Robert “Bob” Hastings completed his earthly journey with family at his side on Sunday, August 22, 2021. He began in 1933, growing up with two brothers, Ken and Gary, who now live in California with their families. As he moved through school, he was completing his theological education and working as Associate Director of the Methodist Student Foundation when he met and married a Northwestern University student, Phyllis Getschman, who became Phyllis Hastings and is now Professor of English at SVSU.
Over the years they became parents and parents-in-law. First came Peter, now teaching Human-Computer Interaction in Chicago. Then Karis, now a satellite communications lawyer in the DC area, married to Joe Reynolds. Next was Julie, now teaching English as a Second Language in Portland Oregon, married to Oren Kosansky. Then Mary Beth, working around the world in women’s reproductive rights, married to Howard Wilkins. The eight grandchildren in these families completed his family circle.
His first ministry after seminary was to college students in Michigan and then California. He developed for their use a Fellowship of Lay Theologians study, using material from the Ecumenical Institute and other places.
Returning to Michigan with his developing family, he began his ministry as pastor and preacher, He was not heroic or glib. He had no easy answers for personal and social concerns yet engaged in responding to them in places and situations around him, even to the point of getting arrested with others in a protest concerning war preparations. And he went where God and the bishop sent him, serving churches in Grosse Pointe, Flint, Highland Park, Centerline, Essexville, Kochville, Hazel Park, Dearborn Heights, and finally Saginaw before retiring in 2004. He was involved in ecumenical and peace organizations in the city and an active member of Kiwanis Club.
Visitation for those who wish to pay their respects for Rev. Bob, will be held Friday, August 27, 2021, between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. at his home, 1441 Cedar Street, corner of Holland Road, Saginaw, Michigan 48601. Park along Cedar or in the parking lot of Longfellow School on Remington. Masking is required; hugging is encouraged but be brief.
Visitation will continue Saturday, August 28, 2021, from 2:00 p.m. until the time of a Service of Thanksgiving and Farewell at 4:00 p.m. at Fischer Family Funeral Home, 504 N. Michigan Avenue, Saginaw, MI 48602. Masking is required for those not vaccinated.
Donations in his name are invited to either the outreach program of your faith community or to the Inter-faith Caring Center for East Side Saginaw, directed by Very Rev. Judy Boli and Prof. Phyllis Hastings.
For information, please call Fischer Family Funeral Services at (989) 755-8277. To express your condolences, please visit www.fischerfuneral.com.