Robert 'Bob' H. DeVries
Robert "Bob" H. DeVries, 91, of St. Joseph passed away Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019, at Hanson Hospice Center in Stevensville.
Robert was born on Dec. 28, 1927, in Grand Rapids, Mich., to the late Henry and Cora (DeMeester) DeVries. He was a 1945 graduate of Union High School in Grand Rapids and served his country while in the U.S. Navy. On Oct. 8, 1948, in Grand Rapids, he married his high school sweetheart, Lucy Ann Wilkinson. He was plant engineer manager at Ameritech (formerly Michigan Bell) and retired in 1989 after 41 years of service. His award-winning engineering projects included laying the cable under the St. Joseph River in Berrien Springs and near the railroad bridge in the St. Joseph River channel.
Concurrently he served in various leadership capacities on the St. Joseph Township Board, notably on the park board when Eaton and Carronde Parks were purchased and developed, served as trustee, treasurer and on the Planning Commission and Lake Michigan Water and Sewer Committees.
He became an avid and formidable duplicate bridge player upon retirement. He and LucyAnn enjoyed fishing at Van Auken Lake and traveling. Leadership continued in the St. Joseph/Lincoln Senior Center, singing in the “Dreamers” chorus and various capacities as a long-time member of the First Congregational Church of St. Joseph.
Robert is survived by his wife of 70 years, LucyAnn; his five children: Linda (Keenis) Owens of Ligonier, Ind., Robert (Karol) DeVries of Buford, Ga., Thomas DeVries of Stevensville, Nancy Bunker of St. Joseph and Ruth (Jim) Kurtis of Marana, Ariz.; five grandchildren: Zachary (Rodica) Owens, Katherine (Pavel Smidingr) Owens, Ashleigh DeVries, Terah (Justin) Palmer and Amanda Carroll; seven great-grandchildren; and sister-in-law, Joanne DeVries of Grand Rapids.
Preceding Robert in death is his sister, Alyce Roodvoets; and his brother, Russell DeVries.
A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, Aug. 17, at the First Congregational U.C.C., 2001 Niles Ave., St. Joseph. Prior to the service there will be a visitation in the Greeting Room at 11 a.m., with the service at noon, followed by a luncheon.
Friends who wish to leave the family a message of condolence may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Memorial Garden Fund at the First Congregational Church of St. Joseph or to the St. Joseph/Lincoln Senior Center.