Cover photo for Robert Janca's Obituary
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Robert Janca

February 24, 1921 — November 29, 2018

Robert Janca

Robert Daniel Janca, aged 97, died of a broken heart on Thursday, November 29, 2018, at West Woods nursing home in Bridgman, Mich. where he had resided with his late wife Virginia for the last few months.

Bob and Jinny celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary and Jinny’s 97th birthday in a surprise party at West Woods in September. She died on Oct. 28, 2018. Bob’s health declined rapidly thereafter.

Bob was born Feb. 24, 1921 in Chicago, Ill. He, his parents and older brother Raymond moved to Bridgman, Mich. some years later. He met his wife, the former Virginia Katzbach, when they attended Bridgman High School together. They both graduated in the class of 1939.

Bob enrolled and trained in Reserve Officer Training at Michigan State College in the early 1940’s. He and Virginia were married in 1944. Within a year Bob headed to Europe as a Second Lieutenant and was engaged in World War II. He was wounded in Luxembourg, shot through the shoulder. He recovered in a hospital in England and then was sent back to the U.S. He was honorably discharged with a Purple Heart.

Back home again, Bob and Jinny settled in Baroda. They joined the Baroda Bible Church, and raised their three daughters -- Sue, Bobby, and Linda -- there. They taught the girls how to swim in nearby Lake Michigan. Every summer they would go camping in Michigan State Parks. The family traveled to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula by ferry boat before the Mackinaw Bridge was constructed and countless times after the bridge was constructed. Several summers Bob and ‘his four girls’ loaded up the Ford station wagon and took two week trips visiting American’s National Parks from coast to coast.

Bob retired from Bendix Corp. in Stevensville, Mich. in 1987 after decades of work in numerous positions in this automotive parts plant. Thereafter he was more than satisfied to have more time to read the Bible and Sports Illustrated and follow college sports -- namely Michigan State -- and spend time with with family and friends.

Bob was proceeded in death by his wife Virginia , who died Oct. 28, 2018; and his daughters Sue Anne Ferguson (Sept. 2009) and Roberta Janca (Jan. 2018).
Survivors include: his daughter Linda Janca and husband David Braatz of Fernandina Beach, Fla.; granddaughter Dana Ferguson-Phelps and husband Chris Phelps of Jacksonville, Fla.; several nieces and nephews; and countless great, great-great, and great-great-great nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life for Bob and the entire Robert Janca family will take place in Baroda, Mich. in April or May 2019.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Baroda Bible Church, P.O. Box 205, Baroda, MI 49101 or The Humane Society - Southwestern Michigan Yeager Family Pet Shelter, 5400 S. Niles Road, St. Joseph, MI 49085.

Arrangements entrusted to Pike Funeral and Cremation Service, Boyd Chapel, 9191 Red Arrow Hwy, Bridgman. Online condolences accepted at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Janca, please visit our flower store.

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