Robert Badner

Robert Badner, 82, Cadillac, Michigan, passed away peacefully with his family by his side, January 24, 2018 at Curry House, Cadillac, MI.  He married M. JoAnne Strohmier on July 22, 1960 in Washington, DC


Born on August 14, 1935, he was the son of the late Michael and Mary Bativich Badner.  Bob was raised in Taylor and graduated from Taylor High School in 1953.  He attended the University of Scranton, he then received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Pennsylvania State University in 1959.  He also received numerous engineering and management training certificates from various private industry groups, government agencies and colleges, including Iowa State College, Ames, IW, and Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City, MI.

Upon graduation from Pennsylvania State University, Bob was employed as an Electrical Engineer with the United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service, Washington, DC. In 1965, he was promoted and assumed the responsibility as engineer and management specialist and eventually moved to Ludington, MI.  In that capacity he directed, under the Rural Electrification Act, the management, engineering and operations of rural electric cooperatives located in the states of Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin.  He also assumed special assignments in the states of Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina and New Hampshire.  After 37 years of service, he officially retired from the United States Department of Agriculture in August 1996 but continued to work as a consultant to the Michigan Rural Electric Cooperatives for the period of 1996 through 1998.

 As a consultant, Bob performed many jobs including providing assistance on system mergers.  He was hired by the Fruit Belt Electric Cooperative, Cassopolis, MI and the Southeastern Michigan Rural Electric Cooperative, Adrian, Michigan to make an engineering and feasibility study covering the merger of both cooperatives.  The study resulted in the merger of both cooperatives forming the Midwest Energy Cooperative.  In addition, he was also hired by the Western Michigan Electric Cooperative, Scotsville, MI, The Oceans Electric Cooperative, Hart, MI, the O&A Electric Cooperative, Newaygo, MI, and the Top O’Michigan Rural Electric Company, Boyne City, MI, to make a study of the merger of all four systems.  His feasibility-engineering studies resulted in the merger of the cooperatives forming the Great Lakes Energy Cooperative and was at that time the third largest electric utility in Michigan.

Bob always cherished his association with the directors, managers and employees of the rural electric cooperatives, especially those in Michigan.  He considered them “very special” people dedicated to the people they served.  He enjoyed his family, especially his grandchildren.  He loved fishing, hunting and the outdoors.

Also surviving are two sons, Robert D. Badner and wife Michele, Gary D. Badner, both of Cadillac, MI, Three grandchildren, Shanin, William and Nicklas Badner, two sisters, Mary Ann Sandfort, Virginia Beach, VA, Beatrice Jenkins and husband Jack, Dallas, sister-in-law, Lois Badner, Moscow and five nieces and three nephews who were very special to him.

He preceded in death by his brother Michael Badner and brother-in-law Peter H. Sandfort.


Funeral Services will be privately held in the Semian Funeral Home, 704 Union St. Taylor, PA.  Inurnment Milwaukee Cemetery, Ransom Township.