Robert E. McCumber, 96, of Onaway, died Thursday, April 5, 2018 at McLaren Northern Michigan hospital in Petoskey. Born in Detroit February 12, 1922, Bob was the son of Earl and Mary (Brenahan) McCumber. At the age of 20, Bob enlisted in the U.S. Marines and went off to war serving with the 3rd Marine Amphibious Corp in the Pacific fighting in the Solomon Islands Campaign, the Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign and the Battle of Okinawa.
Bob married Marilyn Schmidt June 30, 1957 in Dearborn and they made their home in Allen Park. Working out of Iron Workers Local Number 25 Bob performed all types of iron work including erecting structural framework and architectural and ornamental steel work. In 1971 Bob and Marilyn moved north to Onaway and Bob took employment with the Forestry Division of the Department of Natural Resources from where he eventually retired in 1977.
Extremely creative, Bob was a talented carver. His life-like carvings evolved from birds, ducks and other wildlife to dinosaurs and dragons. With his sharp analytical mind, Bob studied World War II airplanes, made precise calculations, and then created very detailed, to scale, replicas.
Furthermore, he researched every plane he built and every animal he carved becoming somewhat of an expert on his subject matter. A gifted artist, Bob enjoyed drawing with colored chalks and writing poetry and prose. He was a wonderful storyteller with interesting tales of his youth and days gone by.
Bob loved the outdoors. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, flower and vegetable gardening, and tending to his apple orchard. With his love of nature, Bob enjoyed watching the deer, birds, and other animals as they came into his yard to feed. A falconer as a young man, Bob trained and flew falcons deepening his appreciation for the strength and beauty of God’s creatures.
Best described as “a good man,” Bob was mild–mannered, polite and respectful to all. His life philosophy was to do the “right thing” even though that sometimes meant doing something difficult. Strong-minded and able-bodied, he was fiercely independent and very decisive. Truly a remarkable man, Bob will be fondly remembered.
Surviving Bob are his two daughters, Robin (Craig) Huard of Clay and Anita McCumber (Floyd Hopfinger) of Midland; and two granddaughters, Chloe’ Huard of Farmington Hills and Rachel Huard of Westland. Bob also leaves his sister-in-law, Carol Shafto of Alpena; Sister-in-law, Marie Schmidt of Tuscon, Arizona; and brothers-in-law, Harold (Eleanor) Schmidt of Onaway and Ray (Kate) Schmidt of Bear Lake; as well as many nieces and nephews, including Beth and Chuck Starks of Traverse City who Bob was very close to.
Bob was preceded in death by his wife, Marilyn; brother, Earl McCumber Jr., and in-laws, Jim and John Schmidt, Janet Johnson and Dorothy Hawley.
Visitation will be held at the Chagnon Funeral Home Saturday, April 14, from 10 a.m. until the time of the funeral service beginning at noon. Bob’s sister-in-law, Carol Shafto will officiate and Onaway Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5857 will perform military honors. Bob’s final resting place will be at North Allis Township Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy please consider a donation in memory of Bob to the Cheboygan County Humane Society, 1536 Hackleburg Road, Cheboygan, MI 49721. Condolences may be shared with
Bob’s family at www.chagnonfh.com.