Skip to main content

Robert Pum

Robert Pum Professor, Communication and the Arts 6/24/98 ROBERT PUM 

Robert “Bob” Pum, 83, Professor Emeritus at UW- Green Bay, died peacefully and unexpectedly Saturday morning, December 7, 2019, at his home in New Franken. Bob was born January 26, 1936, in Milwaukee to the late Josef and Anna Mary (Fittler) Pum. He graduated from Bayview High School, Milwaukee, in 1954 and was his class commencement speaker. He continued his education at UW-Madison and received his BS degree in Art Education in 1958. Following graduation, he served in the US Army and received honorable discharge in August 1964. While he was part of the Army reserves, he taught art at Muskego High School and served as department head.  It was at Muskego HS where he met the love of his life, Janis Murdoch. From there, Bob worked as a graduate teaching assistant and then earned his Master’s Degree in Art Education from UW-Madison in 1963.

 On August 10, 1963, Bob and Janis were married at the First Baptist Church in West Allis. Following their marriage, they adventurously moved to Oneonta, NY, where he was an assistant professor and art consultant at Oneonta State University in upstate New York. Bob then accepted a doctoral fellowship at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.  While he was finishing his doctorate, he accepted a professorship and was one of the founding members of the UWGB art department in 1969, serving as art department chairman for two terms. He led university courses including drawing, two-dimensional design, art metals/jewelry, aesthetic foundations, arts in society, art education methods and independent art studies. He devoted much of his teaching to assisting the state’s next generation of art teachers, supervising the student-teaching assignments of UWGB students in the northeast Wisconsin public and private schools. Pum has exhibited his work nationally, regionally and locally in more than 150 juried art exhibits in 22 states. Known for his jewelry, drawing and mixed-media art, he was the recipient of numerous art awards, merit awards and purchase awards. He had an active record of service on various art and art education boards, committees and task forces, including the National Art Education Association and the Wisconsin Art Education Association, including noted speaker at many of their conferences and conventions. Some of his accolades included “Concerned Educator for the Arts Award” and “Art Educator of the Year in Higher Education Award” from the WAEA. Bob forged his life-long connection to the beauty and peace of Door County when receiving a grant as resident artist at the Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek, WI from 1969 to 1976. He was a Danforth Associate Fellow from 1978-1984 and received his Full Professorship in 1986.  Bob was the director of “Summer Art Studio, High School Art Workshop at UWGB from 1983-1987. He retired in 1998 from UWGB as Professor Emeritus. Following his retirement, he remained active in the UWGB community while also judging numerous Wisconsin art shows and exhibits.

 “Pummer”, as Bob was known to his friends, spent retirement enjoying the splendors of nature, birding, tending to his garden and golfing.  Bob was also an avid fisherman claiming to know every back road in Door County that led to a favorite fishing spot. Pummer was a fan of the Badgers, Packers, Brewers and the UWGB Phoenix teams, as well as a voracious reader.  He could retain almost everything he read and always had a keen interest in the weather and history.  Bob and Jan enjoyed traveling during their retirement in Alaska, Europe and throughout the US, spending winters at The Villages in Florida.

 Bob is survived by his loving wife Janis of 56 years, and their two children; Dr. Lynda (Steve) Siewert, Cottage Grove, WI and Michael Pum, De Pere; their four grandchildren who knew him as “Japa”, Nathan and Steffi Siewert and Bryce and Brock Pum; brother, Frank (Nancy) Pum, Hales Corners; great uncle, Conrad Heinemann, MN; two brothers-in-law, Jon Murdoch, Fort Myers, FL and Jim Murdoch, Lake Wales, FL; many nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Elizabeth “Betty” Pum.
Friends may call at the Proko-Wall Funeral Home, 1630 E. Mason St. from 4:00-7:00 pm Friday, December 13. Visitation will continue Saturday December 14, at First United Methodist Church, 501 Howe St. after 9:30 am until time of service. Funeral Service will begin at 11:00 am Saturday at the church with Revs. David Kalas and Dave Wilkinson officiating. Online condolences may be sent to the Pum family at the Prokowall website. In lieu of floral expressions a memorial fund has been established in his name.

 Bob ascribed to the famous golfer, Ben Hogan’s philosophy, that you should always arrive EARLY… for golf and for life!!!  Or as William Shakespeare once said, “Better three hours too soon, than a minute too late.”