Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

Robert Overbeek

November 20, 2022
Grand Rapids, MI



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.

Emmanuel Hospice
401 Hall St. SW, Suite 263
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 719-0919

Gracious Grounds
1515 S Despelder St
Grand Haven, MI 49417
(616) 414-9209
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


As his family and friends can surely attest, Robert Overbeek truly understood the secret to a life well lived. He was a constant source of strength, even in the most difficult of times, and he always had an encouraging word to say. Nothing brought Bob greater joy than spending time with his loved ones, and he was happiest even in the simplest of moments. He was a shining example of kindness and courage, and he was known to place the needs of others before his own in ways both great and small. Dearly missed, Bob will be forever missed by those who knew him best.

Although the 1930s were primarily defined by the dark days of the Great Depression, there was much to celebrate in the lives of Marvin and Caroline Overbeek as they announced the birth of the baby boy they named Robert in the spring of 1936. Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he was a delight to his parents.

Growing up, Bob was a typical young man of his generation in many ways. He was raised in the family home on Tamarack, NW in Grand Rapids, alongside his much younger brother, Ron, who joined the family 11 years later. Though the brothers were not close in age, they grew to be the best of friends. Bob’s father supported the family by working as a plumber and general contractor while his mother balanced being a homemaker, a secretary, and a waitress. As a child, Bob treasured the companionship of the family dog, Rusty.

While pursuing his education, Bob attended Westside Christian as well as Central Christian High School later on. He learned the importance of hard work at a young age, but it has also been said that Bob was not above taking shortcuts. He was once asked to paint the garage and, instead of being careful with the work, tossed the paint at the wall and spread it around with a paintbrush. Needless to say this didn’t yield the best results. Throughout his childhood, Bob enjoyed working with cars.

New and exciting changes were on the horizon for Bob as he met the woman who would soon become the love of his life. Her name was Barbara Vander Woude, and he first spotted her while driving around with a buddy of his. She was walking home from a hymn sing with a friend, and he was smitten right from the start. It wasn’t long before Bob was introducing himself to Barb, and there was an instant spark between them. Over time, their relationship continued to blossom into something truly wonderful. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Bob and Barb were married on November 1, 1957, at Plymouth Heights Christian Reformed Church. After honeymooning in the Smoky Mountains, the newlyweds settled on Fremont, NW in Grand Rapids.

All who knew Bob can surely agree that, of all the things he loved in life, he treasured his family above all else. He and his wife, Barb, were overjoyed to welcome their beloved children including Dan, Craig, Dace, and Curt into their hearts and home. Bob did his best to raise his children and always worked hard to provide for them. He supported his family by working as a plumber, and he also served as a member of the National Guard. Later in life, Bob was thrilled to become a grandfather and even a great-grandfather. He adored his children and liked to dote on them whenever he could. Bob loved spending time at the beach cottage with his children when they were young and eventually with his grandchildren as well. He always considered himself blessed to be surrounded by so many loved ones.

Never one to sit still for long, Bob pursued many hobbies to stay busy in his free time. He leaned on his faith throughout his entire life and was a member of various churches, including Westside Christian Reformed Church, Riverside Christian Reformed Church, and Sunshine Christian Reformed Church. Bob enjoyed going on trips out West with his family. Following his retirement, he spent much of his time in sunny Florida. As Bob’s wife began to struggle with her health, he dedicated himself to caring for her, remaining close to her side until the very end. Bob’s endless devotion and the added help of others allowed Barb to remain at home until she passed away after 60 years of marriage.

When reflecting on the life of Robert Overbeek, it is easy to see both his unwavering strength and his unconditional love for his family. He was devoted to caring for those around him, and he was always willing to serve others in any way. A loving husband, father, and grandfather, Bob was so proud to watch his family tree blossom to include numerous branches of loved ones he adored. He exemplified hard work and kindness in every way, a true inspiration to many. Though he will be forever missed, Bob leaves behind a priceless legacy that his loved ones will be proud to carry on in his footsteps.

Robert W. Overbeek “Bob”, age 86 of Grand Rapids, passed away November 20, 2022 while in the comfort of his home and in the company of his family. He was born in Grand Rapids, MI in the Spring of 1936 to the late Marvin and Caroline Overbeek. Along with his parents, Bob is preceded in death by his wife of 60 years Barbara [Vander Woude], he is survived by his children, Dan & Lori, Craig & Marilee, Dave and Curt & Gwen; grandchildren (and great-grandchildren) Sara & Will Almeida (Asher, Gratian), Andrew Overbeek, Rebecca Overbeek (Maesyn), Kaylie & Bill Richardson (Ava, Charlie), Maggie, Hannah and Nick Overbeek, his brother Ron (Linda) Overbeek, many nieces and nephews and his life long friend Peter Bylsma. Bob had served in the Army National Guard of Michigan. Per Bob’s request, a private family service has taken place. He will be laid to rest next to Barbara in Blythefield Memory Gardens. For those who wish, memorial contributions to either Emmanuel Hospice, (401 Hall St SW #263, Grand Rapids, MI 49503) or Gracious Grounds, (1515 S Despelder St, Grand Haven, MI 49417).