Robert E. Corning "Bud"

WESTFIELD—Robert E. Corning “Bud,” age 92, passed away at Harris Villa Assisted Living surrounded by his loving family on August 7th, 2017.  Bud was born on July 16, 1925 in Briggsville, Wisconsin, the son of Robert B. and Emma L. Corning.  He married Shirley B. Wagner from Diamond Lake, IL on September 18, 1950 and they were married for 67 years.
Bud attended Portage High School and joined the U.S. Navy in 1944.  He took naval training as a motor machinist. He served during WWII aboard a Landing Craft along the coast of Marseilles, France.  After an honorable discharge from the Navy in 1945, he joined the crew of the 81-foot sailboat, the Curlew, as their engineer and sailed the Great Lakes for three years.

Bud moved back to Briggsville and worked with a carpentry crew in Madison building homes for returning WWII veterans and their families.  In 1950, Bud and Shirley were married and together they built their home south of Briggsville and raised five daughters and two sons.  His children were his pride and joy, and you would find him at every football game, wrestling match, event or program that they participated in.  In his spare time, Bud played baseball.  In the 1960s, Bud joined the Marquette County Sheriff’s Department as a traffic officer serving for eight years. He was elected sheriff in 1968 and served for 12 years until his retirement in 1980. In 2015, Bud received a commendation from the Briggsville American Legion Post for being a dues-paying Legionnaire for 70 years.  He was one of the charter members who established the Briggsville Fire Department in 1961. He volunteered for 43 years and was the last surviving charter member.  Bud was an active member in the Marquette County Snowmobile Club and spent many hours grooming and maintaining trails. After retiring from law enforcement, a “never-sit-still” kind of guy, Bud went back to carpentry--building decks, garages, houses and doing home repairs. In 1980, he and Shirley moved from their home to the Corning family farm which his grandfather built in 1903. Bud loved to drive his ATV and golf cart throughout his property. He and Shirley wintered in Florida and Texas. They were also avid motorcyclists.

 When macular degeneration took his vision, Bud still loved listening to the Brewers, Badgers and Packers. He enjoyed listening to books on tape and Shirley kept him abreast of current events by reading to him. On August 1, 2012, Bud and Shirley moved to Harris Villa Assisted Living in Westfield.

Bud is survived by his loving wife, Shirley; children, Cheryl (Greg) Seeley, Jean (Rick) Rehm, Betty (Michael) Zokan, Carol (Mike) Hendrick, Bob (Dawn) Corning, and Ralph (Peggy) Corning; 10 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. Bud is preceded in death by his daughter, Major (Nursing Corps) Sandra Corning Schwaier and his brother, Ralph Corning.

Visitation will be held at Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage on Saturday, August 12, 2017 from 12:00 noon until 2:00 p.m., with the funeral service immediately following.  The Rev. Susan Oeffler will officiate.  Military honors and burial will be at the Briggsville Protestant Cemetery. A luncheon will follow at the American Legion Hall in Briggsville.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Briggsville American Legion, Briggsville Fire Department, Briggsville Methodist Church or Agnesian Health Care Hospice.

Special thanks to Nan Hinze and all of Bud’s caretakers at Harris Villa and Agnesian Hospice for your loving care.





For information please call 608 742-2126 (Portage, WI) or 608 635-2763 (Poynette, WI)