Robby, 70, was a volunteer at Fairhaven Community in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, more than 30 years, a donor since 1999 and had been a board member since 2013.
His personal mantra when asked why he did all that he did: “Because it’s the right thing to do.”
Rev. Kenneth Daniel, president and CEO of United Church Homes, and other staff members at the faith-based organization in Marion, Ohio said Robby’s servant leadership and commitment to United Church Homes and its residents will be greatly missed.
“We all are mourning the sudden passing of our dear friend, board member and volunteer, Robby Lee,” Rev. Daniel said. “Robby Lee’s devotion to the residents’ quality of care and quality of life was unsurpassed. He was an ardent advocate for the residents’ needs and sought to provide the necessary resources as a board member for their care.”
Robby was invited to join the Board of United Church Homes because he brought a unique perspective as a volunteer, resident family member, community representative and donor.
He was honored in 2011 with the Ben M. Herbster Award, which is presented to individuals who best exemplify the philosophy, leadership, philanthropic spirit and achievements of the late Dr. Ben M. Herbster.
“Robby Lee brought a kindness and sense of humor to his work with United Church Homes,” Rev. Daniel said. “I counted him among my closest supporters, mentors and friends. United Church Homes has lost someone we will dearly miss. But we know he is now among what the Bible calls the ‘saints in light’ and the ‘close of witnesses’ continuously looking out for the ongoing success of our mission.”
In addition to his board duties, Robby volunteered to serve on United Church Homes’ five-year comprehensive Campaign for Abundant Life committee, seeking to raise $20 million for UCH ministries. He previously served as the Fairhaven Capital Campaign Committee chairman. The campaign, which sought to raise $2.5 million, began in 2010.
Amy Kotterman, director of hospitality services at United Church Homes, was a close friend of Robby’s and worked with him on the Fairhaven capital campaign.
Amy met Robby when he was her eighth-grade science teacher in the Upper Sandusky Exempted Village School District, where he also coached football, girls track and many other sports. Robby also was a former basketball referee.
“He was always full of life and entertaining. … You could just tell he was highly respected and well thought of,” Amy said.
Amy said she and Robby formed a tight bond when she served as the director of the Fairhaven campaign, which raised money for renovations.
Amy said Robby played a major role in encouraging people to attend fundraising events and contribute to the campaign.
“His dedication is beyond compare. When Robby put his mind to something, he sees it through. He’s just very committed to the residents at Fairhaven and committed to United Church Homes as a whole,” Amy said.
Robby was featured in United Church Homes Spirit magazine in 2016 as a mentor to many in the community and a Fairhaven volunteer who often visited residents.
He said then that helping people was ingrained in him and he considered his volunteer work as a way to pay it forward to individuals who influenced his life.
“You couldn’t find a better guy. He definitely made an impact. There are so many people celebrating his life,” Amy said. “I’ll treasure the memories I have of him and miss him beyond words.”
Robby was also an active member of First Lutheran Church in Upper Sandusky his entire life. There, he served on the church council and volunteered for other activities.
He graduated from Upper Sandusky High School in 1965. He later received a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Michigan University in 1970 and a master’s degree in education from Bowling Green State University in 1972.
Robby will be missed by United Church Homes staff and residents.
Memorial donations may be made to United Church Homes, Fairhaven Community, First Lutheran Church in Upper Sandusky or the charity of the donor’s choice in care of Lucas-Batton Funeral Home, 476 S. Sandusky Ave., Upper Sandusky, OH 43351.
Condolences may be sent at lucasbatton.com.
About United Church Homes: United Church Homes, based in Marion, Ohio, has been “Celebrating the Spirit” of seniors for more than a century. The nonprofit, faith-based organization is one of the nation’s largest providers of senior living services, with more than 1,500 dedicated staff serving 4,500 residents of all faiths in 70 senior living communities throughout 14 states and two Native American nations. UCH is in covenant with the United Church of Christ and welcomes residents of all faiths. United Church Homes Management is the management services affiliate of UCH.
Contact: United Church Homes Communications Department, 740-382-4885.