Rob Ganson

Rob Ganson, “the Penokee Poet,” age 63 of Washburn, passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, with his loving wife by his side. He was born September 22, 1956 in Peoria, Illinois, the son of Robert and Marlene (Vogel) Ganson.

Rob attended and later graduated from high school in Peoria, Illinois. He moved to Hayward where he met his wife, Donna Weingarten. The couple were united in marriage on August 8, 1981 at the Brownstone Falls in Copper Falls State Park. Rob worked as a Superintendent at the Apostle Highlands Golf Course in Bayfield for over 25 years.

Rob lived a big, adventurous life - he raced stock cars and motorcycles in his younger years. He was a skilled outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting, fishing, and gathering in the Northwoods. He was a great cook and gardener, and found his calling as a poet warrior in the last decades of his life.

Rob was instrumental in helping preserve the Penokee Hills from being mined. He helped fight the battle with the mining companies by writing and taking photos during the protests at that time, and continued to use his pen and voice to speak truth to power on injustices to the earth and its inhabitants until his last breath.

He is survived by his wife, Donna; three children, Rachel (Mike Olson) Weingarten, Max Weingarten and Fauna Ganson; 3 grandchildren, Ethan, Bailey and Isaac; father, Robert (Pam) Ganson; a brother, Brian (Tonya) Ganson; sister, Shelly (Eric) Martin; nephew, Gus Ganson; special friends Fred, David and Danny Voorhees; and his beloved dog Wally.

He was preceded in death by his mother.

A celebration of his life will be held the afternoon of February 22nd at the Bohemian Hall in Ashland, following the annual snowshoe hike in the Penokee hills that he loved so much.

Arrangements are by Bratley Funeral Home of Washburn. To view the obituary online or to sign the guestbook, please visit us at

To plant a tree in memory of Rob Ganson as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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