Robert F. Potvin


Robert Floyd Potvin, 71, of Suttons Bay, left this world on Sunday, May 5, 2019 at Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital.
He was born May 31, 1947 in Detroit the son of Emile and Myrtle (Westlund) Potvin. On July 31, 1971 at the Saint Frances Church in Traverse City, Bob married Kathleen Ann Hawkins, who survives.
Bob was a hero to his family, friends and country. He participated in life with a sense of integrity and courage. He embraced each day with a sense of purpose, love and friendliness that endeared him to many. His adoration for his wife, sons and grandchildren was a constant source of joy and pride.
Bob graduated in 1965 from Benedictine High School in Detroit and started attending Michigan State University in the fall of 1965 but with the escalation of the war in Vietnam, his life choices changed. Bob served as a Scout Helicopter Pilot in the First Calvary Division. For his bravery in combat he was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Distinguished Flying Cross and Purple Heart.
After graduating with a degree in criminal justice from Michigan State University in 1973, Bob worked as a special agent for the IRS, then as director of the police and fire department in South Bend, Indiana. In 1981 Bob started working as a financial advisor for E.F. Hutton in East Lansing and remained working in the financial business until his retirement in 2016.
Bob was civic minded and served on the East Lansing and Suttons Bay School boards. He also served on the Downtown Development Authority in East Lansing.
As a father, if either of his sons' soccer or baseball teams needed a coach, he was there for them.
Bob is survived by his wife, Kate; his sons, Jason (Nola) Potvin and Adam Potvin; his siblings; twin brother, Joe (Mary Lee) Potvin and Richard (Joan) Potvin; his two grandchildren, Jake and Jayla Potvin; and many loving nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Mary (Mike) Krause.
A burial with full military honors and a celebration of Bob's remarkable life will be held at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, July 31, 2109 at Keswick Maple Grove Cemetery. Afterwards, a celebration and luncheon will be held at a location and time to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Suttons Bay Bingham Fire and Rescue, PO Box 280, Suttons Bay, MI 49682; Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association, 2100 N. Highway 360, Ste. 907, Grand Prairie, TX 75050; Leelanau Conservancy, PO Box 1007, Leland, MI 49654; and/or Tart Trails, PO Box 252, Traverse City, MI 49685.
Please share condolences with Bob's family at
Arrangements are with the Martinson Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Leelanau.
Published on May 12, 2019
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1 posts

Joe Billo
May 16, 2019
Kate- I graduated with Bob and Joe from Benedictine. I haven’t seen Bob since graduation. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I had no idea of your husbands remarkable military service🇺🇸 Being a Vietnam Nam veteran myself I now have a new hero!! God bless you and your family❤️