Robert M. "Bob" Burger, 88, of Perrysburg, died Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014, peacefully at home under Hospice care.
He was born Feb. 13, 1926, in Tiffin, to Roman J. and Helen L. (Schultz) Burger. He was a 1944 valedictorian graduate of Calvert High School.
In February 1944, while still in school, Bob proudly joined the U.S. Navy, although he remained inactive until graduation. He later served before and after World War II as a special advanced radioman who was responsible for the messages sent to all ships in the Pacific that the war had ended with Japan. He was discharged in 1946.
He later attended St. Joseph's College from 1946-48, Detroit University from 1948-49 and Detroit University Law School from 1949-52, receiving his LLB also in 1952, before attending New York University and receiving a master's degree in tax law. Following law school, Bob took up practice with Fuller, Henry, Seney and Smith in Toledo and later Williams, Dell and Burger in Tiffin, where he became a partner.
Bob eventually opened his own practice, Robert M. Burger, Attorney, in Fostoria, where he practiced for more than 50 years, specializing in probate, real estate and tax law.
Bob was proud owner of Cedar Creek Farm, established in 1974 in Perrysburg. He bred, raised and trained world and national champion Morgan horses. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he owned the top-rated stallion in the Morgan breed, I Will Command. For his many years of involvement with Morgan horses, he was inducted into the American Morgan Horse Hall of Fame in 2006 and the American Morgan Horse Breeders Hall of Fame in 2009. He also served on the board of the World Morgan Futurity and served as a legal advisor on the AMHA Grievance Committee.
Bob loved sports, starting in high school, where he was the only three-year letterman in both football and basketball. He was Norte Dame University's biggest fan and he never missed a game. He was an avid skier in his middle age and loved the many trips to Aspen, Snow Mass and Vail. He had a passion for travel and saw much of the world in the past few years, visiting Europe, England, Hong Kong, Turkey, Greece, the Caribbean, Alaska and, as recently as late July, enjoyed visiting friends in Cape Cod. One of his greatest joys was the time he spent at a winter home in Key West, Florida. He loved the island and was there for more than 25 years.
Bob was a member of the American Legion, Knights of Columbus, Ohio Bar Association, American Morgan House Association, U.S. Equestrian Federation the American Horse Council. He also was a longtime member of St. Rose Parish, Perrysburg.
He is survived by his life partner of 41 years, Larry Bolen; sisters, Margaret Kromer and Dorothy Frank; brother-in-law, James Crowner; sisters-in-law, Marian Burger and Marjorie Burger; very special friend, Connie Wolford; 28 nieces and nephews; and his beloved terriers, Sydney, Chloe and Sophie.
He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Alice Jean Crowner, Dr. Thomas Burger and John Burger; nephew, Robert Frank; and brothers-in-law, Ottie Frank and Bernard Kromer.
Friends will be received from 2-8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, at Witzler-Shank Funeral Home, 222 E. South Boundary St., Perrysburg, OH 43551, (419) 874-3133, where a scripture service will begin at 7 p.m.
Prayers will be recited at 9:45 a.m. Tuesday at the funeral home followed by a funeral Mass at 10:30 a.m. at St. Rose Catholic Church, 215 E. Front St., Perrysburg.
Burial will be Wednesday, Aug. 27, at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, South Washington Street and St. Francis Avenue, Tiffin, with burial time to be announced during visitation and Mass.
Memorial contributions may be made to Senior Independence Hospice, St. Rose Catholic Church scholarship fund and Calvert High School scholarship fund.
The family wishes to extend a special thanks to Senior Independence Hospice; especially to nurse Kris Romp.
Condolences may be made to the family at www.witzlershank.com.