Robert's Story

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Robert "Bob" Gerhart Olsen, 86, of Traverse City, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, April 23, 2017 at his home.
Bob was born on Nov. 24, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois, to the late Olaf and Ingeborg (Christensen) Olsen. He was married to the love of his life, Carol Joy Chellin, on July 12, 1952 in Chicago.
Bob graduated from Elk Rapids High School in the class of 1948, and he enjoyed attending many of the class reunions.
Bob was one of the founders of Alpine Electric Corporation. He was also employed as a salesperson for Medler Electric Company until his retirement. Bob enjoyed working. Even in retirement he enjoyed working at Alpine Electric, where he managed orders and inventory. He said he would never really retire, and he was usually the first one at work putting the coffee on in the early morning.
Faith was very important to Bob. He was a longtime member of West Bay Covenant Church, where he led the choir for many years and was active in leadership. He also served many years on the board of WLJN radio.
Bob was a thoughtful man; he was always very prompt and well prepared. He was a remarkably devoted father and grandfather to his daughter and his two granddaughters. Bob enjoyed traveling with his family whenever possible. Bob was strong and active until his very last days.
Bob is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Carol; his daughter, Joy (Troy) Elenbaas; and two granddaughters, Hannah Elenbaas and Naomi Elenbaas. Also surviving are a brother, Richard (Ireta) Olsen; a sister, Karen (Dave) Clodfelter; as well as many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service and luncheon honoring Bob will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at West Bay Covenant Church, 12720 S. West Bay Shore Dr., Traverse City, MI 49684. Pastor Kent Anderson will officiate.
Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider a memorial donation to West Bay Covenant Church, 12720 S. West Bay Shore Dr., Traverse City, MI 49684.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and memories with Bob's family at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
The family is being cared for by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Published on April 26, 2017
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