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Robert Mareck died on December 22, 2021 from lung cancer, which he chose not to treat. He is the last of a Minnesota farm family and is survived by Mary, his wife of 50 years, many nieces and nephews as well as Mary’s family in Georgia and North Carolina.

Bob engaged in many endeavors over his 89 years of life. In his youth he lived for a time as a monk, then undertook a long life in academia, both in teaching and librarianship. Based on a dissertation in paleography, he maintained an interest in preservation and started a sideline in bookbinding. Spires Bindery was a successful operation for about 10 years.

Later he opened a workshop in woodworking, specializing in segmented woodturning. After retirement, he and Mary moved to Arizona where they became acquainted with the fraught issues of immigration and water scarcity. He wrote a novel, Desert Fountainhead by Marek Friedl ( a pseudonym), about these issues which appeared in the final year of his life. Throughout his life Bob maintained an interest in science and theology, especially cosmology and evolution.

Mary and Bob traveled a good deal to many national parks, Russia, the Czech Republic, Costa Rica, England , and the Mediterranean as well as the Panama Canal. He also spent some time hiking and climbing, summitting the peaks of 3 14,000 ft mountains in Colorado. They also joined several Elderhostel programs around the US.

A Memorial Service for Bob Mareck will be Friday, January 7 at 2:30 at St. John’s Catholic Church 327 MAC Ave., East Lansing, MI 48823. Visitation will be at 1:30 with a reception to follow the service at the church. Masks are highly recommended in the building. A Memorial service will be held in St. Cloud, MN in late June, 2022 for the Minnesota family.

Those wishing to remember Bob can do so by contributions to the Vincent De Paul , Cristo Rey Church, 201 W. Miller Rd Lansing MI 48911 or Hospice of Lansing 3186 Pine Tree Road Lansing, MI 48911.

We would also like to thank Bill our Sparrow Hospice Home RN, the staff at the Stoneleigh Residence of the Hospice of Lansing , especially Dr. James LaBerge, as well as the many friends and family who gave us their love, care and support during this difficult time.

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Bob’s online guest book, or share a favorite memory, please vi visit:  Arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids, (616) 452-3006.


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5 Condolences

  1. Caralee and Fred Roberts on December 29, 2021 at 2:16 pm

    Mary, We are so saddened by Bob’s death. He was a good and generous man. I’m glad he lived so long, and his death was relatively short and peaceful. You both have been our good friends for a long time. We will always think of him with pleasure.

    I was really impressed with Bob’s obituary, and happy to know that hospice took good care of him. I am sure that your friends in Lansing are taking care of you too, as you mourn his death. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  2. Claudia H Remenar on January 2, 2022 at 6:58 am

    Mary: As I am reading Bob’s online obituary, I am remembering back to wonderful family gatherings with you and Bob at your house on Park Lake Road. And to the counsel and advice you gave our family when my mother was aging. I am so sorry to hear that Bob has died. His was a life thoughtfully lived, and he made the world a better place. I will think of you and light a candle for Bob. Fondly, Claudia Remenar (formerly Deschaine)

  3. Mary Black Junttonen on January 5, 2022 at 7:05 pm

    Hello, Mary,
    I knew Bob through his work at the MSU Libraries, where he was my mentor when I became a bibliographer in addition to my job as a cataloger at that time. He was ever so patient and helpful, full of wisdom not just about library work but about life. It was truly a pleasure to have him as a mentor and friend. And later, I was able to have him frame artwork for me, including even a portrait of Martin Luther, which always seemed rather special – a priest framing a priest, as we joked. I am glad to have known him and to have had him in my life for a few years. He will live in memory. My sympathies to you and all who loved him.

  4. Trish Novicke LMSW on January 6, 2022 at 5:16 pm

    Mary,I am so sorry for your loss. Wish I could do something or say something to make it better…but of course you know that no one can. You and Bob will be long remembered at Mareck Family Counseling for all your gifts to the Lansing Community.

  5. Leander Friedl on January 7, 2022 at 7:09 pm

    Dear Mary,
    I am so sorry for your loss. Although it’s been many years since I last saw Bob, I have many fond memories of our youth together in Minnesota. We were first cousins and our families were very close (Mareck’s, Friedl’s and Kulas’s) and often got together. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Leander Friedl
    Saugatuck, MI

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