Robert's Story

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Robert Joseph Goodrich passed away on Sept. 22, 2017 at the age of 88 at Munson Hospice House. Bob was born on April 5, 1929 in Detroit, the son of Robert Remington and Dorothy Katherine (O'Connor) Goodrich. He married Karen Dow on Sept. 1, 1988.
Bob graduated from St. Anthony High School in Detroit, where he played on the basketball and baseball teams. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from the University of Detroit. He had the unique distinction of becoming a registered professional engineer two years before he graduated from college.
His professional experience began with Michigan Consolidated Gas Company, rising to district engineer of their northern and Upper Peninsula districts. After 22 years with Mich-Con, he joined the firm of Gourdie Fraser and Associates in Traverse City, serving as a corporate officer and head of the engineering department. In 1986 he joined Spalding, DeDecker & Associates, Inc., a Madison Heights-based consulting engineering and surveying firm, and became president in 1989. After completing 44 years in the engineering profession, he retired March 31, 1994 to his home in Traverse City.
Through the years Bob has been an active member of professional organizations such as the Engineering Society of Detroit, Michigan Society of Professional Engineers, Southern Michigan Water and Sewage Utilities Association, American Water Works Association Michigan Section, Michigan Rural Water Association and the Consulting Engineers Council of Michigan.
In 1988 Bob and Karen bought a motor home and enjoyed 19 years of traveling the U.S. and Canada. After Bob retired, they spent winters in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Their interest in genealogy led them to many out-of-the-way places searching records for information about their ancestors. They met several new relatives along the way and added many names to the family tree.
Bob was a life member of the Traverse City Elks Lodge, the Knights of Columbus, The Grand Traverse Genealogical Society, the Ancient Order of Hibernians (Bun Brady Division) and the Grand Traverse County Republican Party, serving a term as a state committee man and chairman for the county "Elect Reagan" Committee in 1980. He enjoyed many years of golf and parties at the Traverse City Golf and Country Club. Bob also served on the building committee in the '70s when the new St. Francis Church was built.
Bob is survived by his wife, Karen; children, Michael (Joyce) Goodrich, of Gaylord, Susan (Becky) Rogan, Laurie (Bob) O'Brien, Craig (Lisa) Goodrich and Sheryl (Joe) Elliott, all of Traverse City; stepchildren, Jay (Laurie) Dow, of Bloomington, Illinois, and Pamela (Eric) Sams, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; also 26 loving grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren; sister, Dorothy (Joe) Evancho; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Gordon Goodrich; his first wife, Shirley Goodrich; and his granddaughter, Jennifer Miles.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Bob will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 1025 S. Union St., Traverse City, with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. prior to Mass. Inurnment will be at Oakwood Catholic Cemetery following the service. A luncheon will follow at the Traverse City Elks Lodge, 625 Bay St., Traverse City.
In lieu of flowers for those planning an expression of sympathy, please consider a memorial donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, Grand Central Station, PO Box 4777, New York, NY 10167; or Munson Hospice House, c/o Munson Healthcare Regional Foundation, 1150 Medical Campus Dr., Traverse City, MI 49684.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and memories with Bob's family at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
The Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services is serving the family.
Published on September 24, 2017
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