Rev. Robert DeLoria
ADRIAN — Rev. Robert (Bob) James DeLoria, age 71, after a long period of declining health was called to his Heavenly Home Tuesday, October 18, 2016. He passed peacefully at home in his sleep and was with his loving wife, Judy.
Robert was born July 3, 1945, in Manistique, Michigan, the son of a lumberjack, Junior Joseph Deloria and his wife Merle (Wharfield) Deloria. His early years were spent in a lumberjack shanty in Gould City. He later moved to Manistique where he completed his elementary years. Robert graduated from Lakeview High School in 1964 and went on to earn his BA in Education from Spring Arbor College/University in 1970. He also earned Masters Degrees in Education and in History from Eastern Michigan University in 1976 and 1980.
He was also an ordained minister with the Free Methodist Church of North America. Bob’s career included positions at the Starr Commonwealth for boys in Albion. He taught history classes for Spring Arbor University at Jackson State Prison, Driver’s Education at several local schools including Adrian, Deerfield, and Blissfield. He was a fifth grade teacher at Blissfield Community Schools from 1972-1999. While there, he helped coach the baseball team, was instrumental in setting up the outdoor education program at Storer Camp, was a member of NEA, MEA, BEA, as well as served on the Blissfield teachers’ negotiation team. He was a member of the Adrian Free Methodist Church from 1969-1988 when he became a member of the Southern Michigan Free Methodist Conference.
He was then appointed pastor of the Deerfield Free Methodist Church where he served from 1988-2011. Since retirement, he has attended the Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church and has been involved with the Community Bible Study in Adrian.
Bob married Judith (Judy) Ann Sherman, July 18, 1970, at the Adrian Free Methodist Church. She survives as well as their two sons, Caleb (Melissa) DeLoria, Blissfield, Michigan; and David (Christina) DeLoria of Spring Arbor, Michigan, and six grandchildren: Ellie, Hunter, Aubrey, Landon, Caleb Jr. (CJ), and Dominic. His family truly was his pride and joy. Also surviving are brothers Edward (Christine) Deloria, Wakefield, Michigan; Ben (Beth) Culey, Adrian; Paul (Mariah) Culey, Pottersville, Michigan, and sister Rebecca (Dan) Moran of Adrian, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, and stepfather Andrew Culey of Charlotte.
Bob enjoyed serving his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was a loving husband and proud father and Papa. Traveling to historical and Biblical sites was a favorite past time. He visited all 50 states as well as Europe, and the Holy Lands (Israel, Jordan, Egypt). Sports also were a welcome diversion (GO BLUE).
Funeral services were held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, October 25, 2016, at the Deerfield Free Methodist Church, 572 E. River St., Deerfield, with Superintendent Emeritus, the Rev. Thomas Ramundo officiating. Burial followed in Deerfield Cemetery, Deerfield. Visitation was from 2-4 p.m.and 6-8 p.m. Monday, October 24, 2016, at the J. Purse Funeral Home, 2959 N. Adrian Hwy (M-52), Adrian, and also on Tuesday from 10 a.m. until the time of service at the Deerfield Free Methodist Church.