ESCANABA - Robert E. Fouts, 75, of 1037 South 30th St., Escanaba, passed away Sunday evening, July 15, 2012, at his home. He was born on Dec. 13, 1936, in Oak Park, Ill., and was the son of Russell and Sara (McMulin) Fouts. Bob graduated from high school and then attended Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill., receiving a business degree.
He married the former Judith L. Willgeroth on July 23, 1983, in Chicago.
Bob and his wife Judy moved from the Chicago area to Escanaba in the year 2000. They came to Escanaba to enjoy the beautiful sailing opportunities and to have a quieter lifestyle offered by a small town.
Robert E. Fouts
Bob's great passion since childhood was sailing. At age 9, he attached a sail to a raft he had built and sailed across a neighborhood pond. He owned a succession of boats until 1979, when he bought his Morgan 34. Over the years, he modified and improved the boat.
In 1992, the couple quit their jobs and sailed the Morgan through the Caribbean to South America, up the East Coast, and back to Chicago.
The cruise took two years. Four years later, they sold their house in Illinois and left on a second trip, cruising the Bahamas, East Coast, Great Lakes, and back to Escanaba. Here they built a home doing much of the work themselves.
Cars were another hobby for Bob. He was able to buy his dream car, an Avanti, which he restored completing a great deal of the work himself.
He was a member of the Avanti Owners Association and the Studebaker Drivers Club.
Throughout the years, Bob was employed by several Chicago-based companies.
His last position was with Ricoh America Corp., where he was involved with technical media. He was instrumental in writing training and operation manuals for printing presses, copy and fax machines. He always felt he was so fortunate that he enjoyed what he was doing and liked going to work.
Bob will be remembered for his knowledge of boats and sailing. He was always ready to share his skills and help other boaters. Bob was a past member of the Escanaba Yacht Club and served two terms on the Harbor Advisory Commission. He also was a long-time member of the Jackson Park Yacht Club in Chicago and served as commodore.
Bob is survived by: wife, Judy, Escanaba; son, Russell (Debbie) Fouts, West Chicago, Ill.; granddaughter, Sara Fouts, Peoria, Ill.
His parents preceded him in death.
A gathering of family and friends celebrating the life of Robert E. Fouts will be held on Saturday, July 28, 2012, at the family home, 1037 South 30th St., Escanaba, from 4 to 7 p.m. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers memorial donations be directed to the Upper Michigan Brain Tumor Center to help fund their research or to OSF Hospice.
Information can be located at the UMBTC page wesearch.org or hopestartshere.org/giving. Expressions of sympathy and online condolences may be directed to the Fouts family at www.andersonfuneralhomes.net.