John Paul Lobbestael, 81, of Manchester, Mich., passed away Saturday, October 15, 2022. He was born on November 10, 1940, in Detroit, Mich., to Alfred and Nina Lobbestael.
John, the most loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather is survived by his wife of 60 years, Lynda; and children, Carol (Roy) Tinsley, Bruce (Lori) Lobbestael, Robert (Crystal) Lobbestael, Daniel Lobbestael, Peter (Vanessa) Lobbestael, Jennifer Lobbestael, Mary (Lynn) Bishop, Debra Lobbestael, and Catherine Lobbestael; 17 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. John is also survived by three brothers and six sisters. He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother.
After graduation from Ypsilanti’s Roosevelt High School, John joined the Navy to serve his country, which took him to California where he met his lifelong companion, Lynda. Soon the couple married and started their family in China Lake, California. After leaving the Navy, John, Lynda, and their first two children moved back to John’s home state of Michigan.
In a matter of years, John and Lynda welcomed four more children before moving to a then-dilapidated farmhouse in Manchester in 1975 to pursue John’s dream of farming. After relocating, the couple added three more children, affectionately known as the “three little girls.”
As Lynda worked to raise the now brood of nine, John worked tirelessly to support his family and build their life on the farm. Known for his steadfast work ethic, John would often return home from a 12-hour workday only to start work on the house, the land, or both. John was particularly proud that his diligence was passed along to his children.
John worked for over forty years as a tool and die maker, often lauded for his ingenuity and problem-solving skills. His children often boasted of his ability to fabricate just about anything, including parts for NASA’s 1960s lunar landing.
John retired from Mid-America Machining at age 68 but farmed for another ten years. Though retired, John didn’t slow down. He still rose early and filled his days with helping his kids and grandkids, tending to the grounds, and mastering his woodworking craft.
A true stalwart, John was a man of integrity and honesty. He never shied away from hard work or a challenge. Never was this truer than when he was diagnosed with stage four cancer in 2021. During the subsequent chemotherapy, John’s no-quit attitude and perpetually positive outlook had doctors amazed. Throughout his treatment, he always kept family first. Never once did he fail to provide love, guidance, and an honest opinion to his kids and grandkids. He found his greatest joy of late in holding his new great-grandbabies.
John was a patriarch whose impact will be forever felt by his family. His ability to provide support and love will be forever engrained in all he knew. His selflessness and staunchness are a true inspiration, and his passing will leave a John Deere size hole in the hearts of his loved ones.
Arrangements entrusted to the Robison-Bahnmiller Funeral Home in Saline. To leave a memory you have of John or to sign his guestbook, please visit www.rbfhsaline.com.