Robert ‘Bob’ W. Van Arkel, of St. Joseph

Published 10:17 am Friday, September 11, 2015

April 18, 1929 — Sept. 14, 2015

Robert “Bob” W. Van Arkel, 86, of St. Joseph passed away on Sept. 9, 2015, at Hanson Hospice Center in Stevensville.

Robert “Bob” W. Van Arkel

Robert “Bob” W. Van Arkel

A celebration of life service will be held on Monday, Sept. 14, 2015, at 10 a.m. at Holy Maternity of Mary Church, 210 N. Front St., Dowagiac, with Father Kevin Covert officiating. Burial will be held at 2 p.m. at North Shore Memory Gardens, 5027 M63 North, Coloma. Friends may visit on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, from 3 until 6 p.m., with a Rosary recited at 6 p.m. at Starks and Menchinger Chapel and Cremation Services, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph or Monday, Sept. 14 at 9:15 a.m. until the time of the service at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to Lake Michigan Catholic Schools or National Right to Life Organization. Those wishing to leave an online condolence for Bob may do so at

Bob was born on April 18, 1929 in Dowagiac to Walter and Eva (Michael) Van Arkel. Bob married the love of his life, Rosemary Valacak, on July 1, 1950, at St. John’s Catholic Church in Benton Harbor. Just prior to their wedding, Bob built the home that the two of them would soon raise their five children in. He was the go to man when it came to construction and building. Bob was the Director of the Physical Plant at Lake Michigan College where he helped to build and construct the current facility on Napier Ave. Bob was a proud member of the Knights of Columbus, where he had been a past Grand Knight on numerous occasions and also a past District Deputy. He was also a member of The Blizzard club, where he had been a former President. Bob’s hobbies included fishing, hunting, golfing, bowling and shuffle board.

Bob is survived by his wife, Rosemary; children, Karen (William) Barnes of Portage, Roseann (Jerry) Lowry of Kalamazoo, Robert (Sarah) Van Arkel of Grand Ledge, Kevin Van Arkel of Sister Lakes, and Michael (Delinda) Van Arkel of Berrien Center; 16 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren, with one on the way; and four great great-grandchildren.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Eva.