Obituary: Robert W. Finkbine

Robert (Bobby) Finkbine, 88, died on October 11, 2019, in Marin County, California. He loved his years at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he briefly played left guard for the “Alan Ameche” football team, met his wife, Sharyn (Sherri) Chessen, ’54, who was one of the first three “girl cheerleaders” at Wisconsin, was president of Pi Lambda Phi, and was inspired by a brilliant history professor to become a high school history teacher.

According to his fraternity brothers, Bobby always had a smile on his face. He had one of the very few televisions on campus and invited his fraternity brothers to watch Superman with him. They also described his participation in the notorious “panty raids” of that era, chuckling at his ingenuity in sneaking into a women’s dormitory to be with his future wife.

Bobby and Sherri married in 1953 and had six children, Terri, Mark, Steven, Tracy, Jody, and Kristi, seven grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. “Mr Finkbine” was a gifted and beloved high school teacher, who had a second career as a white water river guide in the American west. He remained a devoted Badger all his life and was thrilled to be present at the 2015 Holiday Bowl in San Diego to watch Wisconsin defeat USC. At the end of the game, despite health problems, he stood and sang every single word to every song the Wisconsin band played. On Wisconsin. For Bob Finkbine, forever, on Wisconsin.