Finally Home: Robert Merrill Rich
“You have made known to me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasure of living with you forever.” Ps. 16:11.
DeBARY, Fla. — Bob Rich, DeBary, Florida, celebrated a glorious union with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on May 5, 2012.
Bob was first a faithful follower of Jesus Christ, and also a loving and devoted servant to his wife, his family and the church.
Born in Normal, Illinois, August 1, 1922, son of Merrill J. and Ruth Rich, he grew up in Saunemin, Illinois, attended the University of Illinois, married Kay Lewis, and piloted a B-17, 92 Bomb Group, 407th Squadron, 8th Air Force, flying 35 missions in WWII.
After settling in as a husband, father and farmer, he surrendered to God’s call, returned to Aviation — first as a student and then as a teacher at Moody Bible Institute. He spent 33 years preparing young men and women to serve as missionary pilots and mechanics throughout the world.
Bob was a talented photographer and artist, leaving many treasures that adorn the walls of family homes.
Bob was a voracious student of the Bible, and passed that legacy to his family. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth.” 3rd John 4.
Bob was preceded in death by his wife of 43 years, Kay; and by brother, Arnold (Eunice) Rich.
He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Charlotte (Hardt); brothers John ‘Bud’ (Nancy) Rich, Pontiac, IL, Bill Rich and sister, Ann (Bob) Gaston, of Saunemin, IL; children, Rod (Nan) Rich, Wood Dale, IL, LaVonne (Rich) Eckman and Andy (Donna) Rich of DeBary, FL; grandchildren Rod (Sylvia) Eckman (Nicholas, Tyler, Lexi); Dave (Amy) Eckman (Tessa, Alyssa); Chad (Taunya) Eckman (Abby, Ethan); Rob Rich; Amy (Brian) Reich (Arwyn, Lydia); Danny, Beki and Timmy Rich.
The family is thankful to many dear friends for their prayer and loving support, but most of all, grateful to God for His provision of a Savior and the promise of eternal life to all who accept His gift.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial gifts be sent to Moody Bible Institute, 820 N. LaSalle, Chicago, IL 60610.