Robert A. 'Bob' Janke

Robert A. 'Bob' Janke

Robert A. 'Bob' Janke

Robert A. “Bob” Janke, M.D., 89, died June 5, 2019.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Leona; brothers, John and Carlton; sister, Verna; and parents, Bertha (Steinke) and Reinhold.

He is survived by sisters, Irma and Mildred; children: Beth (Betsy), Tom (Jennifer), Ellen (Ian) and Rob (Robin); and faithful dog, Lars. He was Opa to 10 grandchildren: Grayson, Eva, Rose, Theo, Edward, Sam, Jack, George, Gordon and Otto.

Bob was a member of the class of 1947 of Benton Harbor High School. As a schoolboy, he worked at a pharmacy in Benton Harbor, where he learned to make malts and expertly wrap packages. He worked his way through college by working odd jobs, including digging trenches for the gas company, and graduated with a pharmacy degree from Ferris Institute (now Ferris State University) in 1952. He enlisted in the Navy one day after graduation. His first pharmacy job was on the USS Midway, a position which enabled him to see the world, including Mediterranean ports and North Africa.

Bob and his wife, Leona, also a pharmacist, were married in 1956.

Bob subsequently attended medical school. He continued to work as a pharmacist at night while attending classes during the day. He graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1960. He and his family then moved to Kalamazoo for his post-graduate training. Bob practiced family medicine on Whites Road in Kalamazoo for many years, and immensely enjoyed working as a county coroner. He took a hiatus from clinical practice for several years as the chief of medical affairs at Bronson Hospital and in a similar position at St. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital in Louisville, Ky. After seven years of commuting between Schoolcraft and Louisville, he returned to clinical practice at Bronson Family Medicine in Kalamazoo. He retired at age 82.

For many years, Bob and Onie resided in Portage. Bob’s backyard ice rink served for many years as the neighborhood anchor for pick-up hockey. In 1989, Bob and Onie relocated to “the farm,” 80 acres of corn, soybeans and wetlands, outside of Schoolcraft. Bob spent his last years happily puttering in the barn, driving his John Deere tractor, mowing the expansive lawn, engaging in landscaping projects and making trips to the family cottage at Pickerel Lake near Petoskey.

Visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12, at Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial and Cremation Services, 3926 S. 9th St., Kalamazoo, MI 49009. Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 13, at Zion Lutheran Church, 2122 Bronson Blvd., Kalamazoo, with Pastor Tim Seeber officiating. A private graveside service will be held in Schoolcraft Cemetery.

Memorials preferred to American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR), 631 D St., Lincoln, NE 68502 (https://www.ahsgr.org/default.aspx); Pickerel-Crooked Lakes Association, P.O. Box 511, Alanson, MI 49706, or Zion Lutheran Church, 2122 Bronson Blvd., Kalamazoo, MI 49008.

Please visit Bob's webpage for directions, online guest book or to leave a condolence at https://www.langelands.com.