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Life Story / Obituary
A diehard NASCAR fan, quick-witted and full of sarcasm, Robert Homoki’s charismatic personality could light up any room! Often the first to tell an outrageous story or try pulling your leg, one could easily tell when he was joking by that mischievous smile of his. He was a loving son, husband, father, grandpa and a special friend to so many. He lived his life fully by taking the time to develop many special interests and knowledge over the years. He leaves behind a rich collection of happy memories for all who knew and loved him.
The 1950’s were known as the decade of the baby boomer. Exciting times indeed with the many talents of professional baseball player, Mickey Mantle, the rock music icon, Elvis Presley and movie heartthrob, James Dean. Families still huddled around television to catch the latest westerns such as Gunsmoke or anything featuring Lucille Ball. On a cold March 7th, 1950, proud parents Dan and Olive (Wise) Homoki welcomed home their newborn son Robert, in Vicksburg, Michigan. Joining his brother Danny, Bob brought much joy and happiness to the Homoki home. Later, the two brothers were joined by their baby sister, Mary making Bob the middle child.
Bob’s father Dan was a cook in the Army and later owned the J&D Roller Rink with his wife, Olive who was a homemaker. Growing up on Gourdneck Lake in Portage, Bob’s childhood was one of adventure and hanging around with his good buddy Rick, who remained a steadfast friend into adulthood. As a teen, he often gave his parents the typical challenges as teens so often do by landing himself in jail! Wanting to teach him a good lesson, his mother Olive drove his lock box of money down to the jail so that he could bail himself out! He attended local schools and graduated from Portage Central High School. Not to be forgotten was the fate of meeting the love of his life, Yvonne, who would change the course of his life forever! The two of them met at the roller rink owned by his parents and it was love at first sight. Although they were both in high school, the two were inseparable. Just a couple years after graduation, the happy couple joined in marriage on January 29th, 1970. In the beginning of their romantic union, the newlyweds lived in downtown Kalamazoo before moving to Portage to start their family. Together they raised two beautiful daughters; Chantel and Stacey. After thirty five wonderful years of marriage, to his sweetheart, Yvonne passed away in 2005. Bob never remarried.
As a young family, he and Yvonne loved to camp with their girls. They spent many of their family vacations not only camping but touring military museums and even the occasional brewery! As the girls were growing up, Bob loved to tinker on hot rod cars. At times, he would have to lock Chantel out of her room as a kid because she’d never leave, as she was so busy reading! At the tender age of six, Stacey was once left behind during a family vacation to Florida. The gas station attendant had to wave them down before they got too far down the road! A fun loving Dad, he was never one to take things too seriously. He loved to joke with them and tease them over the years, however when he was upset, he was serious. The girls seemed to know when that long fuse of his was finally ready to blow! As a rule, Bob was never one to cook. Anything that was considered his specialty was microwaved! Although the family remembers he loved to bring home pizza on Friday nights, and on rare occasions he would make his own special batch of goulash or chili. A family man through and through, his greatest reward was providing for Yvonne and the girls over the years.
Although he and Yvonne loved to travel together, anywhere from whale watching to NASCAR races, his happy place was right at home in his favorite chair! Retiring from Checker Motors in 2007, left Bob with plenty of time for his unique hobbies. He loved to work on WWI models and memorabilia. Resisting the technological age, he never turned on a computer and instead read the daily newspaper cover to cover. A true history buff and lover of anything WWI or industrial, he loved to kick back and watch the History Channel, his favorite being “How It’s Made” outdoors on his television. Many mornings as a retiree, he would meet with his friends from Checker Motors for breakfast and start their days with laughter. When not busy with his projects, or watching his favorite shows, Bob loved his furry friends. His old friend Missy the cat, and most recently Pest the cat and his dog, cleverly named Dog, were his special companions.
Bob and Yvonne were blessed by four delightful grandchildren; Alyssa, Paige, Chanz and Calvin. He simply adored each and every one of them. One obvious guess was when his daughter’s realized after all of their years growing up without air conditioning, as soon as his firstborn granddaughter, Alyssa, was born he went right out and bought a central air unit! He loved to spoil his grandchildren rotten! While out shopping at the gas station for the morning weekend newspaper, he was known to grab each of them a candy bar or two. Over the years, he had the privilege of taking care of his grandson while his daughter, Stacey worked. He was an easy-going grandpa, yet the kids still knew how to push his buttons! Sadly, Bob passed away and he will be greatly missed by his family and the friends he made over the years.
Robert Homoki, age 66, of Portage, passed away on August 4, 2016. Bob was born on March 7, 1950 to Dan & Olive (Wise) Homoki. Visit with his family and friends and view his life story film on Wednesday, August 10th from 4-7pm at the Life Story Funeral Home at 5975 Lovers Lane in Portage (344-5600). A memorial service will be held on Thursday, August 11th at 11 a.m. at the same location. Bob is survived by his daughters Chantel (Dave) Spieth and Stacey (Steve) Sharpsteen, grandchildren Alyssa, Paige, Chanz and Calvin; siblings Danny and Mary; mother Olive; as well as many friends. He was preceded in death by the love of his life, wife Yvonne; and father Dan. Please visit Bob’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can share a memory or photo and sign his memory book online.