad Chapel, West Salem, is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be sent at

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