Cover photo for Robert Gerald Gingerich's Obituary
Robert Gerald Gingerich Profile Photo

Robert Gerald Gingerich

July 1, 1950 — November 24, 2023

Robert Gerald Gingerich: A Life of Family, Service, Sportsmanship, and Community

Robert Gerald Gingerich “Bob”, born on July 1, 1950, in Tawas City, Michigan, to Jeanette (Featheringill) and Rudy Gingerich, lived a life marked by family, service, community, and a deep love for sports. He passed away suddenly from a heart attack on Friday, November 24, 2023, surrounded by the love of his family, leaving behind a legacy of dedication and kindness.

On September 20, 1970, in the quaint St. John's Lutheran Church in Grayling, Robert married CarlaJean M. Moshier. Their union blossomed into a family with their children Matthew, married to Lisa, in Dewitt, and Nicole, married to Thomas “Kip” Ferguson, in Mt. Pleasant. His joy was multiplied with his grandchildren, Merissa (Nick) Garner, Blake Gingerich, and Thomas and Ryan Ferguson. He is survived by his brother, Marvin Gingerich, sister-in-law, Patti Spriggs, cherished exchange daughter, Meri Koyama (Japan), and many beloved nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Jeanette and Rudy Gingerich, his brothers, Donald and Larry Gingerich and his sisters-in-law, Louise and Maxine Gingerich.

Bob's commitment to his country was evident in his service as a Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War, where he served as a Map Draftsman. He continued his service as a member of the Michigan National Guard as a Fireman, and later as a Sergeant for the State of Michigan Corrections Department at Camp Lehman in Grayling, dedicating 26 years to the role.

Academically, Bob graduated from Tawas High School in 1968 and was part of the first graduating class of Kirtland Community College in 1970, earning his associate in science degree. His love for sports was evident in his time playing AAA baseball and his lifelong passion for refereeing and umpiring. For over four decades, Bob's presence on the field uplifted countless middle and high school football, basketball, baseball, and softball games. He developed the Grayling 4-H tee ball program, instilling in youngsters the fundamentals of the game and life lessons, earning him the 'Leader of the Year' in 1988. In his later years, he found joy in watching his grandchildren's games and other pursuits, always emphasizing fundamentals, sportsmanship, and fair play.

Beyond the field, Bob's community spirit shone brightly. His leadership extended to his active role in the Grayling Lions Club, where he served as President, Secretary, and District Governor (two terms). He would regularly volunteer at the local Buck Pole, enjoying finding out who the youngest hunter would be.

His faith played a significant role in his life, demonstrated through his service as an Assistant Minister and President at St. John's Lutheran Church. Bob's hobbies included fishing and photography, capturing the beauty of nature and the essence of family moments. He enjoyed learning about his family’s genealogy and enjoyed family reunions immensely. He was also a World War II buff. 

Robert Gerald Gingerich's life was a tapestry of family, service, love for sports, and unwavering commitment to his community. His legacy lives on in the hearts of those he touched and the community he helped shape. He will be dearly remembered and greatly missed.

A memorial service will take place on Friday, December 1, 2023 at noon at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 710 Spruce Street, Grayling, MI 49738. A burial service with military honors will follow at Elmwood Cemetery. The family will receive visitation at 11:00 am at the church prior to the service and a luncheon will follow the burial service at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Michigan Lions Foundation or St. John's Lutheran Church, continuing Bob's legacy of service and faith.

Condolences can be shared with Bob's family at www.sorensonlockwood.com

Arrangements entrusted to Sorenson-Lockwood Funeral Home.


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Visitation

Friday, December 1, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Memorial Service

Friday, December 1, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Graveside Service with Military Honors

Friday, December 1, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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