Robert "Bob" Armbruster, 83, of Port Clinton, passed away peacefully, with his three children at his side, Thursday, April 24, 2008, in Firelands Regional Medical Center while under hospice care.
Son of Bernard and Esther (Brandt), he grew up on Catawba Island and in Port Clinton, marrying his high school sweetheart. He was living at Otterbein North Shore in Lakeside-Marblehead.
Bob enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942 and served 30 years, rising from seaman recruit through the ranks, to retire as commander. Besides extensive sea duty, he was stationed in Virginia, California, England and New Zealand, raising a family with his wife, Grace Geannette, and making lifelong friends everywhere. After retirement, he worked with TRW Corporation, completed bachelor and master degrees, and finished his career as a high school guidance counselor.
Returning to Port Clinton, Bob and Grace entered community life with gusto, contributing creativity and energy to countless projects. It would be easier to list the few organizations Bob was not a part of, than the many in which he held a pivotal responsibility -- Rotary, Salvation Army, his church, Ottawa Residential Services, United Way, Playmakers, Ida Rupp Public Library, American Legion, Republican Party, Ohio Boys State, etc. In summer, he was a costumed docent at the keeper's house of the Marblehead Lighthouse.
Perhaps most of all, Bob was proud of the Ottawa County Community Foundation, which he helped establish in 1999, and served as grants committee chairman. A community foundation allows caring and concerned citizens to pool their resources to meet local needs, now and in perpetuity. The foundation has grown to include 44 endowed funds, distributes scholarships to students in all five school districts, and distributed more than $27,000 in grants last year, to the arts, education, social services, health, safe living environment and natural resources.
Bob is survived by his sister, Kathleen Brough of Oak Harbor; daughters, Sandra Seitz of Tyngsboro, Mass., and Pamela Armbruster Walshe of Bere Alston, Devon, England; son Robie Armbruster of Virginia Beach, Va.; four grandchildren, Evan Seitz, Robyn and Benjamin Walshe and Adrian Armbruster.
Bob was preceded in death by his wife of more than 50 years, Grace Geannette (Wettlaufer) Armbruster; and by his brother, Donald Armbruster of San Diego, and sister Dorothy Gulau of Catawba Island.
Visitation will be 1-9 p.m. Tuesday at Gerner-Wolf Walker Funeral Home, 216 Washington St., Port Clinton, with family present 1-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m., and from 9 a.m. Wednesday until funeral services at 11 a.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, Port Clinton. Pastor Bruce Batchelor-Glader will officiate. Interment will be at Riverview Cemetery, with military honor guard, followed by a reception and luncheon at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests friends and family consider a donation to the Bob and Grace Armbruster Fund of the Ottawa County Community Foundation in care of Toledo Community Foundation, 608 Madison Ave., Suite 1540, Toledo, OH 43604-1151. This fund will support charitable activities benefiting the residents of Ottawa County. Contributions may also be made to the Trinity United Methodist Memorial Fund.