Robert Edward Creger, of Fort Myers, Florida, formerly of Adrian and Blissfield, passed away on Monday, September 30, 2013, at Shell Point Hospice after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 79.
Robert was born on May 1, 1934 in Deerfield, Michigan to John H. Creger and Marguerite (Bucholtz) Creger. He was married to Eleanor D. Creger (Tasnadi) on February 9, 1963, who predeceased him in 2005. He is survived by three children, Catherine M. Creger-Chambers, R. Bradley Creger, and Eleanor Joanne “EJ” Creger. He is also survived by his sister, Jean Burns (Creger), a brother, Charles C. Creger, Grandchildren, Wyatt and Rachael Creger. In addition to his seven nieces and nephews.
Dr. Creger graduated from Adrian High School in 1952 and was its class president. He attended Michigan State University and was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. During his business career, he earned a Master’s Degree and a Doctorate in Business Administration from Indiana Northern University. He was a dedicated Spartan fan and a member of the MSU Alumni Association. He served his country with honor as a member of the 11th Airborne Division and received an Honorable Discharge from the Army in 1956. Most recently, he continued to dedicate himself to veteran’s causes as Commissioner of Veterans Affairs for the State of Florida. He also served as Vice Chairman of the Florida Veterans Foundation. While living in Blissfield, he served on the Blissfield Fire Department and attended St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.
Through his career in the automotive industry, Creger held executive positions at General Motors, Jeep Corporation and American Motors. In the 1960s, he was instrumental in the evolution of the Jeep from a military vehicle to a recreational passenger vehicle. At the time, he was the youngest General Sales Manager of any of Detroit’s “Big 3” at the age of 38. He purchased his first of many auto dealerships in 1976. Over the next 20 years, he owned dealerships in Colorado, Wyoming and the United States Virgin Islands. Dr. Creger was an adjunct professor at Edison State College at the time of his death. He served on numerous corporate and civic boards. Creger was a member of the Forest County Club and served on its Board of Directors until his health restricted his golf game. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Services were held on Saturday, October 5, 2013, at Wagley Funeral Home, Tagsold Chapel in Blissfield, with the Rev. Gary Leking officiating. He was placed into eternal rest next to his beloved wife Eleanor at Pleasant View Cemetery in Blissfield, with military honors by the Blissfield VFW Post# 10912 and the American Legion Post #325.