Robert G. Wilderotter, of Harbor Springs, died peacefully at home on Dec. 25, 2011. He was 93.
Born and raised in Newark, N.J., Mr. Wilderotter was the son of the late Charles and Augusta (Hepp) Wilderotter. He was a graduate of St. Peter's Grammar School and St. Benedict's Preparatory School where he was the drum major of the St. Benedict's Band. He received a bachelor of arts in philosophy from Villanova University, class of 1940, and was in the midst of graduate studies at Seton Hall University when he was drafted and sent to OCS.
An Army veteran of World War II, he was initially with the 4th Armored Division as a second lieutenant in 1942 but was pulled to form a Cadre of the 16th before being sent to Europe, eventually moving into position with Patton's Third Army. He was honorably discharged as a captain, Cavalry in October 1945.
Bob married the former Eileen Marie Barry on March 23, 1943. After the war, they lived in Bloomfield, N.J., and then moved to Short Hills while maintaining a summer home in Avon-by-the-Sea. Always in the furniture business, he was a buyer for Wanamaker's and Hathaway's in New York City and then owned his own business in Westfield, N.J. An offer to be the manager of a major furniture store in Grand Rapids, Mich., brought the family to the Midwest, settling in East Grand Rapids and later Grand Blanc. In retirement, he and Lee lived at the Jersey Shore in Avon before returning to Michigan, living in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and then Perry Farm Village in Harbor Springs. An ardent Villanova Wildcat and Michigan Wolverine fan, he was most proud of his family and enjoyed travelling all over the USA to be with them.
He is survived by his wife of 68 years; his children and their spouses, Mari and Jerome McDevitt (Scotch Plains and Avon, N.J.), Carl and Jane Wilderotter (Metairie, La.), Judy and Jack Harvey (Harbor Springs), Mark and Kathy Wilderotter (Merritt Island, Fla.), Gini and Jeff Graham (Beaverton, Ore.), Dave Wilderotter (Lake Tahoe, Calif.), Wendy Wilderotter and Deb Malmgren (Jersey City and Kittatinny Lake, N.J.), Christine and Richard Carreno (Manlius, N.Y. and Harbor Springs), and Lisa and Mike Ethington (East Grand Rapids and Drummond Island, Mich.); 17 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; his sister, Barbara Rinkor (Maplewood, N.J.); his brother and sister-in-law, Jack and Barbara Barry (Morristown, N.J.); and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brothers, Carl and Arthur Wilderotter.
A Mass for his intention has been offered at the Augustine Center at the Sacramentine Monastery, Conway, Mich. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Stone Funeral Home, Petoskey. There will be no visitation, but a Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at a later date followed by springtime interment at Holy Childhood Cemetery, Harbor Springs. A celebration of his life will take place this summer in Avon-by-the-Sea, N.J.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to a charity of choice.
Family and friends wishing to share memories or offer condolences may also do so online at www.stonefuneralhomeinc.com.