Life Story / Obituary
Throughout his rich and rewarding life, Robert Jansma lived a life that was completely devoted to his loved ones. He was a hardworking man of purpose who also took the time to enjoy life along the way. A lifelong resident of the community he loved, Bob was warm and genuine with the best stories that only got better as he got increasingly more sidetracked. He loved his roles as a husband and father, but he just may have argued that becoming a grandfather was his richest reward. Deeply loved, Bob will be forever missed.
Although the 1920s were predominantly prosperous times, the 1930s were defined by the dark cloud of the Great Depression. Jobs were hard to find, the unemployment rate soared, and countless American families lost their homes. Amidst this difficult time, Harry and Mable (Yerrington) Jansma were filled with unspeakable joy as they welcomed the healthy baby boy they named Robert Lloyd into their hearts and home on October 9, 1938. He was one of the younger children in a family of six children that included his three brothers and two sisters. Raised in the family home on the Northeast side of Grand Rapids, the Jansma family did experience a devastating house fire that caused them to lose nearly everything. As a teen, Bob was injured when glass broke and got into his eye. This accident left him without vision in his left eye for the rest of his life. Bob attended local schools including Creston High School. He was predominantly a good kid, but he did find mischief every now and then.
As a young man Bob began working at factories, but it was his personal life that soon became very interesting when he met the young woman of his dreams. Her name was Judy Ann Delp, and they soon found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to establish a life together, Bob and his sweetheart were married on November 4, 1960. They quickly became a family of three with the birth of their daughter, Karen, and Kim followed a few years later. They raised their family in a home on Grape Street, NE for about 12 years before moving to their home in Comstock Park. This was the place that Bob called home for the rest of his life.
Throughout his life there was never anything that was of greater importance in Bob’s life than his family. When the kids were young, he did most of the outdoor things with them including swimming in the pool in their backyard and taking them sledding in the winter. Bob and his family enjoyed many camping vacations starting out in a tent and later moving to a camper.
Several of their trips involved traveling to California to see family with plenty of stops along the way. Bob was the primary disciplinarian in the home, but he always had his children’s best interests at heart. He could be stubborn at times, and it has also been said that he loved things the old fashioned way. In addition, Bob wasn’t one for change.
Over the years Bob worked hard to support his family. He spent many years making golf clubs at Walter Hagen. When the plant closed down, Bob found work at another factory before retiring a few years later. After he came home from work in the evenings, he could usually be found relaxing and reading the paper for a bit.
In everything he did, Bob was all about family. Both he and Judy spent much of their social time with family including when he went hunting with his brothers. When grandchildren began arriving, Bob was thrilled, and he enjoyed being with them as much as he could. One of his favorite things to do was to take some of his older grandchildren on trips. Bob became much more limited after Judy suffered a stroke shortly before he retired. Because Judy was more limited as a result, Bob spent much of his time caring for her and also tending to the household duties that she had always taken care of such as the cooking, housework, laundry, and finances. In 2003, Bob was deeply saddened with her death. Although being on his own was an adjustment for him, he did try to keep busy. Bob enjoyed going out to eat, often grabbing breakfast at McDonald’s or going to Denny’s, and he also bowled on some leagues until his COPD no longer allowed him to play. At home he enjoyed watching television, but since he was hard of hearing it had to be quite loud. Bob especially enjoyed watching different game shows, and he also liked completing Sudoku puzzles. He looked forward to visits from loved ones as he was a talker. In fact, Bob could go on and on, and the best part was the tangents he got on as they were usually more entertaining than the actual story that he started with!
All who knew Robert “Bob” Jansma would agree that he was such an extraordinary man to know and love. He was a hardworking man who enjoyed living a rather simple life, and he was content in everything that came his way. Life was not without times of trial for Bob, but his strength was so inspiring. He will never be forgotten.
Robert "Bob" L Jansma, age 77 of Comstock Park, passed away December 26, 2015. He was preceded in death by his wife, Judy, in 2003; and by his brothers Harold, Ray and Dan Jansma, and sisters Shirely and Carolyn. Bob is survived by his children Karen Jansma and Kim (Rory) Frisbey; grandchildren John Jansma, Megan (Ryan) Gillette, Stephanie Campbell, Jeff Abner, Elizabeth (Jared) Rykse, Jennifer Frisbey and Lee Frisbey; great grandchildren Nolan Jansma and Adeline Campbell; sisters-in-law Nancy Jansma and Barb Jansma, and several nieces and nephews. Friends and family are invited to visit and share memories on Wednesday, December 30 at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home - Van't Hof Chapel, 851 Leonard NW from 1 PM until the service begins at 2:30 PM. To read more about his life or to sign his guestbook, visit www.lifestorynet.com