Robert Storbakken

Robert D. Storbakken, age 75 of Chaseburg died Thursday January 2, 2020.


Sample ImageRobert D. Storbakken, 75, of Chaseburg passed away on Thursday, January 2, 2020 at Gundersen Hospital after a long battle with cancer. Robert was born on August 16, 1944 to William and Tena (Olson) Storbakken in LaCrosse, WI. He was the youngest of nine children. He had fond recollections of his childhood growing up on a hilltop farm in Westby where Norwegian was spoken in the home. His memories included skiing from one neighboring ridge farm to another to see friends and family in the winter, fishing in Spring Coulee, tending the family's chickens, and watching his father plow with their grand Belgium work horses. These memories and childhood friendships were special to him and stayed with him for life.    

     After graduating from Westby High School in 1962, he joined the Marine Corps and trained as a paratrooper. Later he began his studies at Humboldt State University in Northern California, where he studied Marine Biology, English and Literature, finishing in 1972 with a Bachelors Degree in English. In 1990 he went on to earn his Masters Degree in Education at UW- LaCrosse.

     While in California, he met and married Jeannie Pella and they had four children together. They lived for a short time in California before being drawn back to the Westby area where he wanted to raise his family. Robert taught for several years before returning to outdoor work where he was most comfortable. He worked for the Vernon County Land and Water Conservation Department for many years, where he helped to introduce the wild turkey population into Wisconsin, maintained the county dams, helped establish countless wildlife habitat areas, and planted over a million trees. If you ever spot a grove of European Larch trees in the area, he is likely the one who planted it.

     Robert lived a simple and humble life. He loved the solitude of his rustic cabin that he built with his own hands, and being surrounded by nature. He cared deeply for his loved ones and was especially kind to animals and children. Some of his greatest joys were trout fishing, ice fishing, studying the Bible, reading, writing poetry, finding Indian artifacts, eating wild mushrooms, gardening, working with wood, running his saw mill, caring for his cats and other wild critters, and spelunking.

     Robert approached the end of his life with an eye toward Heaven, full of hope and without fear. He had an unshakable faith in Jesus Christ that grew in proportion to the trials of his illness, and he never lost his zeal for living. He fought hard until the very end. During his four years of being sick with cancer he enjoyed closeness with his family and was an inspiration in so many ways. Robert was a man without pretense, who simply was who he was, and will be deeply missed.

     Robert is survived by his sister Joanne Hultstrand, his four children, Jacob (Abi) Storbakken, Sarah (Tim) Farrell, Angela (Jens-Peter) Transo, and Luke Storbakken (Tina Meyer), and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Tena (Olson) Storbakken, and his siblings, Wallace, Maurice, Paul, Marilyn Lee, George, Inez Winters, and David.


   There will be a service celebrating Robert's life in April and his ashes will be buried at the Pleasant View Cemetery outside of Westby.

On-line condolences may be offered at

The Vosseteig Funeral Home, 708 S. Main St. in Westby is serving the Family. (608) 634-2100.


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