Former Washington Island Observer owner Robert Toerpe dies

Robert Toerpe, who owned and managed the Washington Island Observer for 20 years, died Friday, Dec. 14, at age 85.

Robert Toerpe

Robert Toerpe

Born Feb. 2, 1933, in Chicago, Toerpe enlisted in the U.S. Air Force after high school and served during the Korean War. After the war, Toerpe went on to work in the insurance industry for the next 43 years.

In 1992, Toerpe bought the Washington Island Observer. He retired from his insurance career six years later and managed the newspaper for 20 years with his wife, Gail.

Together they had six children, 23 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be held 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, at Prasser-Kleczka Funeral Home, 3275 S. Howell Ave., Milwaukee. Additional visitation will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home, with the funeral to follow at 10:30 a.m. at The Basilica of St. Josaphat, 2333 S. 6th St., Milwaukee.

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