EDWARDSBURG, Mich. — Robert A. “Bob” Pfaff, 80, of Eagle Lake, formerly of Elkhart, Ind., died at 1:35 p.m. Friday, May 9, overlooking the lake while surrounded by his family.
Bob was born June 18, 1933, in South Bend, Ind., to John W. and Odessa (Walker) Pfaff.
He was preceded in death by his older brother, John “Jack” Pfaff.
He graduated from John Adams High School in 1951 and from Washington and Lee University in 1955 with a Bachelor of Arts in economics.
He joined the U.S. Army in 1956, and served as Small Unit Infantry Commander; a Ranger with the 101 Airborne; 3rd Training Regiment at Fort Jackson, S.C.; and as a military police officer at Fort Bragg, N.C.. He was honorably discharged Aug. 29, 1958, with rank of First Lieutenant.
While stationed at Fort Jackson, he met Elizabeth “Betty” Anne Moore, who was a student at University of South Carolina. They were married Aug. 31, 1957, at Fort Bragg.
She survives along with four children, L. Benjamin Pfaff and Elise Pfaff, both of Elkhart, Tracy (Rex) McKay of Eagle Lake and Carol (Mike) Harasick of Cassopolis; five grandchildren, Mason Harasick, Lauren (Jeff) Bontrager, PFC, Cole B. Pfaff, Natalie McKay and Cassidy Harasick; and four great-grandchildren.
Upon his discharge from the Army, he attended University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, and graduated in 1961. He taught his children the Michigan fight song at an early age.
Bob’s legal career began in 1961 with South Bend law firm of Oare, Thornburg, McGill & Deahl, now known as Barnes and Thornburg.
In 1972, he ventured out on his own until 1981, when he became a partner in the firm of Pfaff and Brotherson.
In 1989, the firm was renamed Chester, Pfaff and Brotherson. He was a member of Indiana Supreme Court Character and Fitness Committee and Board of Law Examiners. He retired March 31, 2002.
Notwithstanding his retirement, he remained active in the Eagle Lake Association and other matters relating to maintaining and improving the condition of the lake. Bob and his brother, Jack, developed their sailing skills on Eagle Lake and won many regional, state and national sailing regattas in their late teens. He loved Eagle Lake and shared a lot of moments with his fishing buddies, whether on the lake or playing Cribbage. Bob and his buddies annually donated their catch to Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church for its yearly fish fries.
He was a life member of Elks 425 Christiana Creek, Four Lakes Country Club and Rotary Club, where he was a Paul Harris Fellow.
Bob was a member of the board of directors of Youth for Christ, YM/YWCA and the Salvation Army, where he received the “Others” award. He was also a contributing sponsor to Ducks Unlimited. He enjoyed playing golf and hunting. He was an avid fisherman, whose boat was always the first one in and the last one out.
Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 14, at Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home. Burial will take place in Adamsville Cemetery. Online condolences may be sent at www.hartzlergutermuthinman.com. Memorial contributions may be given to American Heart Association or Eagle Lake Association, Edwardsburg.