As a chaplain, Bob Brummel was a listener, a comforter, and a guide to those who were suffering. His quiet, purposeful tone and his ability to speak freely and frankly with all people regardless of rank, race, status, or sex, made those he served feel that he cared. He believed in grace. Brummel died in Grand Rapids on May 9.
A graduate of Calvin College, Brummel taught high school biology for a few years before returning to school for further studies. After graduation from Calvin Seminary and ordination in 1966, he went into active duty as a Navy chaplain during the Vietnam War. He served on ships off the coast of Vietnam, with the Marines in Okinawa, with the Naval Air Station on Andrews Air Force Base, and in various military hospitals where his interest in hospital ministry deepened. After retiring from the Navy in 1979, he served as chaplain at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami and pursued certification as a supervisor of Clinical Pastoral Education. Beginning in 1983, he was director of pastoral care at the Ohio State University Hospitals until he retired in 2004. He loved his work.
Brummel was a devoted husband and engaged father and grandfather. He was an avid tennis player and a voracious reader. He loved choral music, sitting in quiet communion with nature, and a good cold beer.
He is survived by Mary, his wife of 57 years; their two children; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.