If you went to Old Mission Peninsula School in the late 1960s, you probably remember Mr. Bacon, the kindly teacher who taught in the upper grades. I never had him for a teacher – he had moved on by the time I got up there – but my older siblings did.
I remember only positive things said about him as a person and a teacher, and his infamous Karmann Ghia that he drove to school often came up in conversation, as well. He was one of those iconic OMPS teachers that will always be remembered.
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Tim’s sister, Sherie Boursaw, had actually kept in touch with him all these years, and we had planned to interview him after the pandemic had eased enough to get together. Sadly, Mr. Bacon passed away before we had the chance. He was 83.
According to the obituary published in the Traverse City Record-Eagle, Robert Earl Bacon died at home on July 4, 2020, surrounded by his family. He was born to Earl and Naomi Bacon, Feb. 15, 1937, in Conway, Michigan.
He grew up in the Petoskey area and in Detroit for several years, graduating from high school in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He graduated from Northwestern Michigan College in 1957 and Michigan State University in 1959.
In August of 1959, he married Carol Jean Hunt. Bob then went on to complete his master’s degree in 1966 and continued his post-graduate work at the University of Wyoming.
He began his teaching career at Long Lake School and while there, wore many hats including teacher, principal, coach and occasional bus driver. In 1966, he transferred to Old Mission Peninsula School and later, to Traverse City Junior High, where he taught for many years, retiring in 1989. Even in the last few years, he referred to his students as “his kids.”
In 1990, Bob and Carol moved to Laramie, Wyoming, where they resided for 28 years, enjoying the mountains, sunshine and beloved friends they made. In 2018, they moved back to Michigan, as the high altitude out west made it difficult for Bob to breathe.
In his spare time, he enjoyed restoring cars and restored more than 125 cars over the years. He also enjoyed collecting cars and had 19 by the time they moved back to Michigan.
Bob is survived by his wife of 60 years, Carol; their children, Anne Bacon (Joe Gibson), David (Belinda) Bacon and Elizabeth Bacon; and a brother, Roger Bacon, of Peru, Indiana. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Shannon Schneider, Joseph Schneider, Elias Bacon, Marcus Mendoza and Alex Mendoza; as well as five great grandchildren, Riley Schneider, Stormie Schneider, Dakari Kiessel, Ava Schneider and Eleanorhawk Gembarowski.
Bob was preceded in death by his sisters, Etheleen Oaks and Sara Seloheim. Cremation has taken place and a celebration of his life held at the family home in Beulah on July 18, 2020.