At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
St Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place
Memphis, TN 38105
St. Anthony's Catholic Church Food Pantry-Saranc
3927 Jackson Road
Saranac, MI 48881
envelopes will be provided at the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
There is no greater man than one who lives by his convictions and cherishes those entrusted to his care, and Bob Luban was such a man. The foundation of his family, Bob worked hard to provide for those he loved, and as their foundation, he led by way of example with integrity and unconditional love. With quiet strength, he was an encouraging and caring man, and his positive nature was always a welcome addition to any conversation. Bob was someone with whom others could rely for an honest opinion, and a positive word. Although reserved, he was a generous and tolerant man who enjoyed nothing more than enjoying the company of family and good friends. Having lived by his values and convictions, Bob demonstrated his love to those who meant the most to him through his unconditional and genuine heart. Although now gone from love’s embrace, the memories Bob leaves behind remain a treasure always to be remembered.
Born on November 14, 1937, in the community of Calumet City, Illinois, Robert Lee Lubanowski was one of two children born to the late Stanley Constantine and Josephine (Kender) Luban. 1937 became an eventful year altogether as the nation celebrated in awe as The Golden Gate Bridge was brought to completion. News of the day included aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart’s disappearance which continues to remain a mystery while the explosion of the Hindenburg marked the end of the airship era. Although life continued to be a struggle for families, the repercussions of the Great Depression were slowly coming to an end and hope was on the horizon.
Bob was raised alongside his younger brother of five years, William, and since his father was often gone and his mother worked outside the home, Bob helped care for his younger brother. Later, when he was in college, he would also gain a sister, Geraldine “Cookie”. Although he enjoyed the adventures of his youth, Bob was a good kid and helped out around the house. As a family they did some traveling, usually out west which created a spirit of travel and adventure throughout Bob’s life.
Having attended the local schools, Bob graduated from Clark High School where he played on the football team. After college, he went on to further his studies at Purdue University where he earned his degree in engineering. Always one to know how to balance work and pleasure, it wasn’t all studies for Bob. He learned Judo and even taught it for a time while at Purdue.
It was while in high school that Bob met the young woman who would forever hold his heart. Through his mother, he was introduced to Nancy Ziegler, and their mothers eventually set them up on a blind date. The two began dating and he even told Nancy that he knew they would eventually marry. They eventually did, and on September 6, 1958, in Lansing, Illinois, they were happily married before a congregation of family and friends. After enjoying a brief honeymoon since he was still in school, the newlyweds made their first home together. Bob did work around the trailer park where they lived to pay rent while he finished his schooling. Following his studies, Bob found a job, but they soon returned back to their roots for a few years.
Bob’s career was always in sales, selling, but he also was into designing and engineering material handling equipment. Bob absolutely loved his work. He loved what he did, and was always happy to go to work. He loved his customers, and his diligence, honesty and integrity kept them loyal to him. Before long, Bob and Nancy were blessed with the births of their three children, Steve, Dave and Lisa who brought much joy to their lives. Shortly after Lisa’s birth, their young family moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan when Bob landed a job offer he couldn’t refuse. He would eventually find work at a company that would become Creative Handling where he remained through the rest of his career. They settled in the Jenison area where they raised their children, and through his example, he always hoped his children could find a job they loved so much that they enjoyed going to each day.
Some men count their blessings by the homes they live in, the cars they drive, and the riches they have attained. For Bob, his greatest joy was found in the family he so deeply loved. Bob was a hard working man who provided unconditional love and unending care for his family. A family man through and through, there was no place he was happier than sharing the company of those he loved. As a dad, he was a bit old fashioned and strict with some of his rules. He expected respect for himself and his values, yet he was always affectionate with his words, hugs, and most importantly, his kids never doubted his love.
Bob shared his love of adventure and outdoors with his kids. From his earliest years, he enjoyed fishing which became a lifetime passion that he would share with his children, and then grandchildren. Of course, he took them fishing, and camping locally as well as more distant trips. Bob was ever present in the lives of his family. He coached each of his children in baseball or softball, and in years when he wasn’t coaching, he made it to all of their games as their biggest supporter.
While he didn’t have many hobbies, Bob’s time away from work was dedicated to his kids, and later grandkids. He played board games on the floor with Lisa, and with his background in Judo, he loved wrestling with the boys. He did enjoy golfing for a while and taught his children the sport, showing a true and tremendous amount of patience. Bob taught the boys to hunt, and even though he realized he wasn’t cut out for deer hunting, he always showed an interest as they continued to do so. His quiet time was usually finding a little time to read through the newspaper in the evenings. He loved reading, and was a frequent visitor to the library. He especially loved history, suspense novels and biographies.
Their family enjoyed camping and at one point they even worked at a campground on Strawberry Lake near Evart one year. Capturing memories was indeed one of Bob’s pleasures. Through the years he made lots of 8mm videos and created many photo albums which will continue to bring fond memories.
Through most of their marriage, Bob had a beloved canine companion always by his side that he often took on regular walks, but people were a delight for Bob. Many will remember him simply for his kind, caring heart and his genuine, listening ear. He never hesitated in approaching a stranger to initiate conversation, and he always had to know their name. He showed a keen interest in them and their lives, sometimes so much that he embarrassed his children! Yet, he rarely showed much of himself. Very reserved with a somewhat quiet demeanor, he placed the needs of others before his own and never expected anything in return. When out and about, Bob rarely left home without his signature, Tilley hat which he was known for always wearing.
Once their children were grown and out on their own, Bob and Nancy bought a home on Morrison Lake in Saranac. He loved spending time on the lake on their pontoon boat and enjoying neighborhood potlucks and other gatherings. There he developed a 20 year friendship with several of the men as they began playing cards each Wednesday. Any cash they exchanged at the table was always donated annually to the local food pantry. Their lake home provided a wonderful opportunity for their grandkids as they all enjoyed summer days there fishing and playing. Bob and Nancy reveled in this time creating priceless memories along the way. He was touched by the love he held for each of his grandkids and he impacted each of their lives in his own, unique way. He was always encouraging towards them and they could always count on him to lend an ear.
After retiring, Bob and Nancy went on to thoroughly enjoy the last 14 years simply enjoying life together. Bob loved Nancy dearly, and he never ceased in showing his love and affection towards her. In fact, he was quite chivalrous to her and his love and admiration for her only grew over time.
Through the last year, Bob struggled with a few health issues, but unforeseen was the aortic aneurysm he suffered last week. With his family by his side, Bob was comforted by the love and devotion which surrounded him. In many ways, Bob Luban defined the meaning of devoted husband, nurturing father and grandfather, brother, and friend. His dedication was without end, and his caring and kind heart exemplified his one of a kind nature. He possessed a generous, genuine spirit, and the strength and meaning behind his hugs, which he gave freely, will always be cherished. The love Bob held for his beloved wife and family was unending, and for these things and so much more, he will be deeply missed and fondly remembered.
Robert L. Luban, age 84 of Walker and formerly of Saranac, passed away on February 10, 2022. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Nancy; their children: Steve & Marcia Luban, Dave & Gwen Luban, Lisa & Chris Cronkright; grandchildren: Mitchell & Krista Luban, Dustan Luban, Ben Luban & fiancé, Taylor Melton, Brandon & Cheri Barnett, Matt & Heather Scott, Cole Cronkright, Hannah Cronkright; great-grandchildren: Jackson Dean Barnett & Olivia Ann Scott; brother, Bill (Phyllis) Luban; sister Cookie Anderson; brother-in-law, William Ziegler; sister-in-law, Dorothy Ziegler as well as nieces, nephews and friends.
The service to remember and celebrate Bob’s life will be held on Wednesday, February 16, 2022, at 6:00 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW. Friends are invited to visit with his family beginning at 4:00 PM. For those who wish, memorial contributions to either St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or to the St. Anthony Food Pantry in Saranac are appreciated. To read more about Bob’s life, to share a favorite memory and to sign his online guestbook, please visit www.heritagelifestory.com.