Robert "Bob" Derleth

June 9, 1922December 16, 2012
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Age 90, passed away December 16 at Hospice House of Mid-Michigan in Lansing due to complications from a stroke. Bob was born and raised in Marquette, Michigan and graduated from Bishop Baraga High School in 1941. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1947 with degrees in chemical and metallurgical engineering. Bob won six varsity letters as a member of Michigan’s football (’42, ’43, ’45 and ’46) and hockey (’43 and ’44) teams, and was captain of the 1944 hockey team. During World War II, he served on active duty as an Aviation Cadet in the U.S. Navy (1944-1945), and played football for the Iowa Seahawks Navy pre-flight team in 1944. Bob was President of Motor Wheel Corporation from 1967-1979.He was actively involved with many community and charitable organizations in Lansing, including the Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America, the Board of Trustees of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, The Board of Directors of the United Community Chest, the Advisory Board of St. Lawrence Hospital, the Board of Directors of the Greater Lansing Urban League, President of Junior Achievement, and a member of the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Lansing. In addition, He was Trustee of the Northern Michigan University Development Fund. Bob also served as President of his beloved Middle Island Point Campers Association in Marquette, Michigan. Bob was preceded in death by his sister, Frances (Charles) Rayment, brother, Paul (Jane) Derleth, sister, Anne Louise (Roger) Dillon, and sister, Mary (Leslie) Pengelly. Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Frances (nee Gurche) of East Lansing; daughter, Anne (Bill) Fraumann of Deerfield, Illinois, son, Bob (Jane) Derleth of Alberton, Montana, son, Doug (Jeanette) Derleth of Byron, Minnesota, son, Jim (Eleanor) Derleth of Deerfield, Illinois; eight grandchildren: Ellen, Bob, Sarah, Melanie, Alex, Cal, Wilson, and Bess; and three great-grandchildren: Ben, Tom, and Alex. Bob is also survived by his sister Helen (Paul) Driscoll of Norwich, Connecticut. A visitation with the family will be held at the Gorsline Runciman Funeral Home, 1730 E. Grand River Avenue, East Lansing on Thursday, December 20, from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. There will also be a celebration of Bob’s life and accomplishments in Marquette this summer. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Bay Cliff Health Camp in Big Bay, Michigan ( or the University of Michigan College of Engineering ( On line condolences may be made at


  • Visitation Thursday, December 20, 2012
  • Visitation Thursday, December 20, 2012

Robert "Bob" Derleth

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Doug Pearce

January 10, 2013

Since the 1920s, when my Dad and Bob were growing up together in Marquette, the Pearces and the Derleths have enjoyed a great connection - cemented over the years in our shared experiences out on the rocks at Middle Island Point.

Our family will always miss the great porch-chats with Bob about times gone by and days ahead, the knock on the back door with a delivery of his freshly baked German brown bread, his encouragement to kids to go ahead and jump from the rocks into the clear waters below, the quick exchanges on the path with arms full of groceries and firewood, his willingness to help with projects and share his tools... and yet, wonderfully, with Bob's passing, much of that lives on with his kids and their kids and their kids and our kids. There's a cycle here we can all take much comfort in... How lucky we all are for that.

We're so appreciative of how Bob helped set that all in motion, and kept it rolling along through the years. What wonderful neighbors Bob and Fran have been - we'll miss Bob very much.

Doug, Jo, Liz, and Kate

January 7, 2013

Fran and family
I am so sorry about Bob. We, the Dillons, just found out today. Some of my earliest memories are of uncle Bob and family at middle island. Summer vacations at Marquette were always a big thing for us, especially my mother. She loved seeing Bob and his family. I will pray for him.

December 26, 2012

Family & Friends of Mr Robert Derleth, Please accept my sincere condolences and those of my office staff in the recent passing of Mr. Derleth, your husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

It was an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to know Mr. Derleth, share in his orthopedic care and to participate inn hopefully helping him have an more comfortable lifestyle.

We wish you and your family, God's strength as you grieve his passing and endure the loss and the loneliness which he leaves behind for his presence.

Sincerely yours, Floyd G. Goodman, M.D.

Susan Littig

December 23, 2012

We will miss his hearty laugh across the water. He will be missed. We are sorry for your loss. Chuck and Susan Littig

Louise Jean

December 21, 2012

Fran and family, sincere sympathy, our thoughts and prayers are with you. We all have fond memories of life at MIP and visits with all of you. Cherish the memories, they will always be in your hearts. Louise Jean and family.

Nancy Usitalo

December 20, 2012

To Bob's Family,
Troy, Conor, and I have only the fondest memories of your incredible husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. We will forever associate the path to camp with Bob's booming voice and strong character. We can picture him coming and going with his beloved dog(s) at his side. Our thoughts are with all of you .

Laurie Long (Robinson)

December 20, 2012


So sorry to hear of the loss of your Dad. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

December 20, 2012


Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family during this difficult time.

The Excelsior East Region

Eleanor Stubbs

December 20, 2012

Dear Fran and Family:

What a wonderful gentleman and friend! Bob and Dick were great soulmates and "loved to agree" on about every subject possibly except MSU and UM. Bob was truly one of a kind in the best sense and his heartwarming smile will be sorely missed.

With love,
Eleanor Stubbs

December 19, 2012

I wish we could be with you all during this time, please know that you continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.
Tom and Sue Manson