Obituary Listings

Robert James Pfaff

June 15, 1947 April 10, 2018
Robert James Pfaff
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Obituary for Robert James Pfaff

Robert James Pfaff of Berkley, MI died unexpectedly at his home on April 10 at the age of 70. Bob was born to his parents, Margaret Howard and Edwin Pfaff in Detroit, Michigan on June 15, 1947. He was the eldest of 4 children, followed by siblings Eldred, Patricia and James.

The greatest moment in Bob’s life was most certainly meeting his wife-to-be, Linda Mahaffey, at the age of 14. More than 50 years later, the love they had for each other only grew stronger with each year. They remained the 14-year-olds, holding hands, sharing secrets, sharing everything. Their romance was an inspiration to all. The year their first son was born at the young age of 18, Bob went directly to the nearest General Motors plant and hired in as a union man, serving in a variety of roles over a 41-year career.

Bob attended the local Berkley schools, including Our Lady of LaSalette and remained a vital member of the community his entire life. Well-know at all of the area book stores as a seeker of spiritual truths, his personally library is legendary. Books, books, and more books. He loved authors from Henry Miller to Thomas Merton and everything in between. Over-flowing off shelves, stuffed in closets, a lifetime of knowledge and learning, Bob was even generous with his books, giving them away to anyone interested.

The knowledge he sought through literature, films, and most importantly other people whose stories he loved hearing and re-telling, was passed along to others in his community. Bob was a well-known and active leader in many local support groups where he not only received strength on his own journey but gave so much to others on theirs. More than anything else, Bob’s guiding principle was simple and sincere – “do the right thing, do your duty”. The right thing for him was always to act with compassion above all else. His generosity of spirit was an inspiration to behold, for Bob was a man who carried his humanity and shared it with everyone, always striving to lift others from their pain. Always striving to lift himself to be a better man.

In the simplest terms, he will be best remembered by so many as a man with a kind heart and a listening ear.

He is survived by his beloved wife of nearly 53 years, Linda (Mahaffey); his son, Robert Jr., and daughter Melissa; his daughter-in-law, Shoba; the grandchildren he so loved with all of his heart, Sophie and Izzy; his brothers, Jim and Al, and sister Patty; his brother and sister-in-law Bud and Carolyn Mahaffey who were his best friends. He is preceded in death by his son, Christopher, with whom he is now surely enjoying a few good laughs. Bob will be missed but always loved.

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