Robert (Bob) Bochenek passed away peacefully at home on October 2, 2021 with his wife, Lorraine, by his side. He was born in Detroit, MI on July 15, 1947 to a large extended Polish Catholic family. He is survived by his wife Lorraine, son and daughter-in-law Rob and Lyra and his 4 grandchildren, Jesse Simpson, Anna Simpson, Greta Bochenek and Amelia Bochenek. Bob was preceded in death by his beloved daughter, Lisa Simpson Bochenek, who died at the age of 35in 2009 due the autoimmune disease, scleroderma. The disease also caused the death of his granddaughter, Alexandra Simpson. In Lisa’s honor, Bob spent much of his free time raising money to support research for a cure for scleroderma. Bob is also survived by his sister Rosemary Godlewski and his brother Don Bochenek.
Bob graduated from Cody High School in 1966 and that summer, was drafted into the Army for the Vietnam War but chose instead to enlist in the US Air Force. Early in basic training he was selected for advanced technical training, gained a top secret clearance and was deployed to Nhe Trang air force base in Vietnam as an Electronic Communications and Crytopographic Repairman within the 1879th Communications Squadron. Bob rose to the rank of Sergeant E4, experienced combat, received an Air Force Commendation Medal and was honorably discharged in 1970.
Once back in the states Bob met Lorraine, the love of his life, and they were married in the fall of 1972. They both grew up in the same neighborhood in Detroit but did not meet until after he returned from the service. Bob was able to apply the skills he learned in the military to land a job with Sperry Univac working on supercomputers. He continued to work in the IT field until his retirement from the State of Michigan in 2017.
Bob and Lorraine moved their young family from Detroit to Marshall, MI in 1984. Bob made education a priority in the family. Both Lisa and Rob graduated from the University of Michigan with degrees in Aerospace Engineering. Bob adored his four grandchildren and was their biggest fan in all their academic, athletic and musical pursuits.
Bob discovered running at the age of 46 and quickly became absolutely consumed by the sport. During his career as a runner he participated in countless regional races and over 20 marathons including the Boston Marathon at the age of 55. He was appointed Calhoun County fitness ambassador during the administration of Governor Granholm. Residents of Marshall regularly saw Bob out pounding the pavement during his typical 100 miles per week training regimen. To put it mildly, the guy was a machine.
Bob loved Alaska and participated in the Alaska Great Lakes project for over 15 years as a chaperone and van driver. Later he cherished his numerous trips there to visit and adventure with Rob and his family.
He was a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 313 and the Paralyzed Veterans of America.
A service will be held for Bob at St Mary’s Church, 212 West Hanover Street, Marshall MI 49068 on October 23 at 10 a.m. followed by a military honors ceremony outside the church. Memorial contributions for Bob can be made to the University of Michigan Hospital ALS clinic http://leadersandbest.umich.edu. Assistance with memorials is available at the Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services, 723 US Hwy 27 N, Marshall, MI 49068. Leave a personal message for the family and sign the online guestbook at https://www.kempffuneralhome.com
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