Bob went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Sept. 19, 2017. With support from a Hospice of the Northwest team, his family and some private caregivers, he was able to remain in his home of 43 years and be surrounded by his family when he passed away.
Bob was born in Berkeley, Calif. on June 17, 1944 to Robert and Marie Ross. He became an apprentice meat cutter at Safeway after graduating from Miramonte High School in Orinda, Calif. Bob met his future wife DeDee in 1960 and they were married Aug. 10, 1964. They had three daughters and one son while living in California. In 1972 Bob accepted the position of meat department manager at Safeway in Oak Harbor, Wash. which brought the young family to Whidbey Island. They built a home on six acres in Langley where they raised their family, and were active members of the Langley Christian and Missionary Alliance Church. In 1979 Bob became the meat department manager at Payless Foods in Freeland and worked there until retiring in 2006.
The joys of Bob’s life were DeDee, his wife of 48 years, his four children, 11 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Bob could often be found on his John Deere working around his yard or attending various sporting events and 4-H activities for his grandchildren. He also enjoyed taking camping trips and cruises with his family, eating out at local restaurants, and satisfying his sweet tooth by going on road trips to discover new bakeries.
Bob was preceded in death by both his parents, his wife DeDee (Nanny), his oldest daughter Sondra, Sondra’s husband Phil and his two granddaughters Elisse and Marisa.
Survivors include his three children Chrissy O’Keefe, Debbie Hughes and her husband Forrest and Steve Ross; his nine grandchildren Kramer O’Keefe and his wife Morgan, Kendra and Gavin O’Keefe, Leah (Hughes) Parker and her husband Justin, Mitchell, Janae and Jared Hughes, and Levi and Tayla Ross; his two great grandchildren Raegan Parker and Annorah O’Keefe and his sister Joanne Greene and her husband Jim.
Some of our fondest memories of our dad/grandfather (also known as Papa) are of him singing his favorite hymns loud and often off key, clapping and dancing with a big smile on his face while singing his own words to each song. We’re sure he is singing one of his favorite hymns now…
“Some bright morning when this life is over
I’ll fly away
To that home on God’s celestial shore
I’ll fly away”
Bob’s love of God and life, his smile, positive attitude and contagious laughter, are what he will best be remembered for. We don’t say good-bye, but instead we say “We will see you again.”
Per Bob’s request, the family will be holding a small private memorial service. They wish to thank all of those who cared for him over the last couple of years. Memorial donations may be made to the University of Washington Division of Cardiology at uwcardiology.org or Hospice of the Northwest at hospicenw.org using the HNW Foundation tab. Family and friends are encouraged to share memories and condolences at www.whidbeymemorial.com