"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
-- 2 Timothy 4:7
Robert "Bob" Pieters -- a man who influenced thousands of lives by inspiring his parents to help create one of the largest nonprofits in Rochester -- died Tuesday. He was 54.
Bob and his sister Karen were born with developmental disabilities and medical challenges that prompted their parents, Robert and Marie Pieters, to join two other families in founding what is now known as Heritage Christian Services. Today, the agency serves people with disabilities, children and older adults in 13 counties. Its state-of-the-art health and wellness center, the Pieters Family Life Center, is also named in honor of the family's contributions to HCS.
Throughout his life, Bob loved traveling and being near the water. He went twice to Disney World and once to Dollywood, the theme park of his favorite country singer. He also enjoyed simply being outside, fishing and cooking s'mores on the fire pit outside his home. He never turned down the chance to have a hotdog or garbage plate, especially on his birthday -- which he shared with his dad. He loved being an uncle, riding around and exploring the Rochester community and hosting driveway parties for the neighborhood, family and friends.
"Bob leaves behind an incredible legacy and his life serves as a powerful reminder that we all have a purpose, that we all matter," said Marisa Geitner, president and C.E.O. of Heritage Christian Services. "We are thankful for the important role he played in our founding and for the honor of having known him."
Bob is survived by his parents, former president and C.E.O. Robert and Marie Pieters; brothers Dan (Raynae) Pieters and John (Gaye) Pieters; sisters Karen Pieters and Kim (Tim) Clark; and nieces and nephews.
Calling hours will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday at Anthony Funeral Chapels, 2305 Monroe Ave. in Brighton. A celebration of life service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Pieters Family Life Center, 1025 Commons Way in Henrietta. A reception will follow.