Robert C. “Mayor Bob” Beutter, 84, life-long Mishawaka resident and Mishawaka’s longest serving Mayor, passed away Thursday, January 2, 2020 at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center.
Bob was born April 6, 1935 in Mishawaka, the son of the late Charles and Helen (Cone) Beutter. He was a 1953 graduate of Mishawaka High School. He received his B.S. in Business from Indiana University in 1957 and his Doctor in Jurisprudence from Indiana University School of Law in 1960. He was admitted to the Indiana and Federal Bar in 1960 and to the U.S. Court of Military Appeals in 1961. Bob was proud of his service to his country in the US Army, where he served as a captain in the Judge Advocate General Corps. Upon his return to Mishawaka, following his service in the Army, Bob began his private practice of law that would span over 50 years. His areas of specialty included estate planning, real estate and business law. During that time, he also served as Penn Township attorney, Osceola town attorney, deputy prosecuting attorney of St. Joseph County, and deputy city attorney for Mishawaka.
Bob served as mayor of Mishawaka from 1984 to 2003; a job he loved dearly. Working with a dedicated city staff, Bob’s influence is seen throughout his beloved community. During his time as mayor, he made many decisions that had a permanent and positive impact on the city, including his visionary leadership in the development of the Grape Road area and the transformation of the former Uniroyal site into what has become the center of the City and the site of the Robert C. Beutter Riverfront Park, which stands in honor of his devoted public service.
After leaving the mayor’s office, Bob continued to serve the City in several capacities, including as assistant city attorney, representing the Parks Board and Redevelopment Commission. For the past 14 years, Bob continued his practice of law with May-Oberfell-Lorber. He received numerous local and state honors and awards, including Mishawaka Man of the Year and the prestigious Sagamore of the Wabash Award from both Governors Kernan and Orr.
In addition to his service to the City of Mishawaka, Bob was also involved in countless community organizations and was a member of St. Peter Lutheran Church. He enjoyed gardening and sailing and loved spending time with family and friends.
He was a beloved husband, father and grandfather. Bob married Mary Alice “May” Beutter on July 26, 1958. May, his wife of over 61 years, survives him along with their four children, Brent Beutter, Lori Alexander, Brad (Donna) Beutter and Brian (Sabrina Karl) Beutter; seven grandchildren, John, Elizabeth, Claire, Grace, Charles, Ocean and Sky; and his sister, Barbara D’Achille. Bob was preceded in death by an infant son, Bruce.
A Public Visitation will be held Tuesday, January 7, from 1 to 7 pm at Goethals & Wells Funeral Home, 503 W. 3rd Street, Mishawaka.
A Funeral Service for Bob’s family, close friends and colleagues, will be held Wednesday, January 8, at 12 pm at St. Peter Lutheran Church, 437 East Dragoon Trail, Mishawaka, with Pastor Bryan Borger officiating. Visitation will be from 10 am to 12 pm at the church. Burial will follow the service at St. Joseph Valley Memorial Park, Granger.
A Community Wide Celebration of Bob’s life is being planned, with details to follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Mishawaka Parks Foundation, of which Bob was a founding member, or The Mishawaka Food Pantry, an organization in which Bob was heavily involved. Donations to the Mishawaka Parks Foundation may be mailed to or dropped off at the Mishawaka Parks Department, located at the Battell Community Center, 904 North Main Street, Mishawaka, IN 46545. Donations to The Mishawaka Food Pantry, Inc. may be mailed to or dropped off at 315 Lincolnway West, Mishawaka, IN 46544.
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Mishawaka Parks Foundation c/o Mishawaka Parks Department
904 North Main Street, Mishawaka IN 46545
The Mishawaka Food Pantry, Inc.
315 Lincolnway West, Mishawaka IN 46544