Bob Parsons

July 31, 1956February 22, 2018
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Christianity is a faith of promises, a faith of forgiveness and restoration, of hope, not despair. And it is a faith of eternal life. Robert “Bob” Parsons, DeWitt resident, died at Sparrow Hospital on Thursday, February 22, 2018 after a three-year battle with multiple myeloma cancer. Surrounded by family and friends, Bob passed to that promised life. He was born July 31, 1956 in Rogers City, MI to the late Ferris and Maxine Parsons. On June 18, 1988 he married Barbara Brown in East Lansing, MI. Bob is survived by his wife and soul mate of nearly 30 years, Barb, son, Ross and wife Erika (Heston), and son, Bradley, all of the Lansing area. He is also survived by sisters Candace (Saline) and Mary (Rogers City) and brothers, John (Valparaiso) and Bruce (El Paso). In addition to his parents, Bob was preceded in death by his brother Ferris, Jr. (JR). A graduate of Central Michigan University, Bob retired from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) in 2017 after a 27 year distinguished career. More than half of those years, Bob was the department’s Public Involvement and Hearings Officer, MDOT’s face for the engagement of the public in transportation decisions. Bob also promoted MDOT’s charity efforts. He was involved with several Lansing-based organizations such as the Capital Area Literacy Coalition, Tri-County Office on Aging, and Meals on Wheels. Bob enjoyed ballroom dancing, traveling and taking cruises with his wife. His passions included gardening, fishing, photographing family events and attending his son’s sporting events. Most people awake in the morning wanting to live a life of value to self and others. Bob epitomized that commitment through his service to family, his co-workers and the people in need in his community, irrespective of their age or means. As an accomplished speaker and overall communicator, Bob used words to build up, not tear down. The spoken word can empower, encourage, motivate to action. It can build roads, bridges, families and communities. And it is action that gives words their true meaning. Otherwise, as Bob knew, it’s just talk. The visitation for Bob Parsons will be held at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Home of DeWitt on Friday, March 2nd from 1-3 pm and 6-8 pm. The Memorial will be held on Saturday, March 3rd at Trinity Church in Lansing, 3355 Dunckel Rd at 11 am and will be preceded by a visitation at 10 am. A luncheon will follow at noon. Memorial contributions may be made in Bob’s name to the Tri-County Office on Aging Meals on Wheels program. Online condolences may be expressed at


  • Memorial Visitation Friday, March 2, 2018
  • Memorial Visitation Friday, March 2, 2018
  • Memorial Visitation Saturday, March 3, 2018
  • Memorial Service Saturday, March 3, 2018

Bob Parsons

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Jim Karshner

March 9, 2018

When I first met Bob he was sweeping the floor of the Presque Isle County Advance in Rogers City. He introduced himself as a high school senior with an interest in journalism. He was friendly, curious and quick to laugh—traits that served him well in his career as a communicator.
Our paths crossed numerous times over the next 44 years. Bob never lost his love for his small hometown on the shores of Lake Huron. He spent countless hours sorting through tens of thousands of photos and negatives inherited from his father, a professional photographer, that became a public display at the Presque Isle County Historical Museum. It was a labor of love that morphed into a popular Facebook page called Rogers City Remembered.
Bob saw life through rose-colored glasses. He’s probably the most optimistic person I’ve ever known. The glass wasn’t half full, it was overflowing. Even during his three-year battle with cancer, he looked for silver linings and put a positive spin on each medical experiment he pursued.
His strong faith kept him anchored and gives hope to his family and friends that there will be a homecoming in the future.
Rest in peace, Robert. There are no potholes in Heaven!
Jim (Jackie) Karshner

Richard Micketti

March 7, 2018

I was saddened to read of Bob’s passing. As a classmate of RCHS 1975 and a CMU grad where Bob got me my first job at The Embers, we pretended to know something about wine, they called us wine stewards.

My condolences to his family and friends. A wonderful and warm man, you are and will be missed.

Thank you for your friendship.

Richard Micketti

Roger and Christine Parsons

March 2, 2018

Barb and family, such sad news to hear of Bob’s passing at such a young age. We knew him when he first got started working for EightCAP, a community action agency,back in the early eighties. We shared many moments with Bob and we all had such fun letting people try and figure out just how we might be “related” because there were so many “options”. Roger and I are married and Roger is no relation to Bob but we all felt the connection. There was never a dull moment with Bob around. Such an easy going personality and always willing to help. As often happens, we left our common employer , parted ways, and unfortunately, time marched on and we did not reconnect. We regret not having looked him up and would have loved to had a chance to tell Bob while he was alive just how much we appreciated him. I am confident that there are many who have the same type of experience. He was called “ That Bob Parsons” by his work mates! We all loved him! We only learned of his passing through a mutual acquaintance from Rogers City. So sad. He will be missed.

Darlene Dalessandro

March 2, 2018

Bob was a great friend of our family and I want to just talk about his commitment to the subdivision in which he lived; Springbrook Hills. Bob volunteered many hours throughout the years to serve on our association board and help whenever needed. Every year we collect our Association dues which entails sending out 298 letters/bills to collect. As I collect those back, I always check to see if there are any notes attached needing the Board's attention. This year out of all 298 letters that came back, only 1 had a note. It read: "Thank you for all the work you do to maintain our awesome assn.!!" I am sure you have already guessed, that note was written by our dear friend and neighbor, Bob Parsons. This was Bob! Even though HE was battling his cancer, he took the time to thank the volunteers, with a short note. It probably took him just a few minutes to jot those words down, but those words will forever remind me of how impactful being grateful to everyone you meet, in every situation, shows the love of God. Bob will be forever missed by many!!

Maria Bowerman

March 1, 2018

Bob was a wonderful man and co-worker. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with him at MDOT. He was also a great supporter of the Wharton Center and coordinated tickets for performances with other folks working at MDOT. He was always so kind and generous. My deepest sympathy to his family.

Jan Whitehouse

February 28, 2018

Was sad to hear of Bob's Passing. I have not seen him in person since the Birthday party for his Mom. I was his babysitter when he was a little boy. Remember he wanted to be with his big brothers. He was to little to hang out with them but he was determined. Sure gave his mother a hard time of it. Always exploring.

Bob Kuehne

February 28, 2018

I was shocked to read of Bob's passing in Wednesday's Lansing State Journal. I was impressed with the way his obituary began...stating that Christianity is a faith of eternal life, hope, forgiveness, and restoration. And, that Bob has passed into that promised eternal life.

I worked in the Bureau of Transportation Planning with Bob for many years before spending the last years of my 40-year MDOT career in the Intermodal Passenger Rail Division in a different bureau before retiring in September 2015.

On a professional level, Bob was outstanding. He would take our projects and share them with the public, obtaining their input through listening sessions, questionnaires, and other information/opinion gathering techniques. In addition to leading information sessions himself, Bob often provided me with projectors, screens, flip charts/stands, and extension cords when I would be working with the public and committees.

On a personal level, Bob provided invaluable guidance to me in my role as president of the Indian Hills Homeowners Association. He was involved in his own subdivision activities and shared his experiences and techniques with me.

So, Bob had a major impact on my life and my sympathy and prayers are with you, Barb, and your two sons (Sue and I also have two sons) during this
time of loss. It is definitely reassuring to know that Bob is home with the Lord and that you are surrounded by family and friends. At the same time, I know these will never replace Bob.

Molly (Marc) Gilbertson

February 27, 2018

Barb, it is with such deep sorrow that we share these memories.
Marc and I met Bob and Barb at Gift Of Life Transplant House in Rochester,MN. Bob and Marc were both diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, had the same oncologist, the same treatment plan...we were meant to meet! We both took to Bob and Barb immediately. They were so inspiring, so Faithful in their Walk With Our Lord. We loved being M&M to their B&B.
Bob lit up not only the Gift of Life House but too Station 94. All were amazed when Bob harvested 60,000 stem cells to Marc’s 22,000!
Such was Bob: always positive and always hopeful. He, like you Barb uplifting to so many of us going through the Stem Cell Transplant procedure. It is so hard to say Goodbye for now; for surely he is with Christ who he loved dearly and followed faithfully. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.” 2 Timothy 4:7
Eternal Rest grant unto Bob Parsons Lord Jesus and let Perpetual Light shine upon him. Our deepest sympathy to you Barb and Family. He will be so missed but so joyful his legacy.
Molly and Marc Gilbertson

Ginger Moore

February 27, 2018

I'm so sorry to hear of Bob's passing, and my prayers go out to his family. He was a joy to work with and a true and caring person. I worked with Bob during his career at MDOT and for 12 years on Meals on Wheels. He will surely be missed by many!

Ginger Moore

Deryl and Christine Holmes

February 27, 2018

Our heartfelt sympathy to Barb, Ross, Brad and all of Bob’s family. Both of us had the pleasure and privilege of working with Bob at MDOT. Along with expert communication skills and an infectious personality that were an asset to the department, he was especially steadfast with his every mission. Bob’s legacy is testament to the core values of honor, integrity, passion and compassion that he exemplified throughout every day of his life. We regret having to miss his services as we are wintering in Florida, but please know we will be thinking of you and praying that God’s good graces will bring you peace, strength and comfort. We will fondly remember Bob for his numerous qualities, and especially for a smile that lit up a room and always brightened our world. He will be deeply missed.