Nature 28

Robert Messinger

March 27, 1932 ~ May 10, 2020 (age 88)


Robert Monroe Messinger, age 88, born in Detroit to the late Monroe and Isabel Messinger, passed away peacefully May 10, 2020.  He was preceded in death by his brother Jack, a P-38 pilot in WWII.

As a youth he played American Legion baseball in Detroit and Federation Ball in Southern Ontario. He attended Hillsdale College, played 4 years in the outfield for the baseball team, and earned All-MIAA his Jr. and Sr. years. During that time he was invited to try out for the Chicago Cubs, but declined because he felt he was too “small.” He graduated from Hillsdale with a BA in Economics. He was a member of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity and gained many lifelong friends.

During Bob’s senior year at Hillsdale he met freshman Dorothy Olsson, they started dating and married in 1955. In late 1955 Bob co-founded Grand Rapids Alloys, Inc., a zinc alloy foundry for die-casters, a business he owned as Executive Vice President for 40 years. He was a well-respected and honest business man. He and Dot moved to Grand Rapids area in May, 1956, starting a family of 3 daughters: Caryn (Jim) Carl, Gayle (Gene) Boehm and Jill Messinger, all surviving. Also surviving are brother-in-law Donald Olsson and nephew Scott, and several Lowry, Merner and Tario cousins.

Bob was a loving husband and will be greatly missed by Dot and their family for his love, dry humor, caring ways, and pride.

Surviving also are grandchildren Chad (Lynnette) Boehm, Kyle (Amanda) Boehm, Lance (Kylie) Boehm, Brett (Debra Carl), Lindsey (Colin) Haggas, and Brooke Carl, plus 17 great-grandchildren.

Bob and Dot enjoyed following the 3 Boehm grandsons during their over 20 years of playing baseball, from little league thru school and college and a session of minor league. Bob played golf, ran and exercised for recreation. Dot’s father taught him how to fish during trips to Canada and NW Territory. 

He had always loved cars and enjoyed tinkering and maintenance when needed. In 1969 he bought a ’48 Lincoln Continental Coupe and brought it up to “show condition”, owning it until 2017, and won many awards. He joined the CCCA & LCOC, memberships held until he passed. He was a member of MI Reg CCCA Board, a Director for 2 years, and AZ Region. In 1993 he bought a ’46 Cadillac Coupe. Both classics took Bob and Dot on almost 40 years of meetings, shows and CARavan to every state in the US- making many life-long friends. Motor-homing for 10 years with their daughters took them thru the US and also into Canada. Other enjoyments were 40’s-60’s movies.

bob was raised with dogs and there are several that he's fond of, owned by his daughters and grandsons.  During the past four years he has enjoyed visits on the weekends with Jill's dog WILE E sharing his Cheerios.

Bob’s community involvement was 26 years on the board of Trustees for GR Osteopathic Hospital (now Metro Health); member Hillsdale College Alumni Assoc.; member of  Hillsdale College President’s Club; an original member of Board of Directors for CCCA Museum at Gilmore Museum.

Prior to retirement Bob and Dot began vacationing to Scottsdale, AZ, and were “snow birds” for about 30 years, enjoying the weather, friends, and cars.

Bob’s family would like to express their appreciation and heart felt thank yous for the care, kindnesses and compassion given to Bob during his past year by the staff of Provision Living and Gauthier Family Home Care.

Due to current health concerns, a private family funeral service was held on Friday, May 15 prior to interment at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, suggested memorial gifts may be made to Hillsdale College Alumni Association, Attention: Gift Processing, 33 East College Street, Hillsdale, MI 49242 or  Amercian Heart Association, 3816 Paysphere Circle, Chicago, IL 60674.  The family would love to hear remembrances online at


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert Messinger, please visit our floral store.


May 15, 2020

11:17 AM
Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Service
4291 Cascade Road SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546


American Heart Association of West Michigan
3940 Peninsular Dr. SE STE 180, Grand Rapids MI 49546
Tel: 1-616-285-1888

Hillsdale College - Alumni Association
33 E College St, Hillsdale MI 49242
Tel: 1-517-437-7341

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