Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

Robert Heindrichs

July 12, 1942 - October 20, 2021
Grand Rapids, MI



Saturday, October 30, 2021
10:00 AM EDT
North Park Presbyterian Church
500 North Park Street
Grand Rapids, MI 49525


Saturday, October 30, 2021
11:00 AM EDT
500 North Park Presbyterian Church
500 North Park Street
Grand Rapids, MI 49525


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.

North Park Presbyterian Church
500 North Park Street NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Web Site

Tunnels To Towers Foundation
2361 Hylan Boulevard
Staten Island, NY 10306
(718) 987-1931
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Ball Park Floral
8 Valley Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 459-3409
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


A dedicated and diligent, hard-working soul, Bob was a true family man at heart. He was a loving husband, a devoted father, and a cherished grandfather. We will never forget the moments we shared with him.

In 1942 when Bob began his life, the world was busy making notes for history books to come. Abroad, WWII was a reality that impacted almost every square inch of the Earth in some way. Closer to home, President Franklin D. Roosevelt assisted in helping lead the United States in rolling up its sleeves to aid the war efforts. Among the many new changes citizens faced, some were lowering the draft age from 21 to 18, nationwide rationing of many goods, and factories switching from their regular production to making weapons for war use.

The war was a big distraction from many other extraordinary historical events. The movie "Casablanca" was released and nominated for 8 Academy Awards and walked away with 3, including Best Picture. Perhaps the most enjoyed creation of 1942, providing many fond moments in households for years to come, was the release of Bing Crosby's "White Christmas." This same song was probably played during an especially memorable holiday season in this particular year, as this was the one in which William and Margaret (Gainey) Heindrichs welcomed their son to the world on July 12.

Robert Winslow Heindrichs was affectionately known as "Bob" for most of his life. He enjoyed being the second of a complete family of 5 children. He made many memories with his siblings; Charles, Bill, Karl, and Sharon certainly kept their parents busy, but Bob kept them on their toes!

The family lived on the NW side of Grand Rapids, Michigan. From a young age, Bob was no stranger to mischief. His typical mode of operation went something like taking immediate action and pleading for forgiveness later! He did have a soft heart, however, as he often brought stray animals home for rescue.

In time, his parents looked forward to sending him off to school for the day where he attended Zinser Elementary - a two-room schoolhouse in those days! Once his teachers observed his behaviors and learning style, just about everyone agreed that he had the attention span of a gnat. But, he progressed nonetheless.

Eventually, he made it through the doors of Union High School. His school was a place that offered many new opportunities. These, with natural athleticism and some maturity, afforded him the chance to play on the tennis team - a sport he would continue long into adulthood. His focus narrowed considerably, and Bob worked to become the captain of his team eventually.

At the age of 17, Bob joined the Navy; however, he became a Marine when it was time to commit fully. He served his country for three years. He spent his time as a medic on a ship in the Mediterranean.

Upon his return, it was easy to see that the time away had changed him in good ways. He took the time to mature while he was abroad. It was also evident that he took pride in the time he served, creating a feeling of good purpose. Additionally, he kept many of his disciplined military habits, from exercise and diet to daily routines like folding laundry and keeping things tidy. Bob held these regimented ways for life.

To make his way in life as an adult after the Marines, he took a few jobs before settling into his lifelong passion. He worked at Wurzberg's for a short time and then in a factory. These jobs were not long-term careers in Bob's mind. So, he began taking some courses to become a realtor. Working in real estate became his life-long career.

The first company Bob joined was Westdale Realty, where he worked for many years. He then moved to Greenridge Realty. Bob was quite successful and soon took the lead in many areas. He worked his way through board chairs and served as a president for both the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors and the Michigan Realtors Association. Mentoring was important to Bob, and he encouraged and guided many new realtors throughout the years expecting success from each of them.

His career in real estate was important to Bob, but love trumped everything else, as it typically does. And life had big plans for him. These plans became apparent when he met Janet Chamberlain. Janet noticed Bob's good looks, and. . .well, as they say, the rest was history. But, their courtship was anything but quick! They dated for five years before they celebrated their marriage on February 21, 1970. The occasion took place at the Fountain Street Church. This day was special because it also created a family of four. Janet and her two daughters completed the Heindrichs family.

The Heindrichs family moved to Detroit for a few years before returning to Grand Rapids. At first, they lived in Northville Park but ultimately built a home on Dean Lake, where they settled permanently. Bob was a wonderful father to Mary and Teri. He was understanding, level-headed, and fun!

As a young family, they could often make a convenient vacation on Bob's business trips. Many of these took them to Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel. He made family a priority, though, and on many of their trips, he was officially "off the clock." Bob counted on 6 o'clock dinner on weeknights for quality time with his wife and girls before returning to work when they were living the typical routine. Weekends had priorities; Saturday was typically a date night with Jan or time spent with friends. Bob worked open houses on many Sundays but always looked forward to getting home to spend time with his family.

Once their girls left home, Bob and Jan found joy in many activities together. Skiing was one of their favorite things to do together. They traveled out west a few times and even experienced a trip to Austria. In warmer weather, they also went sailing with friends - where Bob earned the nickname "Nautical Bob" due to being somewhat clumsy aboard the boat.

Jan was involved in the Arts in Grand Rapids, and Bob would often accompany her when there were events. She helped bring him out of his shell a little and introduced him to new people. Sharing these events was special for both of them. The North Park Presbyterian Church was another place where the two found social opportunities while nurturing their faith as members.

As the years passed, the couple celebrated the gift of grandchildren. Bob loved spending time with all of his grandchildren. He was the type who would get down on the floor with them to play and rough house. Just as he was as a father, his grandchildren respected and admired him while cherishing his ability to have fun with them. Because their family was so important to Bob and Jan, they gifted their grown children's families to annual group vacations. They created fond memories together in South Haven each year.

Life became a bit more complex in 2008 when Bob suffered some health issues. A few years after that, he endured an accident on the slippery ice. These events created a need for extra care over the last decade. The last few months of his life were challenging.

Sadly, On October 20, 2021, Bob passed away. We can find comfort knowing he is at peace. The memories we shared with Bob will live forever in our hearts, and we will never forget him.

Robert W. Heindrichs, age 79 of Grand Rapids, passed away October 20, 2021. He is survived by his wife, Jan; his daughters Mary Grinwis (Robert Koopmans) and Teri (Randy Stegenga) Heindrichs; grandchildren Jacqueline Grinwis (Ray Albrecht), April (Jay) Alejos, Chad Grinwis (finacee Mary Malec); great-grandchildren Melina and Rianna Alejos and Briella Grinwis; brothers Charles (Loretta) Heindrichs, Bill (Wanda) Heindrichs, Karl (Sally) Heindrichs; sister Sharon (Herb) Fish; and several nieces and nephews. Bob was a realtor for many years and served his profession as President of both the Grand Rapids Realtor's Association and the Michigan Realtor's Association. The service to remember and celebrate Bob's life will be held on Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 11 AM at North Park Presbyterian Church, 500 North Park Street NE. Friends are invited to visit with his family at the church beginning at 10 AM. For those who wish, memorial contributions to either North Park Presbyterian Church or Tunnels to Towers are appreciated. To read more about Bob's life, to share a memory or photo, or to sign his guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com