Robert Paul Dost
August 20, 1926 – May 13, 2018
Robert Paul Dost, age 91, passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday, May 13, 2018, surrounded by members of his family.
Bob, the youngest child of Paul and Helene (Reinsch) Dost, was born in Detroit on August 20, 1926. He attended Denby High School in Detroit, where he earned his Varsity letter in track. His interest in scouting led him to become an Eagle Scout at the age of 15.
In 1943, the family moved to Traverse City, where they had purchased a small cherry farm. Bob attended Traverse City High School, lettering in track and graduating in 1944. Following the lead of his older brothers, he entered military service during World War II, enlisting in the US Navy in 1944. He served on the USS Makin Island as an electrician's mate. After the war, Bob worked as a licensed electrician throughout the Midwest for 44 years, retiring in 1990. He was a charter member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 498 in Traverse City, and was recognized in 2016 for 65 years of service to that organization. Bob was a member of the Masons, the Shriners, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, both in Traverse City and Sebastian, FL.
Upon his retirement, Bob gave willingly of his time as he volunteered on the Schooner Madeline, working with the wiring and rigging of the ship. He loved to sail, and he delighted in crewing aboard Madeline and the family boat, Lebensweise. He often entertained family members with his uncanny ability to recall song lyrics from the 1940's. His adventurous spirit motivated him to try new things. He participated in the Labor Day Mackinaw Bridge Walk until his mid-80's, and he experienced sky diving at age 84. He found pleasure in biking, swimming, wintering in FL, deer hunting, and his beloved West Bay. Bob cherished time with his family, and took great pride in their achievements. He enjoyed a healthy lifestyle, a good book, a funny joke, and a lively discussion. Bob lived life on his own terms.
A longtime wish of Bob's was to educate people about Traverse City's role as a drone test site during WW II. As a result of his efforts, a plaque was installed at Cherry Capital Airport in 2011 to commemorate the area's part in that top secret mission.
His belief in education and his generosity inspired him to establish the Robert P. Dost Scholarship Endowment. The scholarship is awarded annually to an area student pursuing the study of electrical engineering.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Paul, Fred, and John (Shirley), sister Helen (Vernon) Hamm, and his longtime companion, Josephine LaFranier Fox. After the passing of his siblings, he filled a parental role for their children. Bob will be greatly missed by his nieces Sheryl Cameron, Judy (Bob) Beedles, Stephanie (Brian) Barnhizer, and Suzanne (Kyle) Smoes, and his nephews, Richard Dost, John (Gail) Tuttle, John Dost, Kurt (Sharon) Dost, Mark (Cheryl) Dost, Michael (Susan) Dost, and Jon (Roxane) Hamm. Also surviving are several great-nieces and great-nephews, and his special friend, Betty Langley.
A private family gathering will be held at a later date. Those wishing to make a contribution in Bob's memory may consider Maritime Heritage Alliance at 13268 S. West Bay Shore Drive, Traverse City, MI 49684, or the Robert P. Dost Scholarship Endowment, ℅ Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, 250 E. Front Street, Suite 310, Traverse City, MI 49684.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Bradley Goodwin for years of healthcare, and Hospice of Northern Michigan for their thoughtful care throughout Bob's illness.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Covell Funeral Home of Traverse City.