Obituary: Robert D. Perlewitz

December 31, 1937 ~ July 24, 2023 

Robert Donald Perlewitz 85, of Sturgeon Bay, died on July 24, 2023, at Door County Medical Center.  He was born on December 31, 1937, in Algoma to Raymond and Martha (Karrer) Perlewitz.  In 1958, he married Mary Johnson in Algoma.

For over 40 years, Robert (better known as “Bob” or “Perly” to friends and family) worked on the John Purves, an immaculately restored 1919 tugboat that is now docked at the Door County Maritime Museum. He was awarded several Naval Preservation Awards, a President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer efforts, and many other write-ups and acknowledgments for his work and service. Bob had a lifelong passion for all things automotive, which included his cherished Thunderbird and an incredible collection of gas and oil memorabilia that brought in buyers and admirers from all over the country.

When he wasn’t working or collecting treasures, you could find him watching television with his beloved German Shepherds or telling outlandish stories about narrowly escaping from bears and surviving the Ice Bowl. Bob seemed to own his status as a grouch. He pushed people’s buttons and enjoyed riling people up; just ask his wife Mary or his three children, Jeff, Scott, and Chris. That being said, he was also a sentimental man who held onto as many family keepsakes and heirlooms as he could and always had a warm and loving smile for his great-grandson when he visited. He will be dearly missed by those who loved him.

Survivors include his wife; three children, Jeffrey (Heidi) Perlewitz, Sturgeon Bay; Scott (Chip) Perlewitz, Chattanooga, TN; Christine (Jeffrey) Heard, Brussels; one grandson, Timothy (Kari) Perlewitz, Green Bay; one great-grandson, Atlas Perlewitz; and several nieces and nephews.  He was preceded by his parents; three brothers, Harold, Raymond, and Gordon; one sister, Patricia; and a brother-in-law, James.

Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. Monday, July 31, 2023, at Forbes Funeral Home in Sturgeon Bay with Rev. Paul Graf officiating.  Burial will be in Clay Banks Cemetery.  Visitation will be from 9:00 a.m. until the time of services at the funeral home on Monday.