Saturday, August 5, 2017
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM EDT
Vicksburg Community Center
101 S. Main Street
Vicksburg, MI 49097
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.
Vicksburg Historical Society
P.O. box 103
Vicksburg, MI 49097
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With a journey that spanned more than 100 years, Robert Springer lived a rich and rewarding life filled with the people and experiences he loved. He was blessed to share nearly 70 years with his true love, and together they witnessed their family tree blossom to include numerous branches of loved ones who made him so very proud. A lifelong resident of the community he loved, Bob was the sort of person everyone seemed to know. A man of honor, courage, and selfless generosity, he was a true gift in the lives of many. Life will never be the same without Robert here, but he leaves behind a timeless legacy that his loved ones will proudly carry on in his footsteps.
More than a century has passed since the calendar neared the end of December in 1913. Unsafe working conditions were prevalent throughout the nation, and with a lack of child labor laws it was often this younger generation that felt the strain. Cars were a luxury only for the wealthy, and the daily struggles led to a middle class that was growing increasingly more discontent. It was as Vicksburg, Michigan, was deep in the hustle and bustle of the holidays that Karl and Donna (Smith) Springer were eagerly anticipating the birth of their new baby. The big day finally arrived on December 23rd when the baby boy they named Robert Karl drew his first breath. He was the younger of two children as he was raised in the family home alongside his older brother, Stanley Lewis. Robert’s father worked hard to support his family as the first Vicksburg Post Office foot carrier while his mother worked at Lee Paper. Bob was a typical young boy who enjoyed things like watching movies at the Sun Theatre, hunting rabbits with his dog, Zip, and learning to swim, skate, and fish on Sunset Lake in Vicksburg. He attended local schools including Vicksburg High School where he was a member of the basketball team.
After graduating in 1932, Robert went on to Maher Business College. As a young man he was called to serve in the United States Army during the days of WWII in the early 1940s. Bob was part of the 717 Tank Battalion and was the company clerk. By the time he was discharged he had earned the rank of corporal.
New and exciting changes were in store for Bob when he met the woman of his dreams. Her name was Helen Douglas, and they were set up on a date by a mutual friend, Duane Rupert. Sparks flew, and Bob was particularly smitten with her red hair. She was an amazing singer who had been singing at the Rupert family’s funeral home. Perhaps this is why Robert thought it would be a good idea that he and his buddies serenade Helen. Although she was a bit mortified by the experience, true love won in the end and they were married on April 30, 1939, back at Helen's family farm in Seaton, Illinois. The newlyweds took a short honeymoon to Niagara Falls and then returned to Vicksburg. Together they welcomed their two children Karla and Doug into their hearts and home.
Over the years, Robert was an awesome provider. He spent 35 years, literally and figuratively walking in his father’s shoes working for the post office in Vicksburg. In order to provide, he also worked several other jobs such as at the local drug store and Maher Chevrolet. After retiring from the post office in 1970, Robert worked as the Brady Township treasurer as well as at the Rupert-Durham Funeral Home in Vicksburg (now known as Life Story Funeral Home).
Throughout his rich and rewarding life, Bob had so many experiences that enriched his journey. When he was younger he attended the Chicago World’s Fair. Niagara Falls was always a special place, and he later traveled with good friends to California and to Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Robert loved deer hunting with his buddies in the Upper Peninsula, although it has been said that he spent more time cleaning and cooking than he actually did hunting! He also enjoyed meeting friends for breakfast and had a passion for all things automobile related. When relaxing, Bob loved a good Zane Grey book or watching Gunsmoke on television. He enjoyed quartet music, 40s swing, and other music from this generation. Bob was proud of his German heritage, and within his community he was a lifetime member of the American Legion and the VFW post in Vicksburg. Later in life it was a day to remember when Robert was featured with his name and photo on the Smucker’s jar on the Today Show in celebration of his 103th birthday.
When reflecting on the life of Robert Springer, words such as honest, hardworking, neat, and meticulous come to mind, but perhaps the thing he will most be remembered for was his generous spirit. He was a sharp dresser who always did his best in everything he did. There was no greater gift in Bob’s life than his family, and he savored every moment spent with his loved ones. As someone who always planned ahead, he approached everything with a “be prepared” attitude. Dearly loved, Robert will be forever missed.
Robert Karl Springer, of Vicksburg passed away on Saturday, December 24th, 2016. Robert is survived by his children: Karla Stubblefield; S. Douglas (Janet) Springer; three grandchildren: Diana Pomeroy, Kristin Springer and Kenneth Springer; one great granddaughter: Holli (Tristin) Inman; one great great granddaughter: Evelyn Inman. Robert was preceded in death by his wife, Helen; parents: Karl and Donna Springer; brother: Stanley Lewis Springer; son-in-law: Ola “Stubby” Stubblefield; two sister-in-laws: Marian Hunter and Lois Walters. A memorial gathering will be held at a later date. Please visit Bob’s webpage at www.lifestorynet.com where you can read his life story, sign the guestbook, share a memory and/or photo. Those who wish may make contributions to the Vicksburg Historical Society and/or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. The family is being assisted by the Life Story Funeral Home, 409 S. Main, Vicksburg (269-649-1697).