Robert Hiemstra
Robert Hiemstra
  • November 8, 1939 - November 28, 2017
  • Hot Springs, Arkansas

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Robert John "Bob" Hiemstra, 78, of Hot Springs passed away peacefully at home -just as he would have wanted - on November 28, 2017. Born in Kalamazoo, Michigan to the late Neil and Janette Hiemstra, Bob was a precocious child whose love of fixing and tinkering led to a career in the Navy as an engineer and also to his children coining the phrase to "Bob Hiemstra" something. This meant to fix something; regardless of how it looked, while creatively using any materials he had available held together in some way with duct tape. Bob loved watching Jeopardy, solving crossword puzzles, and strumming the chords of old Western songs on any one of his many guitars. Fluent in four languages, Bob had visited over 30 countries (Iceland was his favorite), was an avid PBS/NPR supporter, and never tired of learning. He had many naval certifications concerning both aeronautics and submarine technology. A graduate of West Florida University, Bob was an adjunct professor of English and computer science at National Park Community College for many years. In the late 70s, Bob animated a documentary his wife directed for the library on the history of Clark, Montgomery, and Garland counties. Though it was his stop motion animation of cats and amazing storytelling for which Bob was known by the neighborhood kids. Bob was predeceased by his brother Don Hiemstra, grandson Mathew Towell, son Robert John "Bobby" Hiemstra Jr., and wife Karen Hiemstra. Bob will be missed by his wife of 37 years, Erselle Hiemstra; daughters, Roxanne Couch and Sheri (Steve) Grim; grandchildren Robert William Hiemstra, Jason Campbell, Nicholas Towell, Amanda Chitty and Elizabeth Simmerly; thirteen great grandchildren; one great great grandchild; his siblings Cheri Stevens and Ken Hiemstra; and many nieces and nephews. A Celebration of Bob's life including Military Honors will be held on December 11, 2017 at 1 o'clock in the chapel at Gross Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, please make memorials to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society at