Traverse City Record-Eagle

December 13, 2012

Robert "Bob" Alan Jackman


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TRAVERSE CITY — Robert "Bob" Alan Jackman, 81, born Feb. 3, 1931, in Harrison, Ohio, passed away in Traverse City on Dec. 10, 2012, at Munson Hospice House.

He was predeceased by his parents, Olive Bonham Jackman and Eugene (Buster) Jackman.

He is survived by his wife of 11 years, Alexandra "Alix"; his sister, Marilyn (Allan) Parkinson; his nephews, Kent (Kim) Parkinson, Kristen and Kayla and Craig (Ana) Parkinson, Ian and Neal. Bob also became the beloved "Papa Bob" to his stepchildren, Jim, Lisalilli, and Stephanie, his step-grandchildren, Anne and Eric; and step-great-grandchild, Shiloh.

Bob served in the Navy for a year after graduating Harrison High School in 1949, and then served four years in the Naval Reserve. He attended Ohio University, where he became a member of Delta Tau Delta, and transferred to General Motors Institute (now Kettering). In 1952 he graduated and began his 37-year career with Cadillac Motor Car Division of GM, retiring as Director of Service. His second career was a 10-year stint as vice president of Engineering Analysis Associates, an automotive consulting firm.

Throughout Bob's life his passions were cars, sailing, community, choral singing, and church. He was a more than 50-year member of Sports Car Club of America. He was one of the initial crew for "One Lap of America" in addition to many rally events in the woods and racing on ice, as well as on the organizing committee for the Grand Prix races, which took place in downtown Detroit. His sailing passion led him to crew on "Valkyrie" for many Mackinac Races. He loved the events and the camaraderie of the many friends gathered from these experiences. Bob's love of the water led him to take many cruises to out-of-the-way places. Favorites were the Russian Far East (Siberia) and his retirement "Around the World Millennium Cruise."

In addition to his sporting passions, Bob felt a strong commitment to his community and church. He worked to end desegregation in housing and he co-founded and led Riverfront East Alliance (REAL), dedicated to keeping the casinos off the Detroit riverfront to save it for the people of Detroit. Bob was an active and devoted member of Fort Street Presbyterian Church in downtown Detroit for many years. He maintained that membership even after he and Alix moved to Leelanau County in 2005 from downtown Detroit, where they lived on his beloved Detroit River. Nonetheless, he was an enthusiastic "Friend of Suttons Bay Congregational Church," serving in the chorus and attending adult education classes with gusto where his "bingo!" became a legend.

He loved classical music and enjoyed choral singing. Over the years, he sang in many choruses including General Motors Chorus, several church choruses, and even formed a shipboard chorus on his around the world cruise.

In all his endeavors, his energies were always directed by his personal motto "I gave it my best". Bob did give it his best and he left the world, and each individual, better for his touch. Bob was deeply loved and will be forever and deeply missed.

Memorial services will be conducted at Suttons Bay Congregational Church on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 11 a.m. and at Fort Street Presbyterian Church on Jan. 13, at 12:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Fort Street Presbyterian Church, Suttons Bay Congregational Church, The Leelanau Conservancy, or Munson Hospice House.