Those who knew Robert “Bob” Brummeler say the longtime Petoskey businessman will be remembered for putting others ahead of himself.
Brummeler, 73, who was born on Dec. 4, 1937, in Port Huron, passed away after a bike accident on Saturday, July 2.
For the last 37 years, Brummeler sold insurance through the company he founded, Brummeler and Associates. He loved to sail, travel and hunt, but he put his family, friends and his community first.
“I’m going to miss him a lot. It’s one of those losses you just shake your head because you can’t believe he’s gone,” said Kathy Hart, executive director of the Manna Food Project in Harbor Springs. “Bob really added to this entire community.”
Over the last three decades, Brummeler was known for his service to others.
Family members say Brummeler, a lifelong scout, was proud that his three sons and two grandsons all became Eagle Scouts.
He was awarded the Silver Beaver award by Boy Scouts of America, which is the highest award in scouting for a scout leader.
Brummeler was a lifelong member of the Camp Daggett board, member of the Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce for 30 years and a 32nd Degree Master Mason.
Since 1973, he was also an active member of the Petoskey Rotary Club — serving as the club’s president from 1981 to 1982 and the District Governor from 1995 to 1996.
“I would characterize Bob as a proactive Rotarian, someone who adds value to the service club,” said fellow Petoskey Rotarian and longtime friend, Ernie Mainland. “He came up with innovative and humanitarian projects and creative ways to fund them. He put service before self, which is the overreaching theme of Rotary International.”
Brummeler was married to his wife, Judy, for 52 years.
He has four children — Robert, Stephen, Charles and Ann, along with nine grandchildren, five step-grandchildren and two step-great grandchildren.
“He was just awesome,” said his son, Stephen Brummeler. “He was involved in everything — Rotary, church — you name it, he was involved in it.”
Mainland noted that Brummeler didn’t care what the job was, he wasn’t scared to get his hands dirty.
“He was the dishwasher, the pancake maker, the coffee maker. He was always the first in line to help,” he recalled.
Brummeler and his wife, Judy, were longtime volunteers with the Manna Food Pantry in Harbor Springs.
“I’ve known Bob and Judy for probably 40 years,” Hart said. “They were some of our great Tuesday volunteers and willing to do anything that needed to be done.”
“(Bob) was one of the kindest, most caring men you’ll ever meet. He was always concerned about other people and taking care of them and trying to make the world a better place for other people,” she added.
While those in the community will remember him for his service, Brummeler’s family will also remember him as a husband, father and grandfather — a man who leaves behind a legacy of dedication and affection for helping others.
“I will remember so much,” Stephen said. “Dad was a wonderful man.”
Visitation for Robert Brummeler will be held from 5-8 p.m., today, Tuesday, and the funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 6. Both will take place at the Petoskey United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers the family is asking for donations to go to either the Manna Food Project, the International Rotary Foundation, the Petoskey United Methodist Church or the Friendship Center.