Robert F. Kluzak


Robert "Bob" Franklin Kluzak, 81, of Traverse City, passed away Saturday, June 15, 2019 at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City. Bob, an original "Slabtown Westsider" was born on Tuesday, March 8, 1938 to the late Edward and Frances (Larson) Kluzak in Traverse City.
After graduating from Traverse City Central High School in 1956, he continued his studies at Ferris (Institute) State University, where he earned his associate's degree in business.
On Saturday, Aug. 25, 1962 Bob married the former Barbara Zmudzinski in Detroit. They lived in Big Rapids while finishing their professional degrees. He moved to Traverse City in 1963 with his beautiful bride and love of his life. In his last days he referred to her as "his rock," expressing his eternal gratitude for her non-wavering love and support throughout all their days together, through sickness and through health.
Bob thrived as a salesman and a jack of all trades at Pine Grove Homes for 41 years. He truly loved his work and would have stayed for a lifetime if he could.
Bob loved to whistle while he puttered around the house and maintained one of the finest lawns on the "hill." He enjoyed suspense novels, boating on Grand Traverse Bay, family gatherings, pickled bologna and Czech Sunkafleky. He looked forward to wintering at The Villages, Florida, and co-piloting golf cart rides all over the grounds, including under the highways with Barb.
He is remembered by his family for his honesty, selflessness and "always being there for everyone." His kindness and ability to embrace the light in every situation was his recipe for a great life. Bob loved to laugh and had a bubbly, fun sense of humor that lit up the room. More than anything, he adored his wife and family and enjoyed every moment of being with them.
Surviving are his wife, Barbara; his children, Brian (Paula) Kluzak, of Traverse City, Beverly Kluzak, of Kalamazoo, and Julie (Joseph) Janiga, of Almont; his grandchildren, McKenna and Emily Kluzak, Joe and Jared Janiga; and his great-grandchildren, Blake and Damien Janiga. Bob is also survived by several nieces and nephews, including a very special nephew, Bill (Linda) Kluzak, of Traverse City.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Richard.
Visitation for Bob will begin at 2 p.m. with a service celebrating his life following at 3 p.m., Saturday, June 22, at the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home. Light refreshments and a casual gathering will immediately follow at the funeral home. Pastor Marshall Holtvluer, a close family friend, will officiate.
The family has asked that Bob be remembered through memorial contributions in his name to the Cowell Family Cancer Center, c/o Munson Healthcare Regional Foundation, 1150 Medical Campus Dr., Traverse City, MI 49684.
Please visit to share your memories and thoughts with Bob's family by way of his online tribute page.
The family is being cared for and served by Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
To plant a tree in memory of Robert F. Kluzak, please visit Tribute Store.
Published on June 19, 2019
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9 posts

Mary (Younglas) Reid
Jun 25, 2019
I am so very sorry I just saw the obituary and I am heart broken. Bob was always so wonderful to me for being a small part of the Kluzak gang years ago. My heart and prayers go out to all of you. Barb, be strong you have a fabulous family to hold close. Hugs to you all
Laurie Ansorge
Jun 24, 2019
My condolences to the entire Kluzak family, Brian and Bev in particular.
Duane Mathews
Jun 21, 2019
Special old long-time Friend.
Colleen Hansz-Fogle
Jun 19, 2019
Hi Julie and Barb, the obituary is beautifully written. As I was reading it I was reminded of how Bob became my dad through High School at your house for many sleepovers and BBQs and saying hi down at Toms. My heart brakes for you because I don't know that feeling yet. the loss of a father and I thought of Bob as my dad. I hope to see you on Saturday. Again my heart aches for you and I remember all the laughs and smiles that he gave me. He was Dad to me too.
With love,
Colleen 86
Julie janiga
Jun 19, 2019
I miss you dad
You will always be cherished in my mind and heart forever❤️
Love you
David Barr
Jun 19, 2019
I had the pleasure of knowing Bob and Barb through my parents. I enjoyed talking politics with Bob and local radio. My Dad and Bob worked together for a bit selling homes. Dad would always speak fondly of those times and the adventures in The Villages.
Joel Bremer
Jun 19, 2019
A good man with a big heart and someone I strive to be like.
Shirley Kahrs
Jun 19, 2019
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Craig Kreiser
Jun 19, 2019
What a man, what a man, what a man !
Loved working with him and sharing stories as a native of Traverse City. He always made me laugh !