Robert Van Rhee, 89, of Richland, Michigan and formerly of Zeeland, Irons & Battle Creek, Michigan died peacefully on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, at Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo. He was born December 2, 1930 in Zeeland, Michigan the son of Edward and Henrietta (Goorman) Van Rhee. Gene or Bob, as he was known grew up in Zeeland and was a 1948 graduate of Zeeland High School. Gene honorably served his country in the U.S. Army in Korea. After the service he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Industrial Arts and Speech and Master's Degree in School Administration and Supervision from Western Michigan University. He taught at Pennfield High School and then became the Program Director at Fort Custer State Home and then Coldwater State Home until his retirement. Gene Robert Van Rhee was united in marriage to Shirley Y. Haylett on May 5, 1950 in Plainwell, Michigan. Surviving are Shirley, his wife of nearly 70 years; daughter, Susan (Craig) Norrod of Battle Creek; granddaughter, Brittany (Tong) Mai of Snohomish, WA; two great-granddaughters, Amelia and Evangeline; brother, Jack (Judy) Van Rhee of Zeeland, MI. along with so many friends that were like family to him. Gene was preceded in death by his parents; two sons, David and Robert Van Rhee and a brother and sister-in-law, Wesley and Janette Van Rhee. Gene and Shirley were heavily involved with the U.S. Power Squadron for over 50 years. They had wintered in Fort Walton Beach, FL for 20 years. Gene also was an accomplished woodworker. Gene will be remembered as the BEST Husband, Dad, Grandpa, Great-Grandpa and for always going out of his way to meet people who usually became lifelong friends. As many of you know his smile was infectious. A committal service with full military honors by Fort Custer Honor Guard and the U.S Army Honor Guard will be held for Gene's family at Fort Custer National Cemetery. A gathering for family and friends to honor Gene's memory will be announced later. Memorial contributions may be made to United States Power Squadrons, 1504 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607 or by phone at 888 367-8777. Arrangements are by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Richland Chapel. Personal messages for the family may be placed at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.