On October 11, 2019, Norman Roobol, who dearly loved singing sacred music, joined the heavenly choir. He had suffered from dermatomyositis, a rare auto-immune disorder, for several months. He leaves his wife, Joan, to whom he was married for 62 years, their children, Kerri Vos (Paul), Michael Roobol, Victoria Frame (Kirk) and Sara Olsen (Bobby); grandchildren, Nathan Vos, Hannah Frame, Adam Vos (Teresa), Lindsay Van Dyke (Ben), Simone Frame, Andreas Frame, Victoria Olsen, and Riley Olsen, and numerous relatives and friends.
He grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he attended Christian schools K-12. He attended Calvin College for two years, then joined the Army for 2 years to get G.I. bill benefits to pay for continued education. In 1957, he married Joan Ezinga, a girl from church whom he had admired since he was 12 years old. After college graduation, they spent four years at Michigan State University, where he obtained a doctorate in Organic Chemistry. Dr. Roobol’s first professional job was a research chemist for Shell Oil in the San Francisco Bay area. He returned to Michigan three years later and accepted an appointment as Chemistry Professor at Kettering University in Flint and taught there for 25 years. During his tenure at Kettering, he gained extensive knowledge of industrial painting processes and became a highly sought-after consultant in this field. In 1987, he resigned from Kettering and moved to Peachtree City near Atlanta, GA to do full time consulting. Over his career he consulted for over 625 companies throughout North America, Central and South America, Europe and Asia. He retired from most consulting in 2005 and in 2016 they moved to Durham, NC to be closer to their daughter Kerri and her husband Paul.
He was on his high school tennis team and enjoyed playing tennis most of his life until his knees curtailed that activity. Then he spent many hours watching tennis on TV. Dr. Roobol often said, “Tennis is the only sport I’m really good at.” (And he was). Another important part of his and Joan’s life was weekly church attendance, especially singing in the church choir, which they did from teenage until illness took away Norm’s singing ability.
A service of remembrance will be held on Friday, October 18, 2019 at 2:00 PM in the chapel of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service, Durham, NC. The visitation will be one hour prior to the service.
The Roobol family is under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service, Durham, NC.