Robert "Scrubby" VerKuilen

June 10, 1943 ~ February 27, 2019 (age 75)

Robert John  (“Scrubby”)  VerKuilen


Bob VerKuilen, age 75, of Little Chute, passed away peacefully on February 27, 2019, surrounded by his loving family at home after a courageous 3 1/2 year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born on June 10, 1943, to Gordon and Dorothy VerKuilen in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada – which is the only reason he didn’t run for President. On August 31, 1967, he married JoAnn Porto at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Appleton.  They were married for 51 glorious years before she preceded him in death on October 18, 2018.

Bob served his county in the US Navy from 1962-66. By trade Bob worked as a sprinkler fitter and retired from Pace Corporation in 2002. He was also a proud member of the Local 669 Sprinkler Fitters Union since 1968.  He was a lifelong member of St. John Nepomucene Catholic Church and served as a member of the St. John Cemetery Association.  Bob was inducted into the St. John Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2008.

Bob enjoyed playing softball, bowling, golf and playing cards with his numerous lifelong friends. Bob enjoyed spending time with his northern neighbors, especially in a boat fishing on the Turtle Flambeau Flowage and hunting with the Wipperfurths and his good friend Bill, whom he nicknamed Chico.  He loved watching his grandchildren’s sporting events and was especially fond of watching football with his grandsons.  We will miss his great stories, his endless supply of fish, his strong hands and his gentle heart.

Bob is survived by his children; a son, Mark (Teresa) VerKuilen and children: Andrea (Jake) Horn, Grant, Stone and Chance Ver Kuilen; a daughter, Karen (Jim) Desens and children: Rachael Etka, Jon (Stephanie) and Hunter Desens; a daughter, Stacy (Kevin) Doucette and children: Jade, Addison and Maverick Doucette; one great granddaughter, Laureli Horn; a sister, Robin (Tom) Wipperfurth; brothers, Rick VerKuilen and Ron (Colleen) VerKuilen; a sister-in-law, Shirley (Whitey) Mulroy; brother-in-laws: Richard Porto and Moxy Krieck; and a sister-in-law Patricia Porto.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, his father-in-law, Joseph Porto, his mother-in-law, Ethel (Slim) Krieck, and a brother-in-law, Donald Porto.

Funeral services will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 4, 2019, at St. John Nepomucene Catholic Church, 323 S. Pine Street, Little Chute, with Fr. Ron Belitz officiating. Visitation will be at the church on Monday from 3:00 p.m. until the time of the Mass. Interment will be in St. John Cemetery, Little Chute. In lieu of flowers, a memorial is being established. For online condolences, please visit

The VerKuilen family would like to extend a special thank you to all of our family and friends for the outpouring of support and love.

He knew his life was through but wasn’t scared to die.  He closed his eyes, his final breath a sigh.  His wife took his hand and whispered ‘Welcome Dear’ – we were apart 132 days but we won’t be parted here. 


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