Robert K. Lents departed this life on Dec 31, 2023, after a brave fight against cancer.
Robert was born on Aug 31, 1936, in Detroit, the youngest of six children born to Thomas Martin Lents and Mary Agnes (Nolan) Lents. He attended St. Christopher’s Catholic School in Marysville MI and graduated from Marysville High School in 1954. He served in the US Air Force from 1955-58 where he was stationed in Tokyo, Japan. He received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English at Central Michigan University, where he met and married the love of his life, Arlene Joy Hubbard on Jan 25, 1964.
Bob taught English and World Literature for 34 years at Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, MI and was Chair of the English Department for five years before retiring in 1998. He belonged to the American Legion, several professional associations, was a proud member of the FATC, and shared his love and knowledge of airplanes as a docent at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo Museum for eleven years.
Bob enjoyed reading, cooking, gardening, and restoring the family home. He and Arlene belonged to two gourmet food groups and loved to travel, often returning to the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, KY and later making visits to Europe, especially Ireland and Bob’s favorite city, Paris. In recent years, he and Arlene spent winters at their home in Vero Beach, FL.
Bob never stopped inspiring others to have a deeper perspective of the world around them or challenging complacency; whether in the lecture hall, around the dinner table, or over a beer with friends. He had a life-long love of reading and one of the fondest memories of his children and his granddaughters is Bob reading Greek Mythology to them. He taught them to look into the night sky, to respect the might of the Atlantic Ocean, to be awed by Mother Nature’s storms, and to embrace the joys of travel.
Bob leaves behind a legacy of learning; a love of history, the workings of the universe and the English language; a taste for fine Irish whiskey, and eye for classic cars, especially his beloved Jaguar, and an ear for emotive music – be it the bombasity of Tchaikovsky or the heartache of Patsy Cline.
Bob loved his family and was a wonderful father to Liz, Tom and Anne Marie. Family time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren was always special as was time spent with his mother, siblings, and nieces and nephews in Marysville. He left us with many wonderful memories.
He is survived by his loving wife Arlene; children Elizabeth Smith, Battle Creek, MI, Thomas (Rebecca) Lents, Chico, CA and Anne Marie (Enda) Reilly, Plymouth, MI; granddaughters Victoria Smith and Alexandria Smith and grandson Finnegan Lents; great- grandchildren River, Azara, Atlas and their father Craig Pennock; brother-in-law Allan Hubbard, Vero Beach, FL, sister-in-law Judith (Frank) Theel, Vero Beach, FL; many loving nieces and nephews; and cherished friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Thomas (Toni) Lents, sisters Dorothy (Bill) Crimmins, Mary Alice (Fred) Cleaver, Laverne (Bob) Cruickshank, Phyllis (Dick) Turner and several nieces and nephews.
Bob had a heart for veterans so in lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to a veterans’ organization of your choice.
Military Honors and a committal service will be held at Fort Custer National Cemetery 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 9, 2024. A celebration of Bob’s life will be announced later this year. Personal messages for Bob’s family may be placed at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.