Robert “Bob” Linaberry-Charis
Robert “Bob” Linaberry- Charis, 75, died on Jan. 5, 2020 at Agrace Hospice in Fitchburg. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18 at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Stevens Point with Rev. Tim O’Brien presiding. Visitation will be at the church from 10 a.m. until the beginning of the service. Interment will be held at a later date.
Bob was born on Nov. 1, 1944 to Leslie and Mary Jane (Schmidt) Linaberry in Milwaukee. When he was young, his family moved to Westfield where he spent his childhood. Bob attended the UW-River Falls, where he graduated with a bachelor of science in psychology. He enlisted and served in the U.S. Army Reserve from July 1966 -June 1975 as a social work specialist. Bob married Sandy Jensen after college and they had two sons, Scott and Brian. After owning and operating a feed mill equipment business for several years, Bob heard the call to ministry and returned to school at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky. for his master’s degree. As a United Methodist Church (UMC) minister, Bob served at Bethlehem UMC in Blackhawk and at Medford, Rib Lake and Dorchester UMC. In 1986, Bob re-enlisted in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, studied at the U.S. Air Force Chaplain School in Montgomery, Ala. and served as a Commissioned Chaplain from 1986-2004.
On July 16, 1988, Bob started a new chapter in his life when he married Bonnie Taylor in Perkinstown, with whom he spent the rest of his years on one adventure after another. After resigning from church ministry, Bob bought and operated a bike and ski shop in Medford for a time, but the need to minister would not let him go. Bob sold the shop and served as a hospice chaplain at St. Mary’s in Duluth, Minn., and later as a part-time chaplain in Wausau. He truly loved his job and had a natural gift for making connections and counseling those in need.
Bob was a proud member of the United Methodist Church and a music lover. He was a member of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America and an Optimist International volunteer. He was also a member of the Association of Professional Chaplains.
Bob had a passion for travel, and he and Bonnie spent two full years touring and camping throughout North America. He loved the solitude and beauty of the outdoors. Bob often felt the most connected with God while immersed in natural environments. Social connections were also important to him, and he was able to form bonds with complete strangers anywhere he went. People were drawn to his compassionate nature and love of life, and he never forgot a name. In recent years his favorite pastimes included jokes that might or might not be funny and launching terrible puns at innocent bystanders, usually on social media.
Bob is survived by his wife, Bonnie; sons, Scott (Missy) Linaberry and their children, Sagan and Toryn; Brian (Tammy) Linaberry and their children, Max and Emma; Tom (Sarah) Runyon and their children, Kirsten and Austin. He is also survived by his sister, Cindy Giese; and extended family members.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents; ex-wife, Sandy; and an infant brother who died at birth.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the United Methodist Committee on Relief.
The family would like to thank all of the Neurosurgery ICU doctors, nurses and staff at UW-Hospital Madison for the exceptional and compassionate care they provided to Bob.
Paid Obituary 83878