Reuben M. Callies

Reuben M. Callies, age 86, of Beaver Dam, died on Sunday, April 26, 2020 at Hillside Manor.

Reuben Merlin Callies was born in Columbus, Wisconsin on 10/28/1933 to William and Minnie (Braatz) Callies.  He attended St. Stephen’s School in Beaver Dam.

As a young man Reuben worked on his brother’s farm where he acquired many of the skills he would put to use later in his life. On April 11, 1953, he married Rose Anne Rechek. They lived in Calamus Township and started their family.   In 1968, Reuben and Rose Anne bought their own farm on the northside of Beaver Dam. There they raised their 8 children and created their own personal paradise.

After many years of farming Reuben changed his focus to landscaping materials and became known as the Bark Man. With his trademark pinstriped bibs, he spent most spring and summer days sitting in his tractor, ready to load the next customer with mulch.

His other passion was growing plants. He was always willing to take visitors for a Gator ride around the farm to show off the various flower and vegetable gardens. If you were lucky he would stop by one of the many raspberry patches for a fresh picked treat. Reuben had a great respect for the land and shared his love of gardening with all, especially his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was a great teacher and mentor. His guidance will be greatly missed.

Reuben is survived by his wife of 67 years, Rose Anne of Beaver Dam; daughters, Jeanne (John) Risse of Beaver Dam, Julie (William) DeGroff of Cleveland, TN, Janis Baux of Wisconsin Dells and Ruby (Brian) Gerber of Fox Lake; sons Randy (Susan) Callies, Joe (Jane) Callies and Paul Callies all of Beaver Dam; 16 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren; nieces and nephews; other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his son, William S. Callies; siblings, Walter, Clarence, Arthur, Roland “Boots”, Gilbert, Wilmer, Viola Michaels, Adela Kuehn, Sadie Gentz, Gladys Ladwig, Mildred Bilke and Evelyn Scharschmidt.

His family would like to thank the caring staff at Hillside Manor for the care they gave him over the last few months as well as Dan Chouinard for being such a good friend to him over these past many years.

The Koepsell-Murray Funeral Home in Beaver Dam is caring for the family. To leave online condolences, or for directions and other information, please visit our website at