Robert J. "Bob" Markiewicz, age 72, beloved husband of Denise and father of Laura (Grieg) Wilson, Cheryl (Michael) Norton, Rob (Rhonda) Markiewicz II, Dee (Andy) Carter, Scott Markiewicz and David Markiewicz (deceased), Grandfather of Chris (Becky), Mackenzie, Savanna, Hunter, Michael, Hailey, Madison, Roman, Robert III, Thorissa, Titan, David II, Ivan, Chance, Atlas, and Great Grandfather of Tristan, Emersyn, and one in-progress, brother of George (Linda) and Gene, passed away early Saturday, September 21, 2019.
With all his children and other family members keeping vigil over the last week, Bob passed away with his wife of almost 52 years, Denise, by his side. He was preceded in death by his parents George and Agnes Markiewicz and his son, David. Bob was born in Chicago, Illinois, attended St. Viator, married Denise Schneck in 1967, served in the Illinois National Guard, and moved to New Era, MI in 1976. He worked hard, often 2-3 jobs at the same time, to support his growing family – a mechanic at Meyers Chevrolet, maintenance at New Era Canning Company, snowplowing, providing janitorial services for the church, and digging graves by hand. He eventually worked his way up to Director of Human Resources and Safety at New Era Foods.
After retirement, he worked summers at Silver Lake State Park as a campground ranger and at the Brown Bear in Shelby. Even with all the hours he worked, he found time throughout his life to be a Cub Scout Leader, participated in the Indian Princess program, a volunteer fire fighter for New Era, a Eucharistic minister and a CCD teacher. Bob was a member of American Legion Post 122 in Shelby and participated as a member of a golf league for many years with his brother, Gene. He was a diehard fan of Chicago sports – he loved his Cubs, Bears and Blackhawks. Perhaps this led to his heart giving up on him last week - we may never know – but probably better than being a Lions fan.
Some might say that Bob was an over-achiever when considering his Christmas decorations at the house in New Era. Thousands of lights with each bulb straightened and precisely placed. He won the decorating contest each year until they changed the rules prohibiting previous winners from winning again. Others might remember all of his carved pumpkins at Halloween. He spent hours carving hundreds of pumpkins with each lit up beautifully for the kids and the neighborhood to enjoy. He simply loved to put a smile on people’s faces and make others happy. He tried hard with all his corny jokes to make everyone laugh although he probably mostly got groans. Bob also made sure that everyone knew that he was “Proud to be Polish.”
The difficult loss of David, his youngest son, prompted Bob to hold a memorial golf outing and donate the proceeds to the Shelby school music program to honor David’s love of music. This has turned into a successful annual event with all Oceana County schools benefitting from the efforts and activities of David’s Music Legacy and the David P. Markiewicz Memorial Foundation.
Bob will be remembered fondly and missed greatly by his family and friends. But of course, he will. He was BOB.
Visitation is Sunday, Sept. 29th, 4-7:30 pm at Harris Funeral Home in Shelby. The Funeral Mass for Bob will be celebrated on Monday, September 30th, 11 am at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Shelby. In lieu of flowers, the family is accepting memorial donations to help cover final expenses, Donations can be sent to: Harris Funeral Home.
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