Robert Edward Click, age 86, of Rice Lake, WI,
formerly of River Falls, WI passed away on Thursday, December 7, 2023 in Rice Lake.
Born March 22, 1937 in Wenatchee, Washington to Glen and Florence (Kreyssler) Click, Bob grew up in Deer Park, Washington, attending Deer Park High School and graduating in the class of 1955. He continued his education at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, graduating with a degree in Chemistry in 1960. He married his high school sweetheart Margery Just on June 16,1956 and they moved to El Cerrito, California in 1960 where Bob earned a Ph.D in Biochemistry in 1964 from UC-Berkeley. Along the way, his son Ron (1959) and his daughter Lori (1961) were born. With an insatiable curiosity and a creative mind he drove his family cross-country to New York City where he performed research in immunogenetics as a post-doctorate fellow at both Columbia University and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
In 1966 Bob and Marge moved to Madison, WI as he accepted a position at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. There he turned his problem solving ability and creativity towards nurturing and guiding numerous graduate students in his lab. He is best known for research that showed the poison, 2-Mercaptoethanol, added to tissue culture medium revolutionized immune-functional studies which then led to studies on how it altered multiple diseases of his favorite patients, inbred mice. He went on to positions at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis VA Health Systems and the University of Wisconsin, River Falls.
The last 20 years of Bob’s life were dedicated to the private research, development and application of the Dietzia bacterium for treatment of animals, including humans, suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease. This area of Bob’s science was his great passion and showcased his scientific training, abilities and his “outside the box” creative thinking.
Bob was truly dedicated to his scientific research and never stopped seeking new and creative applications for 2- Mercaptoethanol and Dietzia.
Bob was a firm believer in fixing things that broke and not throwing them out. In that way, he was amazing at buying parts and fixing just about anything around the house. He and his family built a good majority of the house he and Marge lived in for over 40 years, including installing the roof, insulation, flooring, drywall, plumbing and painting. He was an avid fruit tree gardener and loved to grow begonias. He loved to play recreation league basketball and played until the age of 50.
Robert is survived by his son Ron (Colleen) Click of Stillwater, MN and daughter Lori (Roger) Gray of Rice Lake, WI and four grandchildren, Jenny, Julia, Rob and Elizabeth. He was preceded in death by wife Margery, his parents and three brothers.
A private family service will be held. Appleyard’s Home for Funerals in Rice Lake is serving and assisting the family with the arrangements.