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Friends of Michigan Veterans Homes
P.O. Box 805
Grandville, MI 49468-0805
Life Story / Obituary
John Worobec was a generous, loving, & caring husband, father, grandfather, and uncle. He treasured the time he spent with his family and friends building many memories over the years. Nothing brought him greater joy than being around people. His warm spirit and soft-hearted ways will be dearly missed and fondly remembered by his many friends and loved ones.
The 1920s saw large-scale industrial growth and significant changes in our nation’s culture. This was a time when Lou Gehrig and Amelia Earhart were household names. Shortly after Wasyl and Ewdokia Worobec arrived in America with their two sons, they welcomed their newborn son, John, on February 28, 1928, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Born the youngest of three sons, he brought great hope and promise to his parents during an exciting time in our nation’s history.
His parents were hardworking tailors who owned the local, “Bill the Tailor” shop in East Grand Rapids. Growing up on Gold Avenue NW, John attended Sibley Elementary. He and his older brothers, Russell and Steven were avid athletes and enjoyed fishing and hiking outdoors in their youth. Exceptionally close to one another, even in their adult years, could be attributed to these early years of leaning on another for support as well as adventure! As a teen, John played basketball and pitched for the high school baseball team. Much to his mother’s chagrin, he was also a Golden Gloves boxer!
Graduating with the Class of 1948 from Union High School, he enlisted in the United States Army. Proud of his time in the service, he worked as a sharpshooter trainer during active duty. After being honorably discharged, he returned to his dad’s tailor shop before accepting a position at General Motors. He saved up enough money to put himself through Barber school in Detroit and spent the next fifteen years working at the Standale Barber Shop. Although he loved serving the people, John knew there was more money working for General Motors including benefits so he returned to the tool and gauge department until he later retired.
A hard worker, John never gave up on anything he was interested in including, Shirley Arntson who caught his eye one day. Lucky for him she accepted his offer for a ride home, and the rest was history! Dating for a short two years, they joined in marriage on July 5, 1952, in her hometown of Frankfort, Michigan. Both enjoyed the great outdoors and eagerly accepted an invitation at a friend’s cabin for their honeymoon. John decided to bring his fishing boat. The boat trailer broke down and they finally reached the cabin after a long, tiring day. Shirley wasn’t too fond of the condition of the cabin, but the happy couple made the most of it! Early in their marriage, before starting a family of their own, John and Shirley played a major role in their niece and nephews lives. John and Shirley went on to raise two wonderful and loving daughters, Sharlene and Catherine.
John and Shirley were very committed in their roles as parents. They created many happy family memories at the family cottage on Big Whitefish Lake each summer! They cruised the lake on their speedboat, “Little Eve” and spent countless hours either fishing or swimming to their heart's content. Winters were spent snowmobiling. As parents, they never missed an opportunity to attend one of the girls’ many sporting or school events.
Many of their years together were spent between the wonderful homes on the NW side of Grand Rapids. Each and every home they made together were cherished as memorable sanctuaries of their special holidays and rich memories they built together as a family. As their family grew to include grandchildren, John and Shirley wanted nothing less than the very best for each and every one of them!
John’s greatest love in life was his family and especially his sweetheart, Shirley. The two of them remained deeply in love throughout their years together and never passed up an opportunity to take over a dancefloor with their favorite waltzes or the ever popular, Jitterbug of their generation! He loved the music of Tommy Dorsey and Frank Sinatra! When it came time for a little relaxing he enjoyed a good Manhattan or an Old Fashioned to wet his whistle. For over 20 years John and his wife played Yatzee everynight, keeping track of wins.
John and his wife enjoyed many activities together with their close friends, included boating, playing bridge, poker, bowling, and golfing. John also enjoyed yearly deer hunting with his brother, Steve, and several close friends. There is no doubt that John’s wonderful sense of humor and happy-go-lucky personality aided in the success of their 63 years of marriage. Shirley was indeed the love of his life and when she passed he leaned on the never-ending support of his close-knit family to get him through. Sadly, John is now gone. May his loved ones be comforted for knowing a man of his integrity and forever be grateful for his unconditional love.
John Worobec, aged 90 of Grand Rapids, passed away suddenly at his home the evening of Monday, January 28, 2019, with his daughter at his side. He was preceded in death by his loving wife of sixty-three years, Shirley Worobec in 2015 and his brother, Steve Worobec. He is survived by his daughters, Sharlene (Bruce) Schuitema, and Catherine Tubergen; his grandchildren, Danton Schuitema, John Tubergen (fiancée, Mary Hicks), Stacey Tubergen; his brother Dr. Russell Worobec; and his faithful companion, his Yorkie, Mitzie. John honorably served his country in the US Army during the Korean War. He retired from General Motors and was known for his sense of humor. He will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered. Contributions in his memory may be made to Friends of Michigan Veterans Homes. A service to celebrate John’s life will be held on Saturday, February 2, 2019, at 11:00 am at Heritage Lifestory Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. family and friends are invited to the funeral home for visitation on Saturday from 10:00 am until the service begins at 11:00 am. To sign John’s guest book and to leave your own memory of him, visit his web page at www.lifestorynet.com