Robert's Story

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Robert Duane Kattelus, 65, passed away peacefully at Munson Medical Center on Saturday, Feb. 3, with his wife, Jill, at his side. He was born July 14, 1952 in Detroit to Anelma (Ranta) and Eugene Kattelus, who preceded him in death, along with brother, James, of Houston, Texas.
Bob had valiantly fought Parkinson's disease for eight years and brain cancer for 22 months. His Finnish heritage and "Sisu" served him well with incredible perseverance and bravery throughout his last days.
Bob is survived by his wife, Jill Ann (Oakley) Kattelus; and his six children, Cory Kattelus, Cary Kattelus, Melissa Sell (Chad), Megan Ruediger (Bryan), Cody Kattelus (Kayleigh Johnson) and Kati Kattelus. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Jaia Kattelus, Bodey and Bentley Sell and Emmylou Kattelus; and his brother, Ed Kattelus.
Bob attended Cass Tech High School in Detroit and Lawrence Tech University, earning a bachelor's degree in architecture in 1975.
He worked for several Detroit area design firms before moving to Traverse City in 1984. Bob began his own firm as Robert D. Kattelus Architect, PC in 1990. As a genius residential architect, brilliant mathematician and amazing artist, he created many families' "dream homes" throughout Northern Michigan. He was particularly gifted in connecting with his clients, fitting a home to its surrounding natural beauty and bringing the outdoors inside, within the design of the home.
Bob was a humble man with a pure and giving heart who listened often and spoke little. He was selfless and kind, full of humor and love. He loved his wife, Jill, with all his being and dedicated himself to her for 25 years. As a father of six children, ages 21 to 39, he had a steady presence and genuine enthusiasm and involvement in all they did.
Coaching hockey was Bob's passion; he tied skates, taught fundamentals and instilled his love for "the coolest game on earth" to hundreds of children over 20 years. He was an assistant coach and team manager for the Traverse City Central Trojans with son, Cory, and head coach for Traverse City's first girl's travel team with daughter, Megan, earning two state championships. Bob served as a USA Hockey volunteer on boards for both the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association (MAHA) and the Grand Traverse Hockey Association (GTHA).
He also volunteered as a participant in several clinical trials aiding Parkinson's disease research.
A celebration of Bob's life will take place on Saturday, Feb. 10, at 11 a.m., at the Leland Community United Methodist Church at 106 Fourth Street, Leland. A luncheon will follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Bob's family, the Grand Traverse Hockey Association, Leland Public Schools or to the Cancer Research Institute.
Published on February 9, 2018
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