Cover photo for Robert Edwin Gaff, Jr.'s Obituary
Robert Edwin Gaff, Jr. Profile Photo

Robert Edwin Gaff, Jr.

January 28, 1938 — May 2, 2022

Elkhart

Robert Edwin Gaff, Jr.Born January 28, 1938, in Elkhart, Indiana to Robert E. Gaff, Sr. and Luella E. Wobler Gaff.

Bob was surrounded by his loving and very devoted family when he passed away unexpectedly early Monday morning May 2, 2022.  He had spent seven weeks in the hospital due to complications from radiation and was home for twelve days before suddenly leaving this world to be with God.

Bob loved sports. He was a left-handed pitcher and basketball player for Concord High School where he graduated in 1956. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree from Western Michigan University and graduated in 1960 where he was a proud Bronco, played on the baseball team and was a member of Theta Xi Fraternity. He was a major fan of the Chicago White Sox, Cubs, Bears, Notre Dame, and Indiana University, especially IU Basketball. IU also became the college of choice for his sons and some grandchildren who have graduated or will be graduating soon. But he was the biggest fan of any sport his grandchildren played. He was always encouraging, coaching, and cheering them on. He was immensely proud of each one of them.

In August 1960, he married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Karen Lee Risser, at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Elkhart. Bob took a job with State Farm Insurance as a Claims Adjuster and he and his new wife moved to Champaign, Illinois. A few years later, they returned to northern Indiana where Bob worked for Studebaker Corporation and C.G. Conn in inventory control and purchasing. In 1967, he along with four partners founded Elkhart Traveler Corporation, a custom Recreational Vehicle Company. After ETC closed in 1989, he worked for Jason Industries and Skamper Corporation. In May 1996, he and his daughter Kim left their positions at Skamper to join founder Cole Davis to help grow a new RV Company, Keystone RV, which was eventually purchased by Thor Industries, Inc. Bob was Vice President of Purchasing until he retired in 2003.

Once retired he and his wife purchased a winter home in Cape Coral, Florida where they enjoyed many happy years by the pool, on their boat and walking to Cape Harbour for dinner, especially on Tuesday nights where there was always live music to listen and dance to. Grandpa and Grandma’s was the Spring Break destination for the whole family for several years. Grandpa loved to take everyone to his favorite restaurant on the water, Woody’s, and watch the dolphin jump behind the wake of his boat. In the summer and fall Bob and Karen enjoyed visiting Traverse City, Michigan, and the surrounding area where they would visit wineries and always bring the Family back bottles of their favorite wines to enjoy. Later in years Captiva Island, Florida also became a favorite vacation destination.

Bob is survived by his wife, Karen of 61 years. His sister, Karen Campbell and husband Gary of Baroda, Michigan. Four children, Kim Price Dunlop and Rob of Elkhart, Doug Gaff and Beth of Elkhart, Jeff Gaff and Julie of Bristol, Jodi Brenneman and John of Elkhart.  Eleven grandchildren, Kaylee Price, Brody and Jarett Gaff, Kiley and Grant Harmon, David, Katey and Michael Gaff, Rylee and Zach Brenneman and Kassandra (Brenneman) Campbell and Michael. Three great grandchildren, Ava, Paxton, and Chloe Campbell. Brother-in-law Larry Risser, Sister-in-law Joan Edman and Ron, along with several nieces, nephews, and close family friends.

He was a man of quiet faith, strong values, and a voice of reason who was a proud old school American. Family meant everything to Bob, and he loved nothing more than the frequent family gatherings. He taught in many ways by example – to work hard, be respectful and kind, give unselfishly, be true to yourself, love fiercely and have fun. He would sing Happy Birthday louder than anyone at every family birthday party, gave big hugs and always had advice or an opinion to give whether you wanted to hear it or not.

He was his family’s leader and hero who will be missed dearly!

Until we meet again…...All our love.

The Gaff family would like to thank Memorial Hospitals 5th Floor Rehabilitation Center and the HBO and Wound Care unit at River Pointe Surgery Center in Elkhart. A special thank you also to Senior 1 Care and employees Perpetual Wambugu and Ke-Briah Cash who was a blessing at the end. Also, our sincere gratitude to Diane Espar, who became a part of our family in a brief time.

Friends may visit with the Gaff family from 12-2 pm on Tuesday, May 10, 2022 at Stemm-Lawson-Peterson Funeral Home, 1531 Cobblestone Blvd., Elkhart, IN 46514 where funeral services will be held at 2pm. Pastor Spencer Mielke of Trinity Lutheran Church will officiate. Private entombment will be held on Wednesday, March 11, 2022 at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Osceola, IN. Memorial donations in Robert’s name may be made to Bashor Children’s Home, 62226 CR 15, Goshen, IN 46526 www.bashor.org or the Women’s Care Center, 229 West Marion Street, Elkhart, IN 46516 www.womenscarecenter.org Online condolences may be made to the Gaff family at www.stemmlawsonpeterson.com

Donations:

Bashor Children's Home
PO Box 843, Goshen IN 46527-0843
Web: http://bashor.org/GETINVOLVED/Donate.aspxhttp://

Women's Care Center
229 West Marion Street, Elkhart IN 46516
Web: http://www.womenscarecenter.org

To send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Edwin Gaff, Jr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Visitation

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

12:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Stemm-Lawson-Peterson Funeral Home

1531 Cobblestone Boulevard
Elkhart, IN 46514

*Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Add to Calendar

Stemm-Lawson-Peterson Funeral Home

1531 Cobblestone Boulevard
Elkhart, IN 46514

*Standard text messaging rates apply.

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