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Dr. Robert Jongeward Jr.

February 25, 1949 - February 3, 2021
Portage, MI

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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.

Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan
7100 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 345-0273
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Bronson Methodist Hospital
601 John Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
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Life Story / Obituary


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Dr. Robert H. Jongeward Jr, age 71, of Portage, Michigan died peacefully with his family by his side on February 3, 2021.

Robert was born on February 25, 1949, in Detroit, Michigan, the son of the late Robert and Elaine Jongeward. He inspired all with his humble intelligence and passion for education. After graduating from Loy Norrix High School, he went on to attend Albion College where he met his wife of 50 years, Barbara Jongeward (Firestone). He then earned a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Michigan. Following a year of teaching graduate students, he started and completed both medical school and his radiology residency at the University of Michigan. Bob loved Ann Arbor, Michigan football, and sandwiches from Zingerman’s.

Bob and his family moved to Portage, Michigan in 1984 when he accepted a position with Kalamazoo Radiology. The group has grown over the years, and he was most recently employed with Advanced Radiology Services. Throughout the changes, he never left the Bronson Center for Women. Bob loved medicine, helping others, and lived a life of service for his patients. He touched the lives of so many, offering exceptional medical care with a calming kindness.

Bob was the ultimate family man and loved spending time at his home on Gull Lake. He was a true Michigander and treasured moments on the shores of Lake Michigan, at Sleeping Bear Dunes, in Glen Arbor, and on Mackinac Island. There was nothing Bob could not do. Whether it was fixing something around the house or teaching his children calculus, he had mastered it all. Most recently Bob’s greatest joys came from spending time with his grandchildren.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Elaine Jongeward. Surviving are his wife Barbara, their children Sarah (Byron), Kathryn (John), and Andrew, and grandchildren Benjamin, Charlotte, Elizabeth and Mara. He is additionally survived by his brother Chuck and his wife, Elizabeth, and their two daughters Meg and Libby, Barbara’s brother Tom and his wife, Lauren, and their children Justin and Lesley, and Barbara’s brother Bobby (Jeannie).

Bob was a man of honor. He was our hero, our moral compass, and our pillar of strength. He taught us about love, devotion, kindness, and the importance of hard work. He cared for everyone he met and motivated those around him to be better. Bob will be dearly missed by all. Our family will always cherish our time together, and a special thank you to his son, Andrew.

A small private service will be held at the First United Methodist Church of Kalamazoo for the family. A celebration of his life will be planned for a later time. If you would like to participate, please send an email to jongewardmemorial@gmail.com.

Visit Bob’s personal webpage at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com where you may read his Life Story, archive a favorite memory or photo, and sign his online guestbook.

Memorial contributions may be made to Bronson Methodist Hospital or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.