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Robert Boesiger

Robert Lamar Boesiger

Monday, January 15th, 1934 - Thursday, December 5th, 2019
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Robert L. Boesiger, age 85 and a longtime resident of Harper Woods, Michigan, died on Thursday, December 5, 2019. He was born on January 15, 1934 in Cortland, Nebraska to the late Elmer Fredrick and the late Dorothea Anna (nee: Miltenberger) Boesiger.

Bob grew up on a farm outside of Cortland, Nebraska. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska and then continued his education in Physical Therapy at the University of Kansas. From there, he obtained his master’s degree from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

Bob served in the Army at Fort Riley, Kansas from 1955 through 1957. After he was honorably discharged, he moved to Detroit. He worked at the Detroit Rehabilitation Center, which is where he met his wife, Joanne Taroli, after two of their paraplegic patients insisted that they meet. The couple married on September 3, 1960 and were ultimately blessed with 5 children.

Bob worked for 30+ years at various sites including the Detroit Rehabilitation Center, Wyandotte General Hospital and Highland Park General. The majority of his career was spent with Ascension St. John Hospital where he served as the Director of Rehabilitation Services for over 20 years. Bob also served as the Treasurer of the Michigan Physical Therapy Association.

Bob was an all-county basketball player for Cortland High School. He continued his passion by coaching his children’s basketball teams with the Grosse Pointe Neighborhood Club. Bob was an avid tennis player for over 50 years; he played in tennis leagues at Eastpointe, Wimbledon Racquet Club and was a member of the Men’s Tennis Club of Grosse Pointe. He also loved to serve and entertain people by playing his harmonica and was known as “Harmonica Bob”. He was a member of the Silver Foxes Band for over 10 years as well as playing at nursing homes and parties throughout his life.

Bob was the loving husband of Joanne. Dear father of Edward (Mary) Boesiger, Robert (Laura) Boesiger, Pamela (David) Wakeland, Sandra (Jon) Palazzo, and Jeffrey (Jessica) Boesiger. Cherished grandfather of Molly, Megan, Nicholas, Christopher, Paige, Erin, Grant, Ross, Gabrielle, and James. He is further survived by many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brothers Wendell Boesiger and Dwight Boesiger.

Visitation for Robert will be held on Tuesday, December 10 from 3 pm to 8 pm with a 7 pm Rosary Service at Chas. Verheyden Funeral Home, 16300 Mack Ave, Grosse Pointe Park, MI 48230. Robert will lie in state on Wednesday, December 11 from 9:30 am until the time of his funeral mass at 10 am at St. Joan of Arc, 21620 Greater Mack Ave, St. Clair Shores, MI 48080.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made in Robert's name to the Solanus Casey Center, Attn: Fr. David Preuss, Director, 1780 Mount Elliott Street Detroit, MI 48207
He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, December 10th, 2019 | 3:00pm - 8:00pm
    Tuesday, December 10th, 2019 3:00pm - 8:00pm
    Chas. Verheyden, Inc.
    16300 Mack Avenue
    Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan 48230
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    7 pm Rosary Service
  • Funeral Mass

    Wednesday, December 11th, 2019 | 10:00am
    Wednesday, December 11th, 2019 10:00am
    St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church
    21620 Greater Mack Ave
    St. Clair Shores, Michigan 48080
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    He will lie in state from 9:30 am until the time of his funeral mass.
  • Interment

    Elmwood Cemetery
    1200 Elmwood
    Detroit, Michigan 48207
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence

Br Nick Blattner Ofm Capuchin

Posted at 01:07pm
On behalf of the Capuchin brothers, I offer my deepest sympathies on the passing of Robert. It is truly humbling to receive memorial donations in honor of Robert's life. Please be assured of the brother's prayers for the entire Boesiger family during this great time of grief. May perpetual light shine upon Robert.


Posted at 07:44pm
Dear Joanne and Family, Bob was a wonderful man. I remember his wonderful playing of the harmonica. I was always grateful in his kindness of giving me a ride to different events. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. I will keep Bob and you in my prayers.

Marilyn Lhota

Karen Flora

Posted at 10:06am
Decades ago, I worked with Bob and remember him as a gentle, kind, honest man. I am so sorry for your loss. He will be missed. Karen Flora

Roy Vorhees

Posted at 02:39pm
I remember Bob’s pride in showing his tennis friends his high school scrapbook with clippings of his leading his basketball team to the state championships. He was quite the shooter despite his size.
Also he entertained us at a few Christmas parties with his harmonica playing skills in addition to, with his senior band group, weekly performances for the folks at Shore Pointe Senior Center.
Roy Vorhees

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