Robert "Bob" Williams

Thursday, May 5th, 1949 - Tuesday, December 8th, 2020
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Robert “Bob” Williams, 71, of Benton Harbor, MI passed away Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at Spectrum Health Lakeland in St. Joseph.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Those wishing to share a memory of Bob online may do so at

Bob was born May 5, 1949 in Elizabethtown, KY to Willard & Darlene (Voudry) Williams. On February 14, 1980 he married Diana (Arnt) Collins in Benton Harbor. Bob was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, friend who held numerous titles throughout the state as a Veterans Advocate. Bob served with the 101st Airborne in Vietnam, where he earned two Purple Hearts, and he went on to serve in the 82nd Airborne. Since Vietnam he has lived with Agent Orange. He was appointed by Governor Snyder to the Trust Fund where he became Vice Chairman of the Veteran’s Trust Fund for the State of Michigan where he helped to direct funds to veterans in need of support. Bob was a leader in the VFW Fruit Belt Post 1137, American Legion Post 362, North Berrien Military Rites Team, Lest We Forget, and many other organizations. One of Bob’s best memories was when he helped place the wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Bob was also a member of the St. John & Bernard Parish, Knights of Columbus and the Benton Harbor Moose Lodge 1570. He was a man of the Lord. He loved to spend time with his family especially his grandchildren and was an avid Notre Dame Fan.

Bob is survived by wife Diana Williams; children Jeffery Williams, Michele Collins, Michael (Kristina) Collins and Michelle Ritter; grandchildren Crystal (A.J. Crowe) Collins and Courtney Collins; great grandchildren Aubrey Crowe, Lexi Collins, Arik Williams, Andrew Fulkerson, Ayden Fulkerson, Beau Wutzke and Kaleb Wutzke; sister Jan (Duane) Avery; niece Brandi (Danny) Todd; sister-in-law Vicki Williams; two brothers by another mother Tom & John Street; and the George Gaunder family who took Bob in under their wings.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents and siblings Ronald, Beverly and Joann.
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Phil Manni

Posted at 01:51pm
I met Bob after I retired and got involved with the North Berrien Military Rites Team, the American Legion, and VFW. Early on, it became clear to me that Bob was a true family man and proud Veteran. He always made himself available, even when his health, at times, wouldn't allow him to do all he felt he should. Bob had many health issues, brought about by service to his country, but he always had a big smile, was always a Proud Veteran, and always there to Volunteer to help those less fortunate. On December 8th, I lost a good friend and we Veterans lost a true Veteran's Advocate. Rest in Peace my friend, you served well and will not be forgotten.

Jean Kendall

Posted at 08:07am
Bob was one of the greatest, caring people I know. He handled my dad's military funeral with honor. He was pall bearer to both of my parents. Always so much fun when my parents and Diana's parents had the lake property. Always a smile! You will so be missed my friend. R.I.P.

Christine Gaunder

Posted at 09:31pm
From the first time my dad introduced me to Bob at the VFW, I knew I was in the presence of greatness. From his strong love of country to his devotion to his family and friends to his commitment to his new faith, he was an honorable, steadfast, loyal, supportive, unique individual. As odd as it might sound, whenever I would come home to visit, I always looked forward to going to Mass on Sunday morning so I could see Bob and Diana. They were like family, no matter the amount of distance or time between us. I know that Dad welcomed Bob into heaven with open arms (as well as a military salute?) -- two buddies back together again. I'll miss Bob tremendously, but I certainly feel blessed to have gotten to know him.

Joe Campbell

Posted at 07:07pm
Bob was an active member in the Knights of Columbus Council 1120 at SS John and Bernard Catholic Church. He was well respected within our council and gave much of his time and talents for our parish community in the 10 years I have known him. He volunteered for many council activities. I remember how helpful he was at our Lenten fish fry dinners and I enjoyed working with him. Bob always had a smile on his face. He will be missed and my prayers go out to all of his family and friends. We all loved Bob.
Joe Campbell
Past Grand Knight
Council 1120
Knights of Columbus

Dawn Catania Mitchell

Posted at 03:09pm
I loved how when ever he saw my Mom he would hug and kiss her and call her "Ma". He was so genuine! ❤

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