Leave a memorial message for the family
Dear Carol and family, I was so sorry to hear of Bob's death. I first knew him from a Young Calvinist Convention in high school days. Then we were reacquainted during our years of being residents of Grandville and parents at Grandville Christian School. Bob was always pleasant and I was honored to know him. I enjoyed seeing all the pics of his/your life, achievements and family. Carol, my enduring gratitude goes to you for taking my son and me to the hospital when he broke his arm. What a long time ago that was! I hope that you will receive God's comfort and strength as you continue living and caring for others without Bob at your side. Esther (Leugs) Bos
I had the privilege of knowing Bob back in his Steelcase days, probably late 60's early 70's. When I would pass his desk, I always stopped and had a conversation with him. Bob was just a very nice, thoughtful and caring man. I also remember his good sense of humor. My condolences to his family. Kathie VanderWeide
Dad, So little time has passed since you've been gone and yet it feels like forever! I will always be grateful for the impact you made on my life and Tonya's life. You have impacted so many people. You have always been such a humble and caring person. When you were stared at because of your differences, you always said " well that is their problem not mine." You were always a compassionate person. I feel honored to have been chosen to be a part of your family. You have left a hole in my heart that will never be filled. I will miss you everyday. Thank you for showing us how to live for the Lord like you did. I was always so proud of you, the man you were, and accomplishments you made. I remember working with you and mom on my Law Day essay that ended up winning first place! It was your hard work with the Americans with Disabilities Act, that helped me have something great to write about. I have grown up watching the love, companionship, and even struggles that every marriage has, and I strive everyday to have a marriage like that with Ken. Your 53 years of marriage (almost 54) was quite the accomplishment, and I thank you and mom for letting Ken and I share your 50th anniversary with our own wedding. You always were and always will be my hero. I love you so much Dad. Thank you for all your love and support! I will always be your “Tamarock”.
To my Father: I will always remember the words you lived by your whole life “Every Life has a Purpose” - Robert S. Muller. For me, being the biological oldest son of a man with Cerebral Palsy my personal “purpose” or existence was a miracle on its own. If things went as recommended I might not exist. For all - When my Dad was born, my Grandmother was told to institutionalize my dad and just walk away. The state would take care of him the rest of his life. She refused that being a nurse. But what if she had done just that? What if she did just accept that advice and walked away? I wouldn’t be here. The rights of my father to live a normal life were tested the day he was born and he fought for those rights every day of his life. My father was a man of “Purpose” in living his life. He took on the world and the challenges of his disability head on. A world that would tell him it wasn’t possible for him to live “The American Dream” would not stop him. Fortunately for me, my Grandparents refused to let him think that. He learned to walk at 6 and then went to regular grade school. He was one of the first “integrated” kids with a disability. “Little Bobby” as he was known went on to graduate from Grand Rapids Christian High School. He didn’t stop there, even though he could have got a job at Muller’s shoes (his dads business) he chose to go on. He graduated Aquinas College with a business degree. Got married to a local school teacher Carol Dykema. Worked at Amway. Had a son Jeffrey Robert (aka J.R.) Became an executive at Steelcase. Had another son Marc who past at 4. Adopted 2 biological sisters Tamara and Marjorie. Became a professor at Aquinas College. Was nominated to be on the National Council of Disability and worked with 4 presidents during their terms to help create and sign the Americans with Disabilities Act into law. He helped trail blaze the rights of millions of disabled Americans in the workforce and society to be able to have equal rights. I was blessed to be with him to see the law be signed by President George Bush Sr. in the White House rose garden an event that changed my life path forever. My dad did many other things to inspire others and to LIVE his “purpose” in life. A man of faith, he wasn’t always perfect (none of us are) but he owned his mistakes (and there were some big ones) and asked God for forgiveness, which I believe he received. Recently, my dad was moved into a nursing home after living independently his whole life, and in true “Rambo Bob” fashion (as I would call him) he busted out of the joint the first night staying there in his power wheelchair trying to catch the bus to bring him home. When they told me this I simply said - “I would expect nothing less!” My dad, after struggling with health issues these past couple of weeks has finally caught that bus and the Lord has brought him home. I’m torn up and sad but I keep thinking to myself that I know “God has his back now” my brother Marc will definitely meet him at the gates and because there are no power wheelchairs in heaven he’ll have to help my dad adjust to being able to walk straight and talk clear for the first time ever. Entering the gates of heaven might be an adjustment for him, but I’m sure he’ll do just fine. “Your Life had a Purpose” - Love you dad.