Robert LaVant Gaberdiel
June 30, 1936 - December 17, 2017
Robert LaVant Gaberdiel was born June 30th, 1936 at Hillsdale Hospital, where the high rise now stands. The son of Dortha and Erval, Bob was raised by his precious grandparents, Roy and Catherine Ennis. He was accompanied through adolescence by his loving cousins Barbara Ellen and Mary Ann.
Bob graduated from Hillsdale High School in 1954, lettering in three sports (basketball, baseball, and track). Upon graduating from high school, Bob enlisted in the United States Army and proudly served his country during the Korean War until 1956. His greatest accomplishment was marrying his sweetheart, the love of his life, Deanna Palms in 1958. He graduated Hillsdale College in 1960 and greeted his daughters Lori Lynne and Michele Lea.
Bob began his career at Mauck Elementary School in Hillsdale, where he taught for 5 years. He then spent 27 years at North Adams-Jerome, where he proudly served as a teacher and elementary school principal while imparting his wisdom coaching football, basketball, and golf. His life was enriched by his students and colleagues.
For more than 40 years, Bob owned and trained award-winning harness horses. His racing years were among his most cherished memories shared with dear friends.
As years passed, Bob's family grew. His life was changed when he welcomed his first granddaughter Meghan Vollbach. His daughter Michele married Chad Harmon and the pair welcomed his second granddaughter Halley LoriAnn. His daughter Lori married Peter Addison and welcomed twins, Jake and Taylor.
Bob was an active member of his church community, teaching Sunday school, serving on the board of directors, and ushering in the parking lot on Sundays. His widespread and lasting impact is evident in the many children and Hillsdale College students he mentored and inspired.
In recent years, Bob welcomed Meghan's daughter, Charlotte Michele Eldred, and flourished in his role as a great grandfather.
On this day, December 17th, 2017, he has gone to be with his Savior, where he will undoubtedly enjoy perfect health and many rounds of golf among the greatest joys of heaven. He joins his beloved family, and friends that preceded him. Thank you to those near and far who Bob considered a sincere blessing upon his life.
Memorial services for Bob Gaberdiel will be Saturday, December 23, 2017 at 11:00 AM at Hillsdale Free Methodist Church with Pastor Keith Porter officiating. Family interment will take at Oak Grove Cemetery in Hillsdale at a later date. The family will receive friends for visitation on Friday from 5-8 PM at VanHorn-Eagle Funeral Home in Hillsdale.
Memorial contributions are suggested to Hillsdale Free Methodist Church.