Robert Lee Blackburn was born in Battle Creek, Michigan, the only child of Charles Lee and Vivian Eleanor Blackburn.
He graduated from Benton Harbor High School in 1956 and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan in 1962.
He married Alice Edith Peters in 1962.
Robert has had a varied career, starting as an engineer for a contractor in the US space program in Los Angeles, and ending as deputy trade advisor at the British consulate in Chicago.
Over the years Robert has had many hobbies. He loved sailing – which he once taught at the St. Joseph Yacht Club – and even owned his own sailboat in Chesapeake Bay. Robert loved golf, books and walks in the woods.
He retired from Chicago to Spring Lake, Michigan. He was particularly interested in researching his genealogy.
He was baptized at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Grand Haven, Michigan. Robert has volunteered for many years at the Tri-Cities Historical Museum helping catalog his collection. He enjoyed his weekly breakfasts with friends.
Robert and Alice have four children, Robert, Christopher, Peter and Sarah. He and Alice also have eight grandchildren, Joshua, James, Jennifer, Brayden, Katherine, Guy, Zoe and Alexander.
Robert claimed that during his life he never “understood” it. But he made many lifelong friends, charmed many more, and loved his family unconditionally.
Robert passed away peacefully on October 6, 2021 in Muskegon, Michigan, surrounded by Alice, her children and grandchildren. Robert will be buried in a private ceremony at Hicks Cemetery in Battle Creek, Michigan on November 20.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Trout Unlimited, Alliance for the Great Lakes, St. John’s Lutheran Church in Grand Haven, or your favorite charity.
Share memories with family online at www.sytsemafh.com. Arrangements are made by The Lee Chapel of Sytsema Funeral & Cremation Services, 6291 S. Harvey St., Norton Shores, MI 49444, 231-798-1100.
Posted by The Herald-Palladium on October 15, 2021.