In 1984 our son, Greg, age 13, developed a brain tumor. We lived in Alpena then and Father Bob was our parish priest. During the following 10 months Father was there when it mattered and helped all of us survive. Our son did not survive as he died on August 18, 1985. Sadly Father had been transferred to Cadillac on August 11th. Subsequent to that, we visited Father Bob at each of his assignments after that. The last one was a year ago when we attended a mass at Black River. In 2014, I was a day away from heart surgery in Petoskey. I wanted to see a priest and was informed that the chaplain on duty was a Protestant. Nothing wrong about with that, but I needed to see a priest. Somehow I learned that Father Bob was in Petoskey and went to see him at the monestary. (?) where he was present for a conference. That was a literal Godsend. I needed to "socially distance" as he had a bad cold!
He was always had a comforting presence and in our view was a priest's priest! Also, we exchanged Christmas cards over the years. I felt some guilt in sending them as I knew he would cut through his other demands and send a card with a note. It's kind of amazing that we were able to stay somewhat in touch, as we resided in Marquette and the Soo for the past 28 years. If there is a heaven, we know for sure one person who is there! (photo cropped to show closeup of Father Bob and our son, Greg.)