Friday, April 6, 2018
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM EDT
Matthysse - Kuiper - DeGraaf Funeal Home
4031 Clyde Park S.W.
Friday, April 6, 2018
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Matthysse - Kuiper - DeGraaf Funeral Home
4031 Clyde Park S.W.
Saturday, April 7, 2018
11:00 AM EDT
Grace Reformed Church
3330 Burlingame S.W.
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.
Grace Reformed Church
3330 Burlingame S.W.
Wyoming, MI 49509
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
There was no one quite like Bob Tofferi. With undeniable spunk, he was always on the go and a blessing to all he encountered. Truly a people person, Bob was loyal and trustworthy, all while serving his community well. Although he had his share of opinions, he was quick to laugh at himself and others. He was devoted to his family and many friends, selflessly giving of his time and talents. Bob counted his family as his greatest joy, and with ways all his own, he was unconditional in his love. Deeply missed, he will be fondly remembered.
Born on April 9, 1937, in the riverfront city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Robert “Bob” Carl Tofferi was the son of Vernon and Nella (Krosschell) Tofferi. It had been an eventful year altogether in the nation as The Golden Gate Bridge was brought to completion. News of the day included aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart’s disappearance 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 and his brother were raised by their father on the west side of the city as Bob’s parents divorced when he was quite young. He attended Stocking Elementary School and when Bob was merely 13 his father sadly passed away. He and his brother began living with his father’s parents, and despite this setback, he came to enjoy his youth. He liked school and made many friends on the west side. Faith was an integral part of Bob’s life. From an early age he grew in his Christian faith which he came to rely. His grandmother was sure to see to it that Bob attended church and church classes at the Evangelical Covenant Church.
After graduating from Union High School with the Class of 1954, Bob joined the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War. Bob was ever proud of his service, having earned the rank of Sergeant. While serving in the military he traveled to many of the Pacific Islands including Hawaii, Japan, Australia, and others. Although he was only on active duty for three years, Bob remained a Marine in the truest sense abiding by the “Semper Fi” code of ethics for which he lived. Following his honorable discharge from the service, Bob returned to Grand Rapids where he went on to receive his Associates degree from Aquinas Collage.
Bob’s search for work landed him in California for a time where he worked in sales. He then moved to Chicago where he worked for a firm training sales people all over the country. It was a good fit for Bob as he was a natural salesman and had quite a way with people. Although he liked the job, all the travel became too much so Bob returned to Grand Rapids where he began his career in the real estate.
During this time, Bob met and married a young woman. They lived in Grand Rapids and while this marriage did not last, Bob was grateful for his daughter, Tamara he shared from that union. Bob continued to work in real estate along with managing several apartment properties for investors.
It was through this endeavor that he met the woman he would share the rest of his life. While visiting one of the properties he met a tenant by the name of Shirley Reiffer. The two struck up a conversation and eventually began dating. On November 26, 1971, Bob and Shirley were happily married at Calvary Church. Their first home was on Woodrow N.W. which they purchased and completely remodeled to suit their needs. They then moved to a home on Marwood S.W which had been Shirley’s parent’s home. There they were blessed with the birth of their son, Todd, and several years later they completed their family with the birth of daughter, Amy. They eventually built their current house, by Bob’s design, on Chalet Lane S.W. in Wyoming.
Bob and Shirley raised their family in faith as active members of Grace Reformed Church. The “go to” person of the family, Bob dedicated himself to helping the kids with their school work and was always there for them when needed. He was devoted when it came to attending their school functions and other activities, and he was sure to meet with their teachers at conference time. Being very friendly and having tremendous “people skills”, Bob was a natural helping people, solving problems and dealing with situations. This was true not only in his personal life, but in his professional life, too.
One of Bob’s heart’s desires was to actually own and operate his own firm one day, and much like so many things in his life, he worked hard to make it a reality. Bob began his own firm, Tall Firs Realty Company in 1980 and continued to do so for his remaining days. Bob ran his business with integrity. He was loyal to his clients and associates, and was known by many for his trustworthiness. Throughout his 48 year career in real estate, Bob served in many appointed and elected positions with the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors (GRAR). He served two terms on the Board of Directors, as President in 1989 and was a longtime member of the Finance Committee. In addition, he was part of the Professional Standards Committee, Grievance Committee, Strategic Planning Committee as well as others. He was instrumental in the relocation of the GRAR office when they sold the building on Leonard Street and the construction of the current facility on Kenmoor St. Humbly honored, Bob was also selected as GRAR’s Realtor of the Year in 1992, the association’s highest honor.
Bob and Shirley had a penchant for travel. They traveled to Europe, Russia, Scandinavia, Hawaii and many other enjoyable destinations. When their daughter, Amy was working in Germany, that country also became one of the places they enjoyed visiting. Bob also loved the city of Las Vegas and liked to occasionally visit some of Michigan’s local casinos. As a couple they especially loved their place in Florida on Hutchinson Island where he and Shirley spent the cold months of winter. Bob was also very proud of his Finnish heritage and spent time researching his family history.
In later years Bob dealt with several health issues that slowed him down some, yet he remained full of spunk and opinion. He always had an opinion and was not afraid to share it. More often than not, those who knew Bob never had to wonder how he felt about a particular subject! As much as he was able, Bob remained active and persevered to enjoy life and his family as much as possible. Grandpa Bob adored all of his grandchildren and was likewise adored by them as well. A trusted man of integrity, Bob will be remembered for his present and helpful nature in addition to being highly respected by his family, clients, customers and those who were blessed to know him. Semper Fi!
Mr. Robert “Bob” Carl Tofferi, aged 80 of Wyoming passed away unexpectedly while visiting Florida on Saturday, March 24, 2018. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Shirley Tofferi; his children: Tamara Tofferi, Todd Tofferi, Amy and Steve Greenway; grandchildren: Joshua Ploeg, Aaron Ploeg, Brielle Greenway and Drake Greenway; half brothers and sisters: Judy Kamarainen, Patricia and Ken Barnes, William and Leona Kishkorn, Kathy Kishkorn; mother-in-law, Harriet Reiffer; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Skip and Janet Reiffer, Alice Reiffer; several nieces, nephews and cousins. A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 7, 2018, 11:00 AM at Grace Reformed Church, 3330 Burlingame S.W. with Pastor Rick Oppenhuizen officiating. Military honors under the auspices of the Kent County Veterans Honor Guard. Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Bob’s family Friday, April 6, 2018, 2-4 & 6-8 PM at the Matthysse–Kuiper– DeGraaf Funeral Home, 4031 Clyde Park S.W. For those who wish, memorial contributions in memory of Bob to Grace Reformed Church are appreciated. To read more of Bob’s life, to share a favorite memory and to sign his online register book, please visit www.lifestorynet.com.