Cuellar remembered for pioneering Door County's Hispanic community

Roberto Esquivel Cuellar will go down as one half of the first Hispanic family to settle in Door County, but he will be remembered for so much more. Cuellar and his wife Rosa moved to Door County in 1962 after spending some time working in the orchards previously. He was involved in several local organizations, but it was establishing the Hispanic Resource Center for families in Door and Kewaunee Counties that he was most known for in his life. Imelda Delchambre helped Cuellar establish the organization that helps 100 Hispanic families every year. She says he was her right hand man on almost everything.

Cuellar passed away last Thursday at the age of 74. You can read the full obituary online with this story. 



Roberto Esquivel Cuellar, affectionately known as “Loco” by friends and other community members, 74, fell asleep in the loving arms of his family at home in the Town of Jacksonport, and awoke in the arms of the Lord, Thursday afternoon, March 7, 2019.

     He was born September 30, 1944 in Acuña, Mexico, the son of Enrique and Julia (Esquivel) Cuellar. Robert was adopted by MariaCuellar and was raised by Tomas D. and Francisca B. Cuellar. Robert attended school in Del Rio, TX. He met Rosa Elvia Sifuentes at a bridge, and they were united in marriage on April 4, 1962. Robert had spent time in Door County, WI working in the orchards, and he and Rosa, relocated there a few weeks after they were married. They were the first Hispanic family to settle in Door County.

     Robert was initially employed with Roen Orchards in Ellison Bay, then Berns Brothers Lumber Co. in Sister Bay (which was eventually purchased by Lampert’s Lumber). He was most recently employed with Ace Hardware in Sister Bay.

     Robert helped establish the Hispanic Resource Center for families living in Door and Kewaunee Counties, along with Imelda Delchambre. He served as treasurer for the Hispanic Resource Center and was a volunteer firefighter for the Town of Liberty Grove. Robert was a former member of the Knights of Columbus in Kewaunee and was a longtime parishioner of St. Rosalia’s in Sister Bay (now Stella Maris Parish-Sister Bay site). He loved fishing on Kangaroo Lake amongst other areas and hunting. Robert enjoyed bowling and especially liked grilling out on his deck (no matter what season it was). Faith and family were central in his life.

     He will be deeply missed by his beloved wife, Rosa, with whom was blessed with nearly 57 years of marriage; children, Maria San Juanita “Mary Jane” Cuellar (Jeff) Simkins of Las Vegas, NV; Roberto (Marcia) Cuellar of Sturgeon Bay, Carlos (Diana) Rodriguez of San Antonio, TX, Enrique “Henry” Cuellar of Egg Harbor, Cynthia (Jose) Cuellar Rodriguez of Milwaukee, Daniel (Brittany) Cuellar of Egg Harbor; grandchildren, Joseph and Rachel Pesina, Christina Clark, and Jeffrey and Cynthia Simkins, Tyler Cuellar, Carlos Jr. and Mateo Rodriguez, Michael and Cristian Cuellar Rodriguez, Andrew Grutzmacher, Chanta Christianson, Nahaiva and Aliciá Hoffman, and Jacinda and Chiliná Cuellar; great-grandchildren, Joaquin, Antonio, Makenna, and Jaxon, N’talia and Jaxon, and Denzel and Dakota; siblings, Maria Guadalupe Esquivel, Maria del Jesus Esquivel, Maria H. (Jose) Sandoval, Juan Francisco (Blanca) and Jose B. Cuellar, Celia (Claudio Jr.) Meza, and Rotelena Cuellar; brothers-in-law, Alfredo Jimenez and Armando Perez; many other relatives; and good friends.

     Robert was reunited with his parents; grandson, Nicholas Cuellar; great-grandson, Keygan Cuellar; siblings, Tomas Cuellar, Maria Elva Jimenez, and Maria Dolores Perez; and other relatives.     

     A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 12:00 noon on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at Stella Maris Parish-Sister Bay site with Fr. David Ruby as celebrant. He will be laid to rest in the church cemetery.

     Visitation for family and friends will be held at the church on Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. until 11:45 a.m.

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