Longtime Fairbanksan Robert D. "Bob" Mursch, was welcomed into the arms of Jesus on July 16, 2013, at Denali Center. He was born Jan. 12, 1932, to Herman and Louise Mursch in Big Rapids, Mich.
Bob's mother passed away when he was 3; consequently. he and his siblings were raised by his aunt and uncle, Ruth and Ernie Hollenbeck. He attended school in Big Rapids, graduating in 1950 from Big Rapids High School. In 1952, he was drafted into service for the Korean War. He served as a tank operator in the U.S. Marine Corps
. His brother, Harold "Chuck," also a Marine, was assumed killed in action, but remains listed as M.I.A.
After being honorably discharged, Bob returned to Big Rapids where he met and married his wife, Laura Mae Ketchum. In 1957, their first son, Daniel, was born. Fourteen months later, in 1958, their second son, Dennis, was born. Then in the summer of 1959, they packed up their young family, and with their best friends, AI and Katie Martz and their kids, headed up the Alaska Highway to Fairbanks.
The young family shared a tiny log cabin behind Pope's on Badger Road for the first year, before getting permanently settled. In 1962, the family became complete with the birth of their daughter, Donna. After a couple of starts at employment, Bob went to work for Sears and Roebuck as a service technician. He became well known as the guy who could fix anything. He worked for Sears until he retired in 1988.
Bob truly enjoyed spending time outdoors in Alaska with family and friends - hunting, fishing, trapping, gold panning and camping. When his grandkids came along, they loved spending time with gramps doing all these outdoor activities; he made it fun for them.
Bob and Laura Mae were and are longtime members of Zion Lutheran Church, where they worshipped and served faithfully.
Bob was preceded in death by his mother and father, Louise and Herman Mursch; infant brother, Kenneth; brother, Harold "Chuck" Mursch; and uncle Ernie, and aunt Ruth Hollenbeck.
Those left to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 58 years, Laura Mae; sons, Daniel, of Iowa; Dennis, and wife, Debi, of Fairbanks; daughter, Donna Moutrey, and husband, John, of Fairbanks; sister, Alma Husky, and husband, Ben, of Tennessee; grandsons, Evans Innes (Lisa), Troy Mursch, Keenan Mursch and Tyler Mursch; granddaughters, Jessica Wilken (Bobby), Sarah Miller (Derek), Lauren Hughes (Stan), Melissa Allen and Deanna Mursch; and great-grandchildren, Steven Hughes, Wave Wilken, Wes Innes and Mylie Innes.
A memorial service to celebrate Bob's life will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, 2013, at Zion Lutheran Church, 2982 Davis Road Fairbanks.
A time for fellowship will immediately follow the service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggest donations in Bob's memory be made to: Lutheran Hour Ministries, 660 Mason Ridge Center Drive, St. Louis, Mo., 63141 or