Robert D. Unruh, 88, Korea vet, Unruh Insurance founder, former Garden Spot Lions Club president

By on July 12, 2017

Robert D. Unruh, 88, of Garden Spot Village, New Holland, went to be with his Lord on July 3, 2017 after a short battle with colon cancer.

Bob, as most knew him, was born June 5, 1929 in Reinholds, to Henry and Anna Ratzlaff Unruh. He was the youngest of nine children.

Bob grew up in the Denver/Reamstown area and graduated in 1947 from the East Cocalico Vocational High School. He was a corporal in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict and served Stateside as a cook at Fort Devens, Mass.

In 1955, he married Shirley Ann Moore and they lived in Bowmansville until moving to Garden Spot Village in 2009. Bob and Shirley would have been married for 62 years on Aug. 21.

Bob began his working life driving a huckster truck for Clyde Pfautz Produce, then later with Harting’s Bakery. He also worked for a time at the Bollman Hat Co. In 1965 he took up insurance sales with the Prudential Insurance Co. in Reading, where he worked for 12 years and rose to sales manager. In 1977 he bought his own agency and established Unruh Insurance in Bowmansville. Nine years later he brought his two adult sons into the business, which has grown to include the third generation.

Bob gave back to the community in various ways. He served on the board of the Frederick Mennonite Home. He helped for many years to coordinate the annual Bowmansville Days Ox Roast. He attended the Garden Spot Lions Club, and served as president for two terms. Bob was still selling subs and working at the Lions’ fair stands well into his 80s.

Bob was a giving and fun-loving father, husband, brother and grandfather. He enjoyed the outdoors and took his family camping, boating and fishing, which continues into the next generation. Many hours were spent with a fishing pole on the Indian River Bay in Delaware. In retirement he took up golf, and spent many happy times on the golf course competing with his brothers and friends.

Bob attended Pine Grove Mennonite Church in Bowmansville during childhood. His family then moved to Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Reinholds where he attended for 65-plus years and served as a deacon and Sunday school teacher. When Emmanuel Mennonite Church ceased to exist, he once again attended Pine Grove Church and had been a member there since 2006.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents; four sisters: Verda (Byler), Viola (Henry), Luella (Wingenroth), and Irene (Fry); and four brothers: Howard, Benjamin, John, and Richard.

Surviving are his wife: Shirley (Moore) Unruh; his sons: Curtis (husband of Joan White Unruh), and Kent (husband of Sandra Regier Unruh); five grandchildren: Katie (Unruh) Vang, Ryan Unruh, Evan Unruh, Eric Unruh, Patricia Unruh; three great-grandchildren: Bianca, Bella and Abrielle Vang; and an Austrian exchange student who became like a daughter: Christa Rauch.

A memorial service was held at Pine Grove Church, Bowmansville, on July 13. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be given to the Pine Grove Church Mission Fund, P.O. Box 573, Bowmansville, PA 17507; or the Garden Spot Village Benevolence Fund, 433 S. Kinzer Ave., New Holland, PA 17557.

Arrangements by Eckenroth Funeral Home in Terre Hill. Online condolences may be posted at

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