Robert “Bob” Gatiss, age 90, of Munising, died Saturday, August 25, 2018 at Medilodge in Munising.
Bob was born May 16, 1928 in Munising, MI to John Howard and Verna (Bauman) Gatiss. Bob graduated from Wm. G. Mather High School in 1946. Prior to graduation, he served in the Merchant Marines for two summers cruising the Great Lakes. He entered the U.S. Navy on July 27, 1950 where he served as an airplane mechanic in several utility squadrons. While with VU-10 squadron stationed in Cuba, he and his crew were called to Jamaica to assist in hurricane relief efforts. While there, they were casted as extras in the movie “Saturday Island” staring Linda Darnell and Tab Hunter. He especially enjoyed his time in Cuba and Rhode Island. Bob obtained the rank of AD3 and was honorable discharged on May 14, 1954. Bob proudly served his country and was a Korean War Veteran.
Bob returned to Munising and worked in the family distributor business. He married Lois M. Mellin on May 5, 1956 and together they raised their eight children. He then went to work for Prudential Insurance and retired on January 31, 1989 with over 25 years of service. Throughout the years, Bob was involved in several business partnerships including the Informer and Leaches Bar. He and Lois then owned and operated the Yule Log Resort in Christmas, MI for 25 years.
Bob was a member of the United Methodist Church, he was a fourth generation Mason of the Grand Island Masonic Lodge #422 F.& A. A.M., Ahmed Shrine Temple, UP Court of Jesters #180, Munising Shrine Club, Eastern Star, and American Legion Roderick Prato Post #131. And while in Lansing as a Boys State Leader, Bob was honored with being selected as the Lt. Governor for the day.
Bob enjoyed hunting, fishing, reading, local history, storytelling, playing cards, teaching the grandkids how to play poker, yard sales and searching for antiques. He especially enjoyed visiting with friends, attending family events and road trips.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years – Lois; and children all from Munising; daughters – Cheryl Cotey, Judy St. Amour, and Rosemarie “Ree” (Terry) DesJardins; sons – Robert “Bruce” Gatiss Jr, Richard (Terry) Gatiss, Randy Gatiss, Geoff (Donna Nikunen) Gatiss and James (Joyce Beauchaine) Gatiss; siblings - Molly (Robert) Hillier of Mableton, Georgia, Donald Gatiss of Munising, Suzette Bennett of Mason City, Iowa; 17 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. Bob was preceded in death by his parents Howard and Verna, brother Jack (Marie) Gatiss, sisters Pat (Bill) Cromell, Sally Ross, and Mary “Sis” Gatiss; nephews David Gatiss and Jack Gatiss, Jr.; and niece Suzette Rodgers
Visitation will be on Tuesday, September 4, 2018 at the Bowerman Funeral Home from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. A Masonic service will begin at the funeral home at 1:30 p.m. Pastor Sandi Kolder will conduct Bob’s memorial service at 2:00 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Munising. Interment will follow at the Maple Grove Cemetery where the American Legion and Vietnam Veterans Honor Guard will conduct military honors.
Memorials in Bob’s name may be directed to the Shriners Hospital and sent to Grand Island Lodge #422, 228 W. Onota St. Munising MI 49862 or Bay Cliff Health Camp, P.O. Box 310, Big Bay, MI 49808.
Shriners Hospitals for Children
c/o Grand Island Lodge #422, 228 West Onota Street, Munising MI 49862
Bay Cliff Health Camp
P.O. Box 310, Big Bay MI 49808