Saturday, June 20, 2015
11:00 AM EDT
Christ the King Catholic Church
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Robert Straw Jr. Memorial Scholarship, GTHA
1600 Chartwell Dr.
Traverse City, MI 49696
To honor him and support youth hockey, his family members have established a Scholarship Fund.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Robert “Bob” Straw Jr. passed peacefully from this life to the next on May 9, 2015 at his beloved Northern Michigan home with his family by his side. He faced cancer with dignity and courage until his very last breath.
He came into the world shortly after Christmas 1946 on Dec. 27, the fourth child of Robert and Julie Straw. As a young boy growing up in Southfield he was adventurous and loved to be outdoors. He played hockey, football and baseball and earned many honors, including an invitation to try out for the Detroit Tigers minor league team. Like his father, he was a devoted Montreal Canadiens fan, bravely cheering on the Habs at Olympia when most in the crowd were Red Wings supporters. He drove a 1958 Chevy during high school, his favorite car of all time. After graduation he attended Oakland Community College and studied business.
Bob proudly served his country as a U.S. Marine during the Vietnam War, achieving the rank of Corporal. During his tour of duty he received two Purple Heart Medals, Combat Action Ribbon, Rifle Marksmanship Badge and Vietnam Cross of Gallantry.
Back stateside he began working immediately at Hertz Corporation, which began his long and esteemed career in transportation.
In 1970 he met the love of his life, Susan Young, at the Coral Gables nightclub in Royal Oak. She was “the only woman he danced with that night.” Their wedding was held later that year at the Shrine of the Little Flower Catholic Church, followed by a Montreal honeymoon.
In 1975, arriving at the hospital with a pair of ice skates and a doll, Bob became a father for the first time with the arrival of his daughter, Stacy. Two years later he was blessed with a beautiful baby girl, Tricia. Eager to be closer to nature Bob moved his growing family up north and built an A-frame home, where they lived for 28 years.
Bob was the Antrim County Transportation Director in Bellaire for 18 years. He also managed the Commission on Aging for a year, which he considered the “most fulfilling job of his life.”
At age 57, he and Susan retired and relocated to sunny Pensacola Beach, Florida. Bob really enjoyed retirement. He relished each day spent boating, reading the newspaper, walking the beach, eating wings at Sidelines Bar & Grill, golfing and running 5K races with Tricia. He and Susan traveled to Australia three times to visit Stacy and her family. They eventually decided to become “snowbirds,” dividing their time between Pensacola and Elk Rapids.
Bob joyfully played ice hockey for over 30 years, 17 years in TC, where Centre Ice was his second home. He played his last game in November at age 67.
Family was incredibly important to him. He was very close with his sons-in-law, Luke and Chris - their best times together were spent on the golf course with cold beer in tow.
He and Susan celebrated 44 years of marriage last October.
Known lovingly as “Grandpa” to Boston, Jasper, Saige and Piper - he just loved to tease them. The 12-foot tree house that he built for the boys in Elk Rapids and the yellow playhouse that he built for the girls in Pensacola will be lasting reminders of the very special place that his grandchildren held in his heart.
Always busy with a project, Bob could fix or build anything.
He was happiest when the sun was shining. He loved boating on Lake Michigan and the Gulf of Mexico, driving his 1988 Corvette, riding his bike and motorcycle along North Bay Shore Drive, spending time with his family, playing hockey, cheering on the Wolverine football team, laughing at Seinfeld, watching Clint Eastwood movies and barbecuing his famous cheeseburgers and ribs.
Bob’s memorial service will be held Saturday, June 20, at Christ the King Catholic Church in Acme at 11 a.m., with family greeting friends at 10 a.m.
To honor him and support youth hockey, his family members have established a Scholarship in his name to be awarded once a year to a young player in Traverse City. In lieu of flowers, contributions are welcome to the Robert Straw Jr. Memorial Scholarship, GTHA, 1600 Chartwell Dr., Traverse City, MI 49696.
Please visit Bob’s webpage at www.lifestorytc.com to sign the guestbook and share a message with his family.
The family chose Life Story Funeral Home, Traverse City.
He lived a life that he was proud of. His legacy of generosity, kindness and bravery will live on forever through the many lives that he touched.
At ease, Marine.