Biography of Staff Minister Robert W. Garbe
I was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin on February 12, 1942, the youngest of four children, two sisters and a brother. I grew up on a sixty-acre farm in New Berlin, Wisconsin, where my parents, Hubert & Lucille Garbe, were poultry farmers. They had an egg route in West Allis and South Milwaukee for many years where they would go house-to-house and deliver and sell eggs, vegetables, fruit, and butchered chickens. As a young man I would help out very often on this route and my Dad would occasionally let me drive the old Omar bread truck, that we used for deliveries, long before I had my license.
I graduated from a one-room grade school in New Berlin with a class of four, three girls and myself. I remember the outdoor bathrooms and how we also had to go outside to pump water for drinking and washing. We had one teacher that taught all eight grades. I attended Waukesha High School Central campus in Waukesha for my freshman year. In my sophomore year I attended a new school that was built, Waukesha South. In this year and at this school, I met my life-long marriage partner, Sharon Palmer.
We dated for over six years. After serving in the active military for one and one-half years, we were then married on October 12, 1963. God blessed our marriage with four beautiful daughters, Bonnie, Wendy, Linda and Julie, and twelve Grandchildren, six boys and six girls.
I worked for the Kohl’s Food Corporation as a forklift operator in the grocery warehouse. After thirty years of service, I retired in December of 1991. In January 1992, I was called by my home congregation, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Muskego, Wisconsin, to serve as a Staff Minister.
In February of that year, I accepted the call to be Staff Minister of Discipleship. I served in that ministry for 16 years and retired in December of 2007. I received (and accepted) a part-time call as Staff Minister of Evangelism to Centennial Lutheran Church in Milwaukee. I was installed on January 6, 2008.
My interests for relaxation time include: Bible study, being a grandpa, bowling, horseshoes, tennis, golf and traveling. God has truly directed my life that I might serve Him in the ministry as a second career. He has blessed me and my family beyond measure! To God be the glory great things He has done!