Robert (Rob) P. Newkirk, long-time resident of Gig Harbor, passed to heaven surrounded by love May 15 at age 54 from esophageal cancer.
Rob was born in February 1968 in Groton, Connecticut, to Robert H. Newkirk and Patricia Miller. They later moved to University Place, where Rob graduated in 1986 from Curtis High School. He received his Associate Degree in business from the University of Washington.
Rob worked many jobs, including press foreman at the Pierce County Herald and as assistant production manager at Webcraft, before starting his own business, Newkirk Handyman Services, and then sole proprietor general contractor. He built vacation cabins, did home renovations, repairs and new home construction throughout Washington. Rob built a beautiful home on the Key Peninsula with Michele, where they enjoyed making many memories with friends, family, and especially the grandchildren.
An avid outdoorsman, Rob enjoyed hunting, fishing and gardening. His life was full of fun adventures, purpose and meaning. He always had a smile and was quick to help others. Throughout Rob’s cancer battle, he faced each day with courage, hope and God’s grace. Thank you to all of the friends and family who stayed in touch with Rob through his illness. It meant so much to him and lifted his spirits.
Rob is survived by his parents Robert and Patricia; brothers Doug and Dennis; sister Tami; son Robbie and daughter Kolissa of Galesburg, Illinois; and nieces and nephews Matthew, Nicole, Heather, Justice and Jasper. Rob is also survived by his loving partner of 18 years, Michele Willoughby; Kevin Willoughby; Kelsey Willoughby Baydo (Adam); his beloved grandchildren Kodi Carley of Illinois and Wyatt Willoughby, Laila Willoughby, Aubrey Baydo, Abigail Baydo, all of Gig Harbor; and numerous dear friends that became family.
Special thanks to Franciscan Hospice for their compassionate care.
UNDERWRITTEN BY NEWSMATCH/MIAMI FOUNDATION, THE ANGEL GUILD, ROTARY CLUB OF GIG HARBOR, ADVERTISERS, DONORS AND PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT LOCAL, INDEPENDENT NONPROFIT NEWS