John J. Robitaille, 85, of Escanaba passed away Saturday April 22, 2017 at Bishop Noa Home.
John was born on December 11, 1931, in Escanaba, son of Emil and Florence (Chenier) Robitaille.
On March 31, 1951, he married Barbara Jean Pilecki at St. Patrick’s Church in Escanaba.
He graduated from Escanaba High School, class of 1949. During high school, he joined the Michigan National Guard and served for many years until he retired with the rank of Master Sergeant. He participated in several professional training programs throughout his law enforcement career. Most notably, he graduated from the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA.
He worked at Harnischfeger until 1955 when he became a patrolman with the Escanaba Police Department. In 1967, he became a detective, and in 1976 was promoted to Detective Lieutenant. John retired from the Police Department in 1980 when he was elected Sheriff of Delta County, a position he held for 12 years. Afterwards, he worked part-time for 6 more years as a Private Detective.
In addition to his passion for law enforcement, John was a dedicated family man, and loved to deer hunt and fish with his sons-in-law. He was a member of the Michigan Sheriff’s Association, where he served a year as President, and was a member of the Elks, Kiwanis, and numerous other organizations.
He was a member of St. Anne Parish, served as President of the Parish Council, and was an usher for 50 years.
Survivors include his children; Debra (Brian) Boden of Flat Rock, Sandy Richards of Gladstone, Mary (Paul) Van Hese of Rochester, and Gail Faust of Gladstone; grandchildren, Jayme, Joe, and Jeremy (Dana) Boden, Sarah (Phil) Miron, Tyler Richards, Christie Van Hese, Katie (Chris) Rodela, Emily Franks and Hannah Faust; four great grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; and sister in law, Loretta Robitaille of Escanaba.
He was he was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Barbara; 6 brothers; and his grandson, John Richards.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, April 27th, from 3:00 – 5:30 p.m. at the Crawford Funeral Home in Escanaba. The Delta County Veterans Council and the U.P. Military Honor Guard Team will have military rites at 4 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 6:00 p.m. at St. Anne Parish with Rev. Fran DeGroot officiating. A meal will follow in the church hall.
Burial will take place in Holy Cross Cemetery.
The Crawford Funeral Homes are assisting the family.