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William Robert McGregor

November 15, 1921 August 1, 2016
William Robert McGregor
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Obituary for William Robert McGregor

William R. (Bob) McGregor died August 1, 2016 at Brookdale Assisted Living in Troy. He was 94 years old. Bob was born November 15, 1921 in Coffeyville, Kansas to Zella (nee Kleiss) and Robert McGregor. At age 10 he helped his father build the house where his mother lived until her death in 1986. He graduated from the University of Kansas in 1943 with a degree in business and immediately enlisted in the Navy. He went to the US Naval Reserve Midshipmen’s School in Chicago where he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. Bob went on to serve in the Pacific during World War II aboard a sub chaser and then the aircraft carrier, USS Kasaan Bay. After the war he was in charge of bringing the Kasaan through the Panama Canal to Boston to be decommissioned. After receiving his honorable discharge he went to work for Ford Motor Company in Greater Boston before moving to Birmingham, Michigan in 1949. He left Ford to become a manufacturers’ rep for Terry Barr Sales and later, Schwegman Associates.

Bob was always active and enjoyed playing tennis and sailing in his younger days. Up until his recent illness, he rode his bike through Beverly Hills and swam 40 lengths 3-4 times a week at Lifetime Fitness and Forest Hills Swim Club where he was President in the mid 70’s. He was involved with the Birmingham Optimist Club, The Elks Club, and was a longtime member of First United Methodist Church where he was an usher and worked on the annual rummage sale. He was also very involved with the “In the Park” program in Birmingham, which the love his life, his deceased wife June, founded and chaired for many years. Bob met June at the GM Tech Center and they had their “first date” by the fire hoses.

Bob was a kind, gentle and compassionate person of faith and those who know him are confident he has moved on to a better place.

He was preceded in death by his younger brother, Jack, and is survived by his devoted daughters, Karen (Joseph) Coan and Molly (Danny Lee) Wilson. To say he is a cherished grandfather is an understatement. He will be sorely missed by his grandchildren: Allyson (Joshua Downs), Katharine (Andrew) Eldred, Colleen, and Bryn Coan; Daniel Hutzely, Sunset Hardigan, and Robin Wilson. Great-grandfather of Mason, Alex and Lillian June Hardigan, Eithen Smith and Jayden Wilson.

The family would like to thank the staffs at Woodward Hills and Brookdale Assisted Living in Troy for their compassionate care and love, not only for Bob but for his entire family. They also wish to express their gratitude to Beaumont Hospice for enabling Bob to live his last weeks in comfort and transition on his own terms.

A Memorial Service for family and friends in celebration of Bob’s life will take place at First United Methodist Church, 1589 W. Maple Road, Birmingham, Michigan on August 26 at 11am. Friends may visit beginning at 10am.

Memorials appreciated to Beaumont Hospice, P.O. Box 5802, Troy, Michigan 48007.

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