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Robert Kevin Alliston, 66, passed away Tuesday, October 2, 2018 at Blodgett  Spectrum Health (Select Specialty Hospital) in Grand Rapids, with his family at his side.

The son of Ira & Alice (Durnin) Alliston, he was born June 30, 1952 in Ferndale, MI. In the spring of 1980 he married Mary Ann Walters in Grand Rapids MI and together they shared thirty-eight years of marriage. 

He will be remembered for his sense of humor, his kindness, his courage, his zest for living, his love of family and friends, his indomitable spirit, his ability to have meaningful conversations with everyone he met, and his near-constant humming and whistling.

Bob was diagnosed with a rare craniofacial cancer in 1989 and over the past 29 years underwent numerous surgeries, hospital stays, rehabs, excruciating pain from daily migraines, and finally long-term care for his worn-out body. Through it all he maintained a remarkable joy for living, and he always worried about how his illness affected his wife and children.

His life was a master class in how to live with grace under circumstances that would break most of us. Rest well, dear Bobby, you’ve earned it.

Robert is survived by his wife, Mary Ann Alliston; children, James & Adrienne Alliston, and Tess & Tom Dodd; most beloved grandson, Ari. Also brothers, Dave & Linda Alliston (nieces Betsy & Lauren), Bill & Myra Alliston, Steve & Paula Alliston (nieces Jill & her daughter Maci, Julie, and Elaine):  and sister, Jeannie Alliston (nephew Trent & Yuki, their sons Shion & Kai). Bob is also survived by longtime friends, Bill & Sue Lee, Dale & Kay Moser, and Al & Laura Wetherell. Their constant friendship and concern for helping Mary Ann throughout the years made Bob so happy – you had a very special place in his heart.

Honoring his wishes cremation has taken place. To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Robert’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:

Arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids, MI.


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12 Condolences

  1. Lynne Heinz on October 23, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Dear MaryAnn & Family,
    I was so sorry to read about Bob’s death. It has been many, many years since I worked with Bob at Holly’s Landing. I worked in the office along with Dave Grunst, Dave Andre, Mike Vandebogert, and Jack Cichy. Bob always said he did so well “because I trained him so well”…Even though it has been many years, I remember Bob and enjoyed working with him because of his sense of humor and his eagerness to learn and help.

    I was sorry to hear about how ill he had been, but it doesn’t surprise me about how concerned he was about his family. Bob will be watching over you and you will feel his presence from time to time which will put a smile in your heart and on your face! Peace to you.

  2. Kathy Cullens on October 29, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    MaryAnn and family,
    It has been so long since we’ve been in touch. So sorry for your loss. My memories of Bob are fun yet filled with pain.
    May God’s Peace be with Bob and His Grace be with you and your family.
    Kathy Cullens

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