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Robert "Bob" Silver
January 14, 1941 ~ October 23, 2023 (age 82) 82 Years Old
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Robert “Bob” Joseph Silver, 82, of South Bend passed away Monday, October 23, 2023. He was a devoted son, husband, father, stepfather, and friend to many.
Bob was born on January 14, 1941 in South Bend, Indiana to Sol S. Silver and Frances Ruth Spitzer and was a lifelong resident of this city. He graduated from South Bend Central High School in 1959 and from Purdue University in 1964. Working in Chicago in the mid-1960s, he attended Kent School of Law at night with the ambitions of becoming a labor law attorney. However, with the Vietnam War intensifying, he put law school aside and enlisted in the United States Army Reserves in 1966 and went to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri for basic training. After his military experience, he would go on to work at Bendix and A.M. General before working for his father-in-law's cold storage warehouse business and then ultimately going into business for himself.
On September 13, 1970, he married Marilyn Hope Demby at Temple Beth-El. She preceded him in death in 2009. Together, they had two sons, Joshua and Benjamin, who survive. As president of Robert's Vending Service, he worked side by side with Marilyn (and the boys in the summertime) to run a full line vending machine business, building the business that originated with the record shop and jukebox equipment operation of his father. After selling the business in 1998, he worked for several years as a substitute teacher in the South Bend, Mishawaka, and Penn-Harris-Madison districts.
After Marilyn died in 2009, he became reacquainted with Kathy Willcoxson (nee Biber) who was a former high school classmate. They married on September 4, 2016 at Temple Beth-El. Together, they spent their summers in South Bend and their winters in Mesa, Arizona.
An ardent baseball fan, Bob grew up listening to the Chicago White Sox. During college, however, he switched his allegiance to the team on the North Side and became a die-hard Cubs fan for the rest of his life. He was a season-ticket holder for decades and attended many memorable games, often accompanied by his family or his good friend Larry Burk. During the winters of the last several years, Bob and Kathy would enjoy the Spring Training games together at their winter home in Mesa.
Bob was a member of many organizations including Sinai Synagogue, Temple Beth-El, the Michiana Jewish Historical Society, B'nai Brith, the Elks Lodge, Purdue Alumni Association, South Bend Alumni Association, and Kiwanis. He always enjoyed going to the Kiwanis meeting at the Century Center every Thursday and was proud of his perfect attendance record of many years. He served as the South Bend Kiwanis club president from 1999 to 2000.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents and older sister, Linda (Joseph) Edelstein and by Marilyn. He is survived by his wife, Kathy; his sons, Joshua (Colin) and Benjamin; grandchildren, Ella, Harry, and Solomon; and sister, Maxine (Fred) Frank all of South Bend. He is also survived by his stepson, James "Jim" Karmolinski of Yacolt, Washington; his step-grandson, Michael (Crystal) of Somerset, California; and an adoring Yorkiepoo named Duffy.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 at 3:30 p.m. at Sinai Synagogue, 1102 East LaSalle Avenue, South Bend, IN 46617. Burial will follow at Hebrew Orthodox Cemetery in Mishawaka. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Sinai Synagogue, the Jewish Federation of Saint Joseph Valley, or to the Michiana Jewish Historical Society.