Saturday, August 9, 2014
1:00 PM to 6:00 PM EDT
Turowski Life Story Funeral Homes
Canton, West of Sheldon
45100 Warren Rd.
Canton, MI 48187
a Time of Sharing will be held at 4pm
Saturday, August 16, 2014
11:00 AM EDT
committal Service @ Oakwood Cemetery
Life Story / Obituary
Robert Matthew Rausch was outgoing and easy-going, kind and generous, making him a friend of many and a marvel to his family. He had a calculating mind, a musical aptitude and an artistic flare. Never wanting people to worry about him and the physical condition that made his life challenging, Robert developed a sweet personality and goofy traits that kept everyone smiling. Still, he wasn’t afraid to explore the depths of his thoughts and feelings, which he articulated in writing. Robert frequently wrote about is life, and those reflections have become cherished treasures for his beloved parents.
Robert Matthew was born May 14, 1996 in Kettering, Ohio to Mark and Linda (nee-Murphy) Rausch. Robert’s dad was an Air Force reservist, working for the Department of Veteran Affairs and his mom attended Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Baby Robert was registered at “Mini University,” the campus day care, where one of his earliest accomplishments was sitting upright. This was very significant for a child with cystic fibrosis (CF), a characteristic of which is a small body and enlarged head.
Robert’s mother also worked for the VA as a contract specialist, but it was his father’s job that moved the family to Florida, where Robert and his older brother James spent their formative years. Living in Gainesville, Robert attended Catholic school, Queen of Peace Academy, and charmed his way through his early education. Moving to West Palm Beach, he did the same at All Saints Catholic School in Jupiter, Florida. Adapting to CF had made Robert a clever boy as well as a determined one.
Like any young resident of Florida, Robert was infatuated with his favorite playground, Disney World—so much so that even as a tiny tot he wandered off by himself to see the sights. He wasn’t yet four, when on one visit he recognized some friends, ran off, grabbed them by the hand and brought them over to his parents. It wasn’t surprising that Robert’s aunt lost track of him once, but his mom holds the record for losing him four times.
Growing up, Robert developed a talent for Lego blocks, and for months on end, he built elaborate creations that spread across his bedroom floor. For all the analyzing and planning that went into building, it was surprising that Robert let his finished product stand just long enough for his dad to take a picture before tearing it down and starting over.
Robert also had artistic abilities. In 2008, he won first place in a West Palm Beach art contest and first place in all of Palm Beach County. His chalk drawing of a patriot fish showed such depth it was as if Robert had first-hand knowledge of the creature. In fact, he had. A year earlier while on a family vacation in the Bahamas, Robert and his dad and other family members had snorkeled around a reef, and that is where Robert first glimpsed the fish that captured his imagination. Regrettably, Robert never dated his work, though he did sign his initials.
In 2009, the Rausch family moved to Michigan to be nearer to their relatives. Imagine Robert seeing snow for the first time and going out to play in it! For a southern boy, he really took to Michigan’s Water, Winter Wonderland. He loved visiting his grandpa and grandma, going on boat rides, spending time at his Uncle Wilbur’s cabin up north, shooting guns with Stosh and enjoying K-9 Kountry, along with his pet dog Madison and a cat named Tyger.
It was especially good to have that kind of family support when, in 2010, Robert’s dad was called to Iraq for seven months with the Air Force Reserves. Upon returning, his dad was offered a management position in facility operations for a large medical center in Chicago, Illinois. He took the job and commuted home on weekends, because the family stayed in east Michigan. In 2011, the military assigned him to East Africa to support US interests in the region, and Robert’s mom was left to manage two young boys while working days and coming home to answer such pressing questions as, “What’s for dinner?”
In 2014, Robert’s health began to decline and he was admitted to medical care. At one point in his life, Robert had told his dad that he never wanted to go any place with an “M” on it. But fortunately for him and the family, the University of Michigan (U of “M”) Health Care System provided him with excellent professional treatment. Robert felt safe and secure, and his family will be forever grateful to all the physicians, nurses and staff at U of M, schools and teachers who cared for Robert so deeply and selflessly.
Robert had a strong spirit that made him intent on beating CF. Yet he didn’t attend to his general health with the same commitment, and damage to his lungs was too severe for him to conquer a disease that medical science has been battling for generations.
With his father's involvement in the "Free in the Sea" project, Robert's journey will continue on with the vessel named the ROBERT RAUSCH. This small vessel will be doing big things by taking disabled veterans and their families scuba diving between south Florida and the Bahamas.
Robert Rausch, age 18, passed away Saturday July 26, 2014 in Ann Arbor, Michigan (U of M Hospital) surrounded by family. Loving son of Mark and Linda; dear brother of James. Family will receive friends Friday August 8th from 5-8pm and Saturday August 9, from 1-6pm with a Time of Sharing at 4pm, at our Funeral Home in Canton, 45100 Warren Road (btn. Sheldon and Canton Center). A Memorial Service will be held Saturday August 16th, at Oakwood Cemetery in Saginaw Michigan.
*Donations may be made in Robert's name to the National Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Angela Hospice.