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Robert Stewart “Papa Baby” Tuller, age 98, of Grand Rapids, passed away Friday, October 5, 2012 at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. The son of Clyde & Bessie (Slade) Tuller, he was born on September 25, 1914 in Grand Rapids.

A decorated veteran of World War II, Mr. Tuller served in the U.S. Army and fought in the Battle of the Bulge having twice been awarded the Purple Heart for combat injuries.

Robert was a cellist in the Grand Rapids Symphony for over 30 years, and the last few he held the honor of first chair. He played multiple instruments and accompanied many famous people. He was called a real showman. Robert continued his music career with many bands and was a successful and well known piano tuner in Grand Rapids over 40 years.

On March 14, 1955, he married Lorna Luce to whom he was married for 50 years. They formed the Tuller Trio where Lorna played the piano and he played the bass and they performed for hundreds in the area. Shortly after the death of his wife in 2004, he went to live at the Grand Rapids Home for the Veterans. For five years he enjoyed the company of the wonderful staff and residents. He played the piano for anyone who would listen, would often break out in a little hip rotating dance and was always smiling. Papa Baby will be truly missed by so many!

Visitation with the family is on Friday from 12-1 p.m. at the chapel of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, 3000 Monroe Avenue N.E., where memorial services will be held at 1:00 p.m. The Rev. Father Peter Vu, Catholic Chaplain for the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, will officiate with military honors rendered by the Kent County Veterans Honor Guard. Memorial contributions may be directed to the Grand Rapids Home for the Veterans.

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Robert’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit: Christiansen Cremation & Funeral Care, honored provider of Veterans Funeral Care, is entrusted with the arrangements.


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1 Condolence

  1. Anonymous on October 5, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Barbara Opatick

    We will miss the joy you brought to us and all the other Veterans with your piano playing! Thank you for that gift Papa Baby!



    Gwen Gilbert

    We will miss hearing you play the piano and twisting your hips. RIP



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