Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Bob "Skeeter" Icard

May 3, 1945 - June 17, 2024
Kalamazoo, MI


Life Story Visitation

Thursday, July 11, 2024
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900

Where food, drinks, and stories will be shared. Wear your favorite Hawaiian shirt in honor of Bob and Cheryl's love for the islands.

Driving Directions


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Kalamazoo Humane Society
2272 River St.
Kalamazoo, MI 49048
(269) 345-1181
Driving Directions
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-6256
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


With a warm smile and an adventurer's spirit, Bob "Skeeter" Icard lived a life rich in family and friends. Early on, Bob learned the value of creating a fine balance between working hard and playing hard. While he devoted himself to his family and career, he equally invested in his favorite leisure activities, which kept him healthy and happy. He relished time spent with his loved ones and sharing his passion for the outdoors with his children and grandchildren. Bob embraced each day as a gift and lived each moment fully. A treasured husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend, Bob will long be remembered by those he so dearly loved.

1945 was a year marked by much celebration and hope. With the victorious end of World War II, families tuned into the celebratory tunes of Bing Crosby, Perry Como, and the Andrews Sisters. At the same time, children delighted in the debut of the slinky. Nowhere was there greater promise for the future than in the hearts and home of Robert and Maureen (Gooch) Icard as they welcomed their son Bob to their family on May 3 in Battle Creek, Michigan.

When Bob was born, his grandfather quipped that Bob was no bigger than a mosquito, so his grandfather nicknamed him Skeeter. Well, the name stuck, and before long all of Bob’s family and childhood friends knew him as such. Bob was a baseball pitcher throughout his school years and for the city leagues in Battle Creek. A highlight was pitching a game in Tiger Stadium. Mostly though, Bob could be found fishing every chance he got. His Grandpa Gooch often took him to the family cabin in Frederick, Michigan, where they enjoyed fishing for brook trout while sharing stories and enjoying their favorite snack, bologna sandwiches and black coffee. Fishing would become a passion for Bob and the source of many stories throughout his life.

After graduating from Springfield High School, Bob worked for Eaton and other companies in the automotive industry before finally finding his niche as an executive recruiter in that field. The job proved perfect for him and his charismatic, conversational personality.

While on a company trip to the Virgin Islands, Bob had the good fortune of meeting Cheryl Valencia. Introduced by mutual friends, the couple immediately connected, bonding over their similar backgrounds, passions, and competitive spirits. As the trip came to a close, Cheryl invited Bob to visit her in San Jose, California, where she lived. He took her up on that offer and, despite the distance between their homes, the couple's love blossomed, and they were soon setting their sights on building a future together.

After dating for two years, Bob and Cheryl began their thirty-two-year marriage, and opened their own recruiting business, The Icard Group, in Traverse City. Bob and Cheryl consciously built their relationship on the firm foundation of excellent communication, full partnership, and lots of love. As a result, the couple enjoyed each other's company and shared many adventures together, including a lot of traveling, and spending treasured times with their blended family.

For many years, family vacations were fishing trips. Fishing was how Bob bonded with his children, and many of them share his passion for fishing to this day. Bob kept a boat in Traverse City and later in Frankfort, where he and his family and friends caught hundreds of salmon, steelhead, and lake trout over the course of his lifetime. You're either one of the best fishermen ever, or you're one of the best storytellers ever. In Bob's case, he was both! He had a notebook to log the weather, water temperature, and details of every catch. On road trips, Bob had a fishing story for every body of water he passed and he knew exactly how to come home with buckets full of fish.

Once, while having no luck fishing in Alaska, Bob knew better. He waited patiently, until finally the tide came in and suddenly fish were jumping over the boat! A bear even swam right by the boat while fishing in the river!! Another time, when he had some family members up north, they all got a little seasick, and their embarrassment led to catching more fish than they could keep!!

Bob and Cheryl retired and moved to Kalamazoo in June of 2020, where Bob continued his love for fishing with his daughter, Robin. She would hook up their boat, the Cookie Monster, drive him to the lake and launch the boat, but then Dad would take over and find the fish. Their favorite place to go was Sherman Lake, where she would sometimes get lucky enough to out-fish her dad. He often bragged to his friends that his daughter could do all these things, as well as filet and cook the fish.

In addition to fishing, Bob was passionate about the Detroit Tigers, golf, and playing board games. He and his son Eric golfed several times a week when Eric was home from college. No matter where Bob was, he made sure he could catch the Tigers when they were playing and missed very few games over his lifetime. A dedicated fan, he was known to wield a colorful vocabulary in reaction to bad calls. Naturally competitive, Bob would rub it in when he won card and board games. He liked to play Rummikub and Scrabble, and his favorite card game was Five Crowns. Bob also enjoyed cooking and grilling. His salmon boils were epic, he made the best fried fish and Salmon Rockefeller, and his salmon pâté recipe was even featured at Boone's Long Lake Inn in Traverse City. His family and friends will enjoy making his recipes for many years to come.

Bob and Cheryl traveled the country extensively and owned a home in Hawaii for a time. Whether fishing, golfing, taking a cruise, paragliding, or taking a glider trip, the couple found much joy in sharing their many adventures. They especially enjoyed recounting their epic glider tour. When the glider pilot took a deep nosedive before swooping upward towards the clouds at Cheryl's request for the pilot to do "something fancy," both Bob and Cheryl blacked out from the G-forces, but they loved every second of it.

This passion for life is the legacy Bob leaves his loved ones to proudly carry forward. In each moment we say "yes" to adventure, enjoy Michigan's many lakes, gather for a fish fry or crawfish boil, cheer on the Tigers, and travel with our beloved, we celebrate the countless ways Bob showed us how to live each moment to the fullest. In this way, we keep his vibrant spirit alive and inspire others as he so inspired us.

Robert "Skeeter" Icard, of Kalamazoo, age 79, passed away on June 17, 2024. Bob was born May 3, 1945, in Battle Creek, MI to Robert and Maureen (Gooch) Icard, who precede him in death along with his wife, Cheryl. Surviving are his children: Robert (Christie) Icard, Robin Icard, Tammy (Michael) Clark, Jason Icard, Eric (Brett) Icard, and Steve (Erin) Gibson; siblings: Kyle Craig, John Craig; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

Please join us at a Life Story Celebration where food, drinks, and stories will be shared on Thursday, July 11, from 5-7 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo, 269-375-2900. Wear your favorite Hawaiian shirt in honor of Bob and Cheryl's love for the islands. Celebrate Bob's life online by sharing your favorite stories and photos on his dedicated webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com. Memorial contributions may be made to Kalamazoo Humane Society.