Richard DornbosFebruary 28, 1930 ~ September 1, 2017 (age 87)
Richard “Dick”, “Red”, “Coach” Dornbos, age 87, of Granger, IN, departed this life peacefully at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center Friday, September 1, 2017. His belief and commitment was to Faith, Family, Friends, and Food. God was first in his life. As a servant of Jesus, Dick is now with his best friend.
Dick was born in Muskegon, MI as the only child of Seymour J. “Duke” and Vivian V. “The Duchess” Dornbos on February 28, 1930. Dick is survived by his beloved wife, Margie. They were introduced and married at St. Joseph Catholic Church in St. Joseph, MI on August 17, 1957 by a mutual friend, Monsignor Patrick Kenny of Dublin, Ireland, and were blessed with five beautiful children: David of LaGrange, IL; Mary Ann of South Bend, IN; Mark (Kerry) of Lincoln, NE; Gary of Park Ridge, IL; and Michele (Robert) Nettesheim of Libertyville, IL. All of his children have graduated from college which is something Dick was very proud of. Dick was also very happy and proud of his beloved six grandchildren: Katy, Quinn (Joel) Schulte, Kelli, and Tim (Morgan) Dornbos of Omaha and Lincoln NE, and Connor and Mollie Nettesheim of Libertyville, IL and great grandson, Henry Mark Dornbos of Omaha, NE. Dick is also survived by a brother-in-law and sister-in-law along with their children, Robert (Carol) Pitt of Holland MI, Dan, Tom, and Laura.
As a lifetime learner, Dick earned four degrees: B.S. from Eastern Michigan University; M.A. and ED specialist from Michigan State University; and a Ph.D. from Walden University in Naples, FL. Dick also took additional graduate courses at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Michigan. In 1948 Dick joined the United States Naval Reserve and served active duty for two years at the U.S. Naval Intelligence Base in Kami Seya, Japan. After an honorable discharge from the Navy, he taught and coached at St. James School in Ferndale, MI, he also taught at St. Patrick’s School in Portland, MI. He ventured to the St. Joseph Catholic School (“The Ponies”) where he met, fell in love with and married Margie – the “Love”, the inspiration, and special person of his life. After an undefeated football season “Red” journeyed to North Muskegon for two years. A dream became a reality when the Dornbos family moved to the new Catholic Andrean High School in Gary, IN. Red was a “Builder of Programs” and loved starting new athletic programs. In four short years he had three players that started in the Rose Bowl for Indiana University. Margie and Dick cheered with the Hoosiers at the famous Pasadena site.
Dick’s next stop was Athletic Director, Basketball Coach, and Cross Country Coach at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI. During his tenure, the Saints (formerly the Tommies) had a 53-47 record, even without a gym and playing the best of schools - Marquette, DePaul, Xavier, Detroit, and Eastern Michigan University- and were 2-2 against the Calvin Knights. He built the new Aquinas Field house, while also serving as the Dean of Men. Later, he also monitored Student Teachers at St. Mary’s College and Indiana University South Bend. Dick was dedicated to Education, and was an educator for over 60 years, even working during his retirement as a substitute teacher in the Penn-Harris-Madison School District.
Dick also served as a Counselor and Administrator with West Middle, Beckwith, Michigan Oak, Brookside, Alexander and Associate Principal at Ottawa Hills High School in Grand Rapids, MI. Additional stops included: Wisconsin, The Private Industry Council of Southwestern, MI; Marquette Catholic High School, Michigan City; and The Alumni Association at the University of Notre Dame. Dick was a leader of numerous groups: President of the Fire 9, South Bend, IN; Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus, Goshen, IN; Trustee and Advocate of Knights of Columbus Council 4263, Granger, IN; Pro-Life Chair, President of Serra Club, South Bend, IN; and District Governor and Deputy Director of Serra Club, USA for vocations in the Church. As a Knight he spearheaded a fund drive for a new ultrasound unit for the Women’s Care Center.
Dick’s belief and commitment were to his strong Catholic Faith, wonderful wife and family, and their 40 plus extraordinary family trips to Venice, FL. However, the highlight of everyday was receiving the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist. Dick loved his Parish, St. Pius X in Granger, IN, where he and Margie were regular participants at the 12:15 p.m. Sunday Mass. He was a member of the SPX Resurrection Choir, and also delivered church bulletins to local Senior Retirement Centers. He always had a project going! Family memories often include the wonderful home meals prepared by Margie. They also enjoyed boating at Pentwater, Spring Lake, and Lake Michigan. Dick was an avid sports fan of Notre Dame, the Chicago Cubs, and the Michigan State Spartans. Some of his favorite memories include attending the Notre Dame vs. Navy game in Ireland, as well as games in California, Florida, and Hawaii. Dick felt extremely blessed and grateful for a wonderful life.
Visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Monday September 4, 2017, with Vigil and Rosary at 4:00 p.m., in the Kaniewski Funeral Home, 3545 N. Bendix Drive. A visitation will also take place from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in St. Pius X Church. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, September 5, 2017 in St. Pius X Catholic Church. Burial will follow in Cedar Grove Cemetery at the University of Notre Dame. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the St. Joseph County Right to Life, or the St. Pius X Education Fund.
The family wishes to thank Joseph Cerbin, M.D., Rafat Ansari, M.D., Oliver Gilliam, M.D., Jeff Niespodziany, M.D., and William Gitlin, D.D.S.
To send online condolences, please visit kaniewski.com