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Robert Fernau

Robert Durwood "Bob" Fernau

Tuesday, July 13th, 1937 - Wednesday, November 6th, 2019
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Obituary

Robert Durwood Fernau, 82, born 7/13/37 in Saginaw, MI was the son of German immigrants, Leo & Margaret Fernau. He died 11/6/19 surrounded by family in St. Joseph.

In the 50s, Bob served in the US Navy as a radio operator in the S. Pacific. After the Navy, he continued to enjoy traveling and communicating with people all over the world via ham radio (W8NDG).

In May 1962, Bob married Cynthia (Johnston), raising 4 children in Stevensville. As an electrical engineer for Heath Co, he designed the first kit microwave oven and many other projects, some that were featured in the Smithsonian.

A self-taught musician, Bob became proficient on the accordion. Playing Slovenian-style polka & waltz favorites, he entertained Midwest polka fans with his bands, the Polkatones and the Bob Fernau Band. Bob also had the pleasure of playing with Frankie Yankovic when Frank was touring the Great Lakes region.

Bob was an amazing storyteller, spinning tall tales that to this day are legendary amongst his grandchildren. He will be most remembered for his role of Dad and Papa.

Surviving are his wife Cindy; sister Susan; children Becky(Kent), Bob, Fred(Tina) and Libby(Mark); 13 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life service will be held Sunday, Nov 24, 2019 at the DANK in Benton Harbor. Visitation is from 2-3pm with a service at 3pm. Funeral arrangements and cremation have been lovingly handled by grandson Samuel Wallace and Gorden's Funeral Home of Allegan. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Blue Star Mothers Chapter #177 or Hospice at Home.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Sunday, November 24th, 2019 | 2:00pm - 3:00pm
    When
    Sunday, November 24th, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm
    Location
    Dank #13
    Address
    2651 Pipestone Road
    Benton Harbor, MI 49022
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Notes
    In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Blue Star Mothers Chapter 177 (PO Box 77, Stevensville, MI 49127); or Hospice at Home (4025 Health Park Lane, Saint Joseph, MI 49085).
  • Celebration of Life

    Location
    Dank #13
    Address
    2651 Pipestone Road
    Benton Harbor, MI 49022
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Notes
    In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Blue Star Mothers Chapter 177 (PO Box 77, Stevensville, MI 49127); or Hospice at Home (4025 Health Park Lane, Saint Joseph, MI 49085).
    Officiant
    Kent Wallace

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