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.
Van Andel Instute for Cancer Research
333 Bostwick Ave. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
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Life Story / Obituary
In numerous ways, Bob Klok was a joy to know and love. Truly a man of many hats, he was a devoted husband, loving brother, and great friend to all who had the pleasure of knowing him. Always willing to lend a helping hand, his fun-loving spirit was a welcome addition wherever he went. Along with his hard work ethic, Bob was a man of integrity who lived by his convictions. He loved bringing smiles to those around him, and he cared deeply about the special people in his life. Gone but never to be forgotten are the wonderful memories he leaves behind.
Born on July 31, 1945, in the riverfront city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Robert John Klok was the son of Orie and Margaret (Lukaart) Klok. As the victorious end to World War II was news of the day, joy and celebration continued the world over. The baby boom was off and running and the need for housing reached new levels as plans for suburban neighborhoods began to take shape across America. Bob’s father worked at the American Seating Company while his mother was a homemaker and also worked as an elevator operator downtown in the People’s Building. The oldest of three children, he was later joined by his sister, Terri and brother, Tom with whom he always remained close.
From his earliest years, Bob loved hunting and fishing. His grandfather taught Bob and all the grandkids in the family how to shoot a gun and hunt when they were young, and it really took hold with Bob. During his youth, a most memorable time was shared by his family visiting Niagara Falls. Having attended Godfrey Lee Elementary School and Lee High School through the 11th grade, it was after high school when Bob spent a short stint serving with the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War draft but was soon discharged for health reasons. At the age of 18, Bob took a job at American Seating where his father worked. Always on the go, he had many friends and loved hanging out with them playing cards or lawn jarts. He always had a love for cars and had quite a few over the years.
Bob met the love of his life in October of 1971. Darlene Williams was on the same bowling league and after she approached him, the two began dating and were nearly inseparable. They later moved in together and finally tied the knot on August 27, 1988 in a small family wedding ceremony at Darlene’s sister’s home. It was followed by a large reception at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Clyde Park Ave., where they celebrated with numerous friends and family. They later took a honeymoon to Hawaii. Bob and Darlene’s first place together was located on 4th Street NW and in 1979 they bought a home together on Lamont Avenue NW in Walker where they lived for the rest of their days together.
While Bob continued working in manufacturing, Darlene worked at her family’s business, Williams Form Engineering Corp. Through the years, Bob and Darlene fulfilled their zest for travel. They visited destinations in the warmth of Mexico such as Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco and Cozumel on the southern Caribbean Sea and they also took a cruise to the eastern Caribbean which made for lasting memories, as well. In later years, Bob and Darlene loved traveling south to Key West, Florida and usually did so every year.
Since his youth, Bob loved to hunt deer and fish, especially ice fishing on Reeds Lake in the winter. He spent great times hunting with his buddies, but it wasn’t until he hunted with his brother, Tom at his place up north in Irons, Michigan that he was successful. Located in the heart of the Manistee National Forest, he usually got a deer or two every year. Bob had a passion for cooking. In fact, he did most of the cooking in their household. He especially loved venison recipes and made the best venison roasts, spaghetti with venison burger, and venison chili not to mention the delicious tilapia and perch. When it came to dining out, he and Darlene loved visiting the Walker Road House which was conveniently near their home. He often bought Darlene a bouquet of fresh carnations on a regular basis.
One would be hard pressed to find a more avid fan of NASCAR than Bob! He was a huge NASCAR fan and never missed a race on Sunday. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was without question his favorite driver. Bob was close to his sister and brother and the three of them often attended the NASCAR races at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan throughout the year. But Bob was not only a loyal fan of NASCAR; he was a big sports fan in general, but mainly football, baseball, and golf if Tiger Woods was playing. For a time Bob was on a golf and bowling league which he thoroughly enjoyed.
To say that Bob Klok was a hat collector would be an understatement! He had many hats, and at last count he had nearly a thousand, all hanging from his basement ceiling in his “Man Cave!” He had NASCAR driver hats of course, all the college sport’s teams, all the NFL teams, many novelty hats and numerous hats from Key West. Whoever was playing or driving at any particular time, Bob was sure to have the appropriate hats lined up for that day’s events. Bob enjoyed spending time in his Man Cave where he even had three TVs so he never missed a baseball or football game being aired or a race on TV. When family was in town or a friend or two stopped by he loved playing pool on his pool table in his Man Cave. When relaxing, Bob loved nothing more than sitting around a good campfire, especially when surrounded by his family and dear friends.
Bob retired 13 years ago in 2005 which gave him and Darlene the opportunity to do most of their traveling, particularly to Key West. However, in 2009, Bob was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He had surgery, followed by many weeks of chemo and radiation. Life went on for Bob and he continued to enjoy his retirement with Darlene. After a few years it was discovered the cancer had metastasized to other parts of his body. This last week, Bob’s health began to diminish until early Tuesday morning when he sadly died at home.
Bob Klok was a loving and caring man. Described as an awesome brother, there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for his sister and brother, or his good friends for that matter. He and Darlene shared so much in their years together, and the memories he leaves behind will remain a treasure.
Robert J. Klok, aged 73, passed away on his birthday, at his home on Tuesday morning, July 31, 2018. He was preceded in death by his parents, Orie and Margaret Klok. He is survived by his loving wife of 30 years, Darlene Klok (Williams); his sister, Terri Bialek; brother, Tom Klok; other brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law; many nieces, nephews and friends. Bob retired from American Seating Co. where he worked for over 40 years. He loved the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing. He will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered. A service to celebrate Bob’s life will be held on Friday, August 3, 2018, at 3:00 pm at Heritage Lifestory Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Relatives and friends may meet his family at the funeral home on Friday from 1:30 until the service begins at 3:00 PM. Burial in Chapel Hill Cemetery. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Van Andel Institute for Cancer Research. To read more about Bob’s life, to sign his guestbook, and to leave your own memory of him, please visit his web page at www.lifestorynet.com.