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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