Robert “Bobby” John Gamelin, age 69, of Munising, died at his home under the loving care of his family and North Woods Hospice on Wednesday evening, January 25, 2023, after spending months teaching his family and friends how to die with open hearts, an open door for visitors, love, laughs, and faith. He was born on July 28, 1953 in Munising to Louis J. and Elizabeth Agnes (Diotte) Gamelin. Bobby graduated from Wm. G. Mather High School in 1971 where he was a charter member of the Silver Echoes Drum and Bugle Corps. Bobby married Barbara Kochis on November 19, 1977. He was employed at Neenah Paper for over 33 ½ years. Bobby started in the Finishing Room and then moved to Specialties before retiring as a Team Coordinator in 2016. He was a member of Sacred Heart Church where he served as an usher and on the Parish Council. He and Barb were blessed to help raise their granddaughter Elizabeth throughout her teenage years. Bob loved being her “Pa.” They also opened up their home to a couple of nieces who were in need. He and Barb enjoyed playing cards with their buddies and taking trips to the casino. They wintered together in Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda, Florida where they both enjoyed friends, the sunshine, and hunting for shark teeth. Bobby and Barb did a lot together with family and friends, but he did hate the side by side and blueberry picking. He was generous with his woodworking talents and gifted and donated many coolers and corn hole games for retirements, celebrations, or donations to a cause. He participated many years in Relay for Life and Stake the Lake.
To say that Bobby Gamelin was an avid sports fan is an understatement. He loved the University of Michigan, the Detroit Lions, the Detroit Red Wings, and the Munising Mustangs. He was grateful and humbled for the visits he received from the Michigan and Munising football teams. He loved going to the Big House on Saturday for games with his good friend, Steve Goings!!!! Bobby loved the fact the Michigan beat OSU and the Detroit Lions beat the Green Bay Packers – TWICE this season.
Bob and Barb graciously opened their home for a revolving door of visitors of family and friends. The Munising community was given the gift of a saying goodbye to Bob. Bob and Barb were given the gift of knowing how much they were loved, and the impact made on others. He taught each of us a lesson in grace.
Bob is survived by his wife of over forty-five years – Barbara Gamelin; daughter – Brooke (RJ) Thayer; grandchildren – Elizabeth, Kharma, and Kharisma; siblings – Louis “Jim” Gamelin, Mary Jo Washam, Patty Whitaker, and Bonnie Mannisto; in-laws – Karen (Louis) Murray, Peter (Sharon) Kochis, Julie (Ed) Goings, Susan (Tim) Lee, and Sally Gamelin; uncles Bill and Pete Diotte; numerous nieces and nephews whom he loved dearly; many cousins; and “Gumby” is also survived by his second family – you know who you are.
He was preceded in death by his parents – Louis “Crow” and Agnes “Aggie”; parents-in-law – Pete Kochis, Pat Kochis Haro, and Joe Haro; siblings – Richard “Red” Gamelin, Thomas Gamelin, and Judy Monhead; sister-in-law – Patty Gamelin; brothers-in-law – Ernest Monhead, Bill Whitaker, and Roger Washam; and nephews – Ernest “Jim” Monhead, Mitch Gamelin, and Wesley Washam.
Visitation will be held on Sunday evening at the Bowerman Funeral Home 5:00 until 8:00. A brief prayer service and time of sharing of stories and music requested by Bob will begin at 7:00 p.m. Bobby requested that family and friends wear U of M or Detroit Lions attire. Bob’s faith was important to him and carried him through difficult times during his life. He truly believed in the Lord carrying him through the sand. His Mass will be held at Sacred Heart Church on Monday, January 30, 2023 at 12:00 noon. Bobby will be escorted by Peter Kochis, Ed and Steve Goings, Louis Murray, Tim Lee, and John Corey, with honorary pall bears Kenny and David Bowerman.
Bob’s final lesson to us all would be: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL ~ ENJOY THE JOURNEY….GO BLUE.