Christianity is a faith of promises, a faith of forgiveness and restoration, of hope, not despair. And it is a faith of eternal life. Robert “Bob” Parsons, DeWitt resident, died at Sparrow Hospital Thursday, February 22, 2018 after a three-year battle with multiple myeloma cancer. Surrounded by family and friends, Bob passed to that promised life. He was born July 31, 1956 in Rogers City to the late Ferris and Maxine Parsons. On June 18, 1988 he married Barbara Brown in East Lansing.
Bob is survived by his wife and soul mate of nearly 30 years, Barb; son, Ross and wife Erika (Heston), and son, Bradley, all of the Lansing area. He is also survived by sisters, Candace (Saline) and Mary (Rogers City); and brothers, John (Valparaiso) and Bruce (El Paso).
In addition to his parents, Bob was preceded in death by his brother Ferris, Jr. (J.R.).
A graduate of Central Michigan University, Bob retired from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) in 2017 after a 27-year distinguished career. More than half of those years, Bob was the department’s public involvement and hearings officer, MDOT’s face for the engagement of the public in transportation decisions. Bob also promoted MDOT’s charity efforts.
He was involved with several Lansing-based organizations such as the Capital Area Literacy Coalition, Tri-County Office on Aging, and Meals on Wheels. Bob enjoyed ballroom dancing, traveling and taking cruises with his wife. His passions included gardening, fishing, photographing family events and attending his sons’ sporting events. Most people awake in the morning wanting to live a life of value to self and others. Bob epitomized that commitment through his service to family, his co-workers and the people in need in his community, irrespective of their age or means.
As an accomplished speaker and overall communicator, Bob used words to build up, not tear down. The spoken word can empower, encourage, motivate to action. It can build roads, bridges, families and communities. And it is action that gives words their true meaning. Otherwise, as Bob knew, it’s just talk.
The visitation for Bob Parsons will be held at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Home of DeWitt Friday, March 2, from 1-3 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. The memorial will be held Saturday, March 3, at Trinity Church in Lansing, 3355 Dunckel Road at 11 a.m. and will be preceded by a visitation at 10 a.m. A luncheon will follow at noon.
Memorial contributions may be made in Bob’s name to the Tri-County Office on Aging Meals on Wheels program.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.grdewitt.com.