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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. Charlotte Slotta on October 7, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    I am so sorry for you loss. My family and I are longtime friends with Linda and Dave Alluston. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Hold onto faith and know God is with you.

  2. Claudia on October 8, 2018 at 8:21 am

    remembering Bob’s never ending sense of humor, he gave joy to many…..wishing you, Mary Ann, and your children a long awaited sense of peace. Bless you, Bob!!
    Hugs to all.

  3. Dianne & Rob Nanzig (Thauer) on October 16, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    Maryann, Tess and family, we are saddened to hear of Bobs passing. We wish you peace, comfort and prayers at this time.
    Dianne & Rob

  4. Mary Passinault on October 22, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    My love, prayers, and sympathy to all the family, especially to Tess. I remember your father from the years you were in IHM School and your parents were so supportive of you. His concerns for you at parent teacher conferences and his conversations and humor were always delightful. May he now be at peace and joy filled in the presence of the Lord. Love and prayers from your fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Mary Passinault

  5. Mary Frahm on October 23, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Mary Ann & family, I am so sorry for your loss. Bob was truly one of a kind. He had a great sense of humor which at times was quirky and always made me laugh or roll my eyes. He had such a kind heart & his courage and joy of life through all his difficulties was inspiring to all. He deserves to Rest In Peace now and will always be remembered.

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