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1938 Robert 2024

Robert Paul Romence

March 24, 1938 — January 22, 2024

Portage

Robert “Bob” Paul Romence, 85, of Portage, passed away Monday, January 22, 2024, at Centrica Hospice Care – Rose Arbor Place. Bob was born on March 24, 1938, to Paul and Thelma (Pierce) Romence in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He graduated from Portage High School in 1956.  At an early age, Bob started work at the family celery farm, which had been in the Romence family since 1903. The farm eventually became Romence Garden Center, which Bob took over from his father in 1977.  On October 17, 1959, Bob was united in marriage to the love of his life, the former Jacqueline Catherine Sulka, who preceded him in death on January 21, 2002. They had three wonderful children, all of whom survive: Jeff Romence, Shelley (Bill) Whisman, Joe (Nikki) Romence. Besides his children, his greatest joy was his grandson, Joey Romence, who survives.  They shared a love of baseball and spent time recapping Joey’s college games and discussing the Detroit Tigers.  All three of his children followed in his footsteps and cherished working alongside him at the Garden Center, where he worked daily and diligently until last fall.  Besides his children and grandson, Bob is survived by two sisters, Carol Arnett and Diane (Dick) Gowell.  His oldest sister, Bonnie Williams passed away in October 2023.  Bob and his sisters had a very special relationship and shared many memories at the family pool, the lake house, and holiday gatherings.  He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Joan (Tim) Russell, and many nieces and nephews.  He recently was able to meet his new great, great nephew.  Bob was a devout member of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church. He dedicated his life to his family, church, and the Garden Center.  In the 1970’s, Bob hosted a television show, “Down the Garden Path.” He was exceptionally proud of the fertilizer and grass seed he developed, and loved when the customers would show him pictures of their beautiful lawns.  Greeting customers and giving garden advice brought him great joy.  Bob also enjoyed driving the golf cart at the Garden Center and taking customers for a ride to look at the nursery stock.  We can still hear him say, “C’mon, hop in.”  Bob was a lifelong University of Michigan fan and was thrilled when he was able to watch the football team win the National Championship with his son Jeff. He said it was a once in a lifetime experience. Go Blue! Last week, family and friends were honored to visit with Bob, both at his bedside and FaceTime, listening as he shared many treasured memories of his life.  They cherish those memories. Bob was blessed to know, and be loved by, many people. If you had the privilege of meeting this wonderful man, consider yourself lucky.  If you had the honor of being 
 loved by him, consider yourself blessed. Friends will be received 2-4pm and 6-8pm Thursday January 25, 2024, at Redmond Funeral Home, 4100 South Westnedge, Kalamazoo, where a Rosary will be recited at 7:30 pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 am Friday, January 26, 2024, at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church. Interment will be at Portage South Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church

 

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, January 25, 2024

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Visitation

Thursday, January 25, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Rosary

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Starts at 7:30 pm (Eastern time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Friday, January 26, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church

1150 W Centre Ave, Portage, MI 49024

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