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Life Story / Obituary
Robert Myers was a devoted servant of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He lived his life generously giving of himself through his time and resources expecting nothing in return. Where Robert was involved, one knew the task would be done efficiently and with grace. He had a special knack for putting others at ease and conversing openly. His special way of listening and being present, his dry sense of humor and his warm conversation will be deeply missed by his family and special friends.
During an exciting era that saw some of the nation’s greatest industrial growth and significant changes in culture, with the boom of automobiles, telephones and radio broadcasting, Merle & Jennie (Dornan) Myers welcomed home their newborn son, Robert on June 10, 1925. An only child, he brought them joy during an era in history that was filled with feelings of hope and independence. His father was a veteran of the Navy serving as a machinist mate during WWI. Robert’s mother, Jennie, was a school teacher and served as an assembly line worker at the Willow Run bomber plant during WWII. Both raised by farmers, they often spent many of their early years as a family celebrating holidays in Allegan County with Jennie’s family. These were some of Bob’s favorite memories as a young child.
Growing up in Grand Rapids during the Great Depression, Bob appreciated the value of a dollar and a day’s hard work. He never loafed about, always pitching in and helping out at home. As a young adolescent, he passed the time by reading, playing card games and fishing. Later, to earn his own way in the world, Robert caddied at the Kent Country Club. To relax, the family enjoyed time at Lake Michigan as well as taking in the five cent movies at the local Creston Theater. Active in school sports, Bob graduated from Creston High School with the Class of 1943. Immediately following his high school career, he enlisted in the Army and served as a radio operator during WWII in the Third Infantry Division. Participating in the Italian campaign, the invasion of southern France and the occupation of Germany, he was awarded the bronze star for valor and meritorious service in time of war. It may have been during this time in his life that Bob mastered the fine art of whistling. He was known for whistling two harmonies at the same time, a gift that his peers admired and his family loved over the years.
Bob furthered his accomplishments by obtaining his Masters of Arts in Education from the University of Michigan in 1950. Educating countless students over his forty one year career with primarily the Grand Rapids Public School system, Bob truly was a gifted professional. During his career, he taught mathematics to elementary, junior high, and high school students. Later he taught adults pursuing community education. Back when Bob was first starting out as a fifth grade teacher in Charlotte, he met the love of his life, Beverly Ann Morgan. She was student teaching in his building at the time and there wasn’t an afternoon where he missed joining her at the bus stop to converse until she was picked up to return home. After a couple of years dating, they committed their lives to one another in a marriage ceremony on August 15, 1953 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids. The newlyweds honeymooned at the Wisconsin Dells and Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula. The two of them raised four children together; Scott, Rebecca, Rick and Priscilla. As their family grew, he and Beverly moved from their apartment on Union Street into ever larger family homes. As a father, Bob was flexible, giving each child what they needed at the time. It was important to him and Beverly to have her stay home while the kids were growing, so he worked extra hours during his summers as a driving instructor to help supplement his growing family’s needs. During his early thirties, Bob accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. His faith called him to serve as an elder, a deacon, a trustee, as well as being involved with the sound committee, visiting shut-ins, and even delivering tapes of sermons over the years. He and Beverly committed their lives to Berean Baptist Church for a remarkable fifty seven years! Their service strengthened not only their marriage, but their larger faith community as well.
Bob had a great interest in travel over the course of his life. He took his family on many fun-filled vacations from Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore, Niagara Falls, the Badlands of South Dakota as well as Mackinac Island, Boston and Florida. Often he would rent a pop-up camper on these adventures, adding to the fun. The families' favorite vacation spot was Beverly’s parents’ cottage on Silver Lake. The retirement years found him and Beverly touring the globe, visiting Israel, England, Greece, Turkey, Hawaii, and Alaska. They enjoyed spending the winter months in Florida to get away from the cold. Bob was an avid reader and enjoyed many kinds of literature. He also enjoyed listening to Big Band music as well as Gospel hymns. Bob was an outgoing man with great compassion for those in need. He made a positive impact on his loved ones, his students, and his church community and he will greatly be missed.
Robert John Myers, a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and educator passed away on October 18, 2016 in Grand Rapids, with his loving wife at his side. Bob is survived by his wife, Beverly of 63 years; his children, R. Scott (Jackie) Myers of Pittsburgh, PA, Rebecca L. De Renzo of Wheaton, IL, Rick E. (Karen) Myers of Alto, and Priscilla E. (Len) Collins of Wyoming; grandchildren, K.C., Drew, Leslie, Jordan, Sharah, Matthew, Michael, Joshua, Jonathan, and Gabriel; and 16 great grandchildren. A funeral service will be held Saturday, October 22nd at 11 o'clock at Berean Baptist Church, 1574 Coit Ave NE. Friends may visit the family Friday from 6-8 pm at Van Strien-Creston Chapel, 1833 Plainfield Ave NE or at the church at 10 am on Saturday. Interment will be in Rosedale Memorial Park. Memorials may be made to the Benevolent Fund of Berean Baptist Church. Please visit Bob's personal web page to leave a condolence or memory at www.lifestorynet.com.