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Life Story / Obituary
There are no greater qualities a man can possess than those of honor, integrity and godliness, and Bob Wolf shared them all. He played by the rules and lived life to the fullest. Bob appreciated the many blessings bestowed upon him, all while serving others with a grateful heart, never expecting anything in return. Although he will be deeply missed, the legacy Bob leaves behind lives on in the hearts of those who knew and loved him.
Bob's story began in the year 1924 when Calvin Coolidge was the 30th President of the United States, and at a time when industry was booming. In the bustling city if Detroit, Michigan, Clarence Richard "Dick" and Margaret "Marge" Wolf had cause for celebration when on Sunday, June 1, 1924 they welcomed the birth of their son, Robert Eugene into their hearts. Born at East Side Hospital, young Robert's mother thought he was the most beautiful baby, even though his Aunt Dora thought he looked like a "little monkey"!
Robert was raised in their family home on Dolphin Street. The oldest, he grew up alongside his younger brothers, Richard "Dick" and Jim. His father worked for Western Electric and operated their family store while his mother remained at home as a homemaker. When Robert was a year old, his Uncle Roy coerced him into taking his first steps across the room for which Robert earned well deserved birthday money. And by the age of two years old, he always referred to his Uncle Roy as, "Hey there guy". Little Robert even became the mascot for his dad and Uncle Ed's baseball team! Around the age of five, Robert dressed up as a clown for Halloween and as the many pictures prove over the years to come, he was always a clown!
During his youth, Robert sang in the church choir and experienced the typical adventures of a young boy of his time. He loved playing third base in baseball, and also had a paper route. During the Great Depression, Robert worked in his father's store with his Uncle Roy. Robert attended the local schools and often played baseball with his good friend, George who had a sister, Lucille. For Lucille's 15th birthday, George took her, along with Bob and his date, to a dance held at the Walled Lake Casino. It was the first time Bob laid eyes on Lucille, and he was smitten from the start. Bob and Lucille danced the night away together while George did so with Bob's date. From there, Bob and Lucille's relationship blossomed. George took Bob home with him after one of their games, and from then on they couldn't get rid of him! Bob would tell his parents he was going to see George, when in fact he was there to see Lucille. His parents eventually found out and Bob's dad began calling Lucille, "George".
With the onset of World War II, Bob, like many young men, felt the call to duty. He served in the U.S. Navy on the USS Block Island Aircraft Carrier as a radioman. His training in radio school in the Navy would prove to be quite beneficial to Bob later in his career. In the evening hours on May 28, 1944, Bob, along with 951 of his comrades were ordered to abandon ship when the USS Block Island was hit and sinking. Following eight long hours in the waters before being rescued, Bob and his Navy mates arrived in Casablanca. They were eventually loaded onto escort carriers towards home for a much needed 30 day survivor's leave.
While home on leave, Bob and his sweetheart Lucille were happily married in what seemed like a whirlwind on April 5, 1944 at St. James Episcopal Church. Bob was 19, and after being reassigned to the USS Block Island II, he bid farewell to his young bride of 17. Bob was overseas when he received word his son was born on his 21st birthday. Bob often reflected, "An important day; it isn't everybody that can become a father and a man the same day." In all, Bob served in the U.S. Navy for six years.
Bob returned home to his family and went to work for RCA Victor as a TV repairman and antenna installer, and eventually promoted to manager of the Bronson, Michigan office. In 1959, he began working for the Burroughs Corporation as a field engineer maintaining and repairing computers. Through his work, Bob made a good life for the family he cherished.
Blessed with four children, Bob and Lucille welcomed the births of Jeffrey, Kathy, Wendy, and Barbara. As a family, fun-filled times were enjoyed attending the Burroughs Farms company resort nearly every year for ten years. They also frequented their neighbors, the Hoeft family's cottage in Lake City, Michigan and vacationed with them several times. Every holiday, birthday, and for any reason in between, Bob and his beloved family got together. After World War II his family held a family reunion to see how many of their boys came back after the war, and it soon became an annual event Bob and his family thoroughly enjoyed each year.
From the time Bob was discharged from the service, he was active within his community as a member of the Rotary. For 18 years he was chairman of his election board precinct. Bob also participated on several bowling leagues throughout the years along with their involvement in square dance clubs. Bob was quite active at church, too. He served as a lay reader, a member of the choir and was on the church vestry. For many years, Bob served as a part of his son's scouting career as a cub scout, boy scout, and Order of the Arrow leader. Since 1953, father and son shared and learned much together through their scouting experiences.
During Bob's 30 year career with Burroughs, he worked in various capacities before retiring at the age of 65. During this time, Bob and Lucille took time to travel. Over the years they took three special road trips out west, always including their in-laws and siblings. After their children were grown, they traveled to England to visit their son, Jeff during the time when he lived and worked there. They also spent a memorable time on a Caribbean cruise with their daughter, Wendy. Another treasured time included a road trip with their daughter, Barbara and her family to Atlanta to visit Wendy and Kathy. Bob and Lucille also took in the spectacular views on an unforgettable Alaskan cruise. Good friends and family in northern Michigan always made for great visits, too. For their 25th and 50th wedding anniversaries, Bob and Lucille's children celebrated with big parties for them to enjoy.
An avid golfer, after retiring Bob acquired a job as a starter at a local golf course where he loved greeting the ladies with song. He had a gifted singing voice and sang in a local barbershop quartet. He also sang tenor in the Renaissance Chorus and one of the several quartets he sang in was especially a delight for Bob because his son, Jeff sang in it as well.
Once a clown, always a clown! Bob loved telling jokes and always got the best of everyone, and timing was everything. For children's parties, Bob often dressed up as a clown and entertained the kids with animal balloons. For Christmas parties, Bob was there decked out as Santa from the time his kids were little until this past year. Bob had a heart for children, particularly his grandchildren whom he loved dearly. Bob's love for baseball continued, and he enjoyed watching the Tigers. In recent years, he loved watching his grandchildren and great-grandchildren play ball.
Bob often said, "You can't get to heaven on the shirttails of others". Bob was a faithful, godly man who lived an ethical life. He was a good, caring man; concerned for the well being of others. Especially over the last few years, Bob demonstrated a life full of God's grace. He knew how to live life to the fullest, and did so with joy, surrounded by those who meant so much to him. Gone but never to be forgotten, Bob's legacy lives on in the wonderful example he shared with all.
Robert “Bob” Wolf, passed away Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at the age of 89. Beloved husband of the late Lucille. Loving father of Kathy (Rich) Weber, Wendy (Ken) Bailey, Barbara (David) Kesner and the late Jeffrey. Dearest grandfather of 12 and great-grandfather of 15. Visitation Friday 3-8pm at the Neely-Turowski Life Story Funeral Home, 30200 Five Mile (Between Middlebelt and Merriman). Instate Saturday 3pm until the service at 4pm at St. John's Episcopal Church, 574 Sheldon Rd. in Plymouth. Memorial Contributions may be sent to the church. To share favorite memory, photo and to sign his online guest book, please visit www.TurowskiLifeStory.com.