Robert Joseph Nominelli, DDS

HANCOCK — Robert Joseph Nominelli, DDS, 88, of Hancock, passed away on Wednesday, October 16, 2019, at the Omega House.

Bob was born in Hancock, to Joseph “Bat” and Gertrude (Saam) Nominelli on June 24, 1931. He graduated from Hancock High School in 1949 and attended Michigan Technological University. He enrolled in the Dental School of the University of Michigan, living in the Delta Sigma Delta Dental Fraternity and graduated in 1955. From there he served with the Dental Unit of the United States Air Force at the Tachikawa Air Force Base in Tokyo Japan.

In 1954, he married Norma Mickelsen of Hancock. They celebrated their sixty-fifth wedding anniversary in August 2019.

Bob practiced dentistry in Houghton before moving to Hancock with Dr. John Lawton in what is now Superior Smiles. After retiring from his full-time dentistry, he continued to work part-time until age 83.

He loved his occupation, his patients and staff, and often referred to dentistry as his hobby. An avid sports fan and sportsman, Bob played basketball and football for Hancock High School and one year of football at Michigan Tech. He loved to follow sporting events of Michigan Tech, the University of Michigan, and the Green Bay Packers. Bob was team dentist for the Michigan Tech Hockey Huskies for many years, was active on the Michigan Tech Blue Line Club and the Huskies Club, and eventually (to his delight and surprise) was inducted into the MTU Sports Hall of Fame.

Bob served on the Hancock Central High School board, the board of Superior National Bank until age 70, and as a trustee of the Michigan Dental Society. A quiet and reflective man with a keen wit, Bob wrote volumes of poetry on a variety of subjects including the outdoors, hunting, his deep faith, relatives and friends, marriage and family, and sports. He composed the song of the local Copper Country Dental Society which is sung at every state meeting to rousing applause. His wife, Norma, published some of his works-a collection of dental poems and selections of favorites.

He was a Sunday school teacher and board member of the Franklin Street Church, renamed Zion Lutheran Church at its current location on Quincy Hill. Perhaps his greatest legacy is organizing a group of retired men, many skilled craftsmen, to become the Camp Lahti Carpenters, implementing the vision of a youth and community church camp along the shores of Lake Superior in Rabbit Bay. In addition to building a chapel, dorms, and staff house, the men formed a strong bond and would sing songs composed by Bob for camp fundraisers. The Lahti Retreat Center is named after the land gifted by Alfred and Estelle Eskola Lahti.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his parents-in-law, Rev. Andrew and Mary B. Mickelsen; in-laws, Tom, Phil, and Naomi Johnson, James and Mary Lou Mickelsen, Jack Tibbs, Ross Wolfe, David Mickelsen; and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Surviving are his wife, Norma; son, Gregg of Houghton; daughter, Robin (Curt Bermel) of Wheaton, Illinois, and their children Courtney “Luci”, Jack Robert, and Charles August; sister, Mary of Hancock; in-laws; Joyce Tibbs (Stewart Lee), Fayth Wolfe, and Marilyn Mickelsen; and numerous beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Visitation will be at Zion Lutheran Church in Hancock on Friday, October 25, 2019, from 4 to 7 p.m. followed by a memorial sharing and reading of some of Bob’s poems.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 26, 2019, at Zion Lutheran Church with Pastor Jesse Aho to officiate.

Visitation on Saturday will be one hour prior to the service.

A luncheon will follow. Burial will be in the Lakeside Cemetery in Hancock.

Memorials may be made to the Lahti Retreat Center, 400 Ingot Street, Hancock, MI 49930, Zion Lutheran Church, the Inter-Lutheran Theological Seminary, the Omega House or other charity of choice. Arrangements are being handled by the Jukuri-Antila Funeral Home of Hancock, Antila Funeral Service, Inc.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family at antilafuneral.com.