Robert Ellis “Bob” Wyckoff, age 96 years of Niles, Michigan died peacefully at 9:30 p.m. on Monday, July 22, 2019 at Spectrum Lakeland - Niles Hospital following a brief illness.
He was born on April 19, 1923 in Simpson, West Virginia to Dennis and Mildred (Snyder) Wyckoff. He was graduated from Grafton (West Virginia) High School, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Cincinnati (Ohio). He enlisted in the United States Navy, and served at many stations and on many vessels, earning both the American Campaign Medal and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with a bronze star. Yeoman First Class Wyckoff was Honorably Discharged as a Veteran of World War II. He was employed for many years in the former Mishawaka, Indiana office of Wheelabrator Frye. In retirement, he enjoyed working at the former God’s Green Earth garden center on South Eleventh Street in Niles, and its predecessors at that location.
Bob was a member of the Community Evangelical Free Church in Niles, and was a past-president and former member of the Brandywine Lions Club. He and his wife enjoyed the Sarett Nature Center north of Benton Harbor, Michigan, and participated in several trips organized by Sarett. He maintained a significant garden, enjoyed experimenting with non-native plants, and shared his research with the Michigan State University Extension. He read everything including newspapers, current events, history, and novels, and was completing jigsaw puzzles just a few days ago.
On October 12, 1946 in London, England he married the former Lilian Ellen Ward whom he had met while the U.S. Navy had him stationed in the office of the U.S. Embassy in London. Bob and Lilian Wyckoff celebrated the remarkable fifty-ninth anniversary of their wedding prior to her death on April 5, 2006. They were also sadly preceded in death by a son, Mark Wyckoff on April 11, 1994, a son-in-law, James Leblang on Novermber 30, 2017, and by Bob’s sister Helen Shenal and brothers, Jerry Wyckoff and Kenneth Wyckoff.
Surviving family includes Bob & Lilian’s children, Robert G. Wyckoff of Lansing, Michigan and Gary D. Wyckoff of Fairplay, Colorado, and Suzanne L. Leblang of Canton, Mississippi; grandchildren Alyssa Wyckoff, Kyle Wyckoff, Joshua (& Adrianna) Leblang, Rachel Leblang, Jennifer Wyckoff, and Matthew Rouleau; several nieces and nephews; and a wonderful circle of great friends, especially those at Brentwood.
The memorial service for Bob Wyckoff will be at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, July 26, 2019 at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles with Pastor Matthew Hickok of Community Evangelical Free Church officiating. The service will conclude with the Veteran’s Flag Presentation and “Taps” by the United States Navy Honor Guard. Committal will be at Arlington National Cemetery.
The family will receive relatives and friends on Friday at the funeral home beginning at 1:00 p.m. Contributions in memory of Bob may be made to the Sarett Nature Center, 2300 North Benton Center Road, Benton Harbor, Michigan, 49022; http://sarett.com/.
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Sarett Nature Center
2300 North Benton Center Road, Benton Harbor MI 49022