Robert (Bob) Ronald Packer, age 84, of Lawton, passed away on August 6, 2019, while sleeping peacefully in his Lawton home, after a nearly 14-year battle with cancer.
Bob grew up in Lawton, where he enjoyed a happy childhood, and began his entrepreneurship at a young age. He started his career as a little boy in the family’s fur business and factory. He played a pivotal role in what is now known as Honee Bear Canning Company. He graduated from Lawton High School, continued his education at Western Michigan University, eventually graduating from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Packaging in 1959. He was one of the first graduates from the School of Packaging.
Bob started dating Carole (Breed) Packer in the eighth grade, married, and had two children, Steven and Sandra. Bob and Carole loved to travel the world together. They also enjoyed camping, transitioning from tents to eventually motorhomes and fifth-wheel campers. Bob liked being a tour guide – taking people to new restaurants, new places, and sharing stories of the past. He enjoyed history and loved to display numerous family photos in his home.
Bob was a pillar in the Lawton community, serving several years on the Lawton School Board and as a Van Buren County Commissioner. He was very generous, giving many financial contributions to the Lawton community, including the Packer Sports Complex, in memory of wife Carole. Bob also received several awards over the years, including the Lawton Community School Hall of Fame, Volunteer Man of the Year from the Village of Lawton, Melvin Jones Fellow Award from the Lion’s International Foundation and Distinguished Service Award from the Michigan Frozen Food Packer’s Association, among others.
Bob was an avid collector of classic cars, acquiring an award-winning collection, which included his passion for ’41 Chevys and Model As. Additionally, he was an active member of the Grape Country Model A Car Club.
Bob loved his family and had a great love for kids. Surviving are his children, Steven (Cathy) Packer and Sandra Packer-Armstrong; grandchildren, Charles Packer, Stephanie (Dale) Ksionzyk, Jonathon (Alexandra) Packer, Jamie Packer, Zakary Armstrong, Alexander (Kaela) Armstrong; great grandchildren, Madison Packer, Samuel Ksionzyk, Kate Ksionzyk, Cecilia Packer; special friend, Jean Cook; brother, Duane (Bernice) Packer, as well as many nieces and nephews. Bob was preceded in death by his parents Ronald and Gwendolyn Packer; wife Carole Packer (51 years), Celesta (Bobbi) Packer.
Family and friends are invited to visitation Tuesday, August 13, 2019 from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at Adams Funeral Home, 502 W. Michigan Avenue, Paw Paw. The funeral is Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at the Evangelical Mennonite Church, 425 S. Nursery Street, Lawton with Rev. Ron Packer officiating. Burial will be at the Oak Grove Cemetery in Lawton with a luncheon to follow at the Lawton Community Center. In lieu of flowers, the family requests consideration be given to a donation in Bob’s name to one of the following organizations: Lawton Heritage Museum, American Cancer Society or the Wings of Hope Hospice.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert Ronald Packer, please visit our floral store.
Lawton Lions Heritage Community Museum
646 N. Nursery Street, Lawton MI 49065
Wings of Hope Hospice
530 Linn Street, Allegan MI 49010
American Cancer Society
1400 West Milham Road, Portage MI 49024