Bob Gehring spent a lot of time on a tractor, and this was one of his most cherished pictures because his one and only granddaughter, Katie, joined him (Submitted/The Report).

By Gail Peckler-Dziki

Robert Gehring, a Randall Town Board member since 1983, died Dec. 12 at the age of 78 after suffering complications from heart disease.

Gehring, nicknamed “Farmer Bob,” was a fourth-generation farmer and strong advocate for agriculture and open spaces.

He continued the Gehring family farm, established in 1846, up until the day of his passing.

The family — which included his wife of 48 years, Winifred “Winnie” Gehring — celebrated 155 years of continual business operation this year.

Friends say he embraced nature and had a deep reverence for the land.

Gehring was a founding member of the Randall Fire Department. He also was considered the “grandfather” of the Kenosha County Smart Growth Plan, being the first county official to embrace it.

He served on the Randall Town Board for 23 years but was active in his community for more than 36 years.

Gehring also served on the Randall Planning Board and the Randall-Twin Lakes Smart Growth and Intergovernmental Cooperation and Boundary Agreement committees.

He also belonged to the Order of Foresters and served as a delegate and was a member of Foremost Farms.

Julie Horbach was Randall Town Treasurer for 20 years and currently serves as a Randall Town Board member.

“I worked with Bob for a long time and found him to be a very kind gentleman who always wore a smile,” she said. “I’ve only served on the board with him for a little less than a year, and he was the one who convinced me to run for the board.”

She said Gehring was passionate about keeping his community rural and concerned for farmers.

“If he disagreed with you, he always was polite about it,” Horbach said. “His family can be very proud of those things he accomplished and how he treated others.”

Town Board Chairman Bob Stoll concurred with those sentiments.

“He was always willing to listen to the other side of the issues, even when there was disagreement,” Stoll said.


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