Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Saturday

December 15, 2012

Robert 'Bob' Paul Bach

TRAVERSE CITY — Robert "Bob" Paul Bach, 83, of Traverse City, passed away suddenly on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, at Munson Medical Center with his loving family by his side.

Bob was born on May 21, 1929, in Detroit to the late Dr. Walter and Thusnelda (Binhammer) Bach. He married the love of his life, Phyllis Ann Morrison, on Sept. 29, 1951, in West Branch, and they recently celebrated their 61st anniversary.

Bob graduated with a degree in Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture from Michigan State University and was a life-long Spartan fan. He and Phyllis established an annual scholarship for a deserving candidate at MSU in urban planning. After college he went on to serve as a full lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and served as legal officer on the USS Maury.

He served as a city planner in Hamilton, Ohio, and in the Michigan communities of Oak Park and Warren. He was the first staff planner appointed by Traverse City in 1962. He joined Gourdie Fraser & Associates in 1972, where he worked until he retired in 1996. He was always involved in his community having voluntarily served the Industrial Fund (President), The Grand Traverse Community Chest, New Designs for Growth, Grand Traverse Commons Redevelopment, United Way, the Boy Scouts, and many other local organization. He also served as the past president of the Michigan Society of Urban Planners and belonged to numerous professional organizations.

He was an avid skier, tennis player, golfer, and traveler — he and Phyllis traveled together to many countries around the world. He was known by many as a true master gardener and spent countless hours cultivating his flowers and vegetables. He very much enjoyed fine wine and good food, and his family and friends were often treated to his culinary skills. He loved spending time with his grandchildren, who have many "grandpa stories" to tell. He helped coach the Traverse City West tennis teams for many years, both boys and girls, while his grandchildren played.

Surviving Bob is his wife Phyllis; children, Jeff (Kristie) Bach and Jill (Tom) Kaufhold; grandchildren, Jacob (Kate) Bach, Hannah Bach, Peter Kaufhold and Kelsey Kaufhold; brother, Dr. Carl (Sally) Bach; and many nieces and nephews.

Bob was preceded in death by his siblings, Margaret Dmytro and John Bach.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. today, Dec. 15, at the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Cherryland Humane Society and the Traverse Area District Library. Please sign Bob's online guestbook at

The family is being served by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home.

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