Robert O. Laven

Born: Mon., Sep. 29, 1930
Died: Tue., Mar. 26, 2019


2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Sun., Mar. 31, 2019
Location: N. William St. Location

Funeral Service

12:00 PM Mon., Apr. 01, 2019
Location: Sunnyside Presbyterian

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Robert O. Laven, 88, passed away peacefully in his home after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Bob was born in South Bend, IN on September 29, 1930, to Ozmun and Berenice Laven. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Peg, and their children: Bruce of Edmonds, WA, David (Steff) of Blue Ridge, GA, Steven (Cindy Meyers) of Wayland, MA, and Linda Bernth (Brian) of South Bend, grandchildren: Sarah, Miles, Andrew, and Christopher, and a sister, Janet Morris of Agoura Hills, CA.

Bob graduated from Riley High School in 1948 and was honored to be president of his senior class. He received his BA degree from Denison University, Granville, OH. He was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. It was at Denison where he met and courted Peg. They were married on June 12, 1954.

He was proud to serve his country in U.S. Army during the Korean War until 1953. He followed his father as the second generation owner and president of Laven Insurance Agency until his retirement in 2002. He obtained his CPCU professional designation in 1964

In November 1965, he was appointed to the South Bend Common Council. He then ran for the 3rd District seat and was elected in January of 1967. He served for four years as Council president.

On September 21, 1971, he was selected to fill a vacancy on the Board of School Trustees for the South Bend Community School Corp. Then on June 30, 1973, he was appointed by Circuit Court Judge John Montgomery to a four year term of his own. He served as School Board President for a one year period during this time.

In 1982, he was appointed by Governor Robert D. Orr to the Indiana Commission on Higher Education. He served until March 1990, with one year as president. He was honored to receive The Sagamore of the Wabash award from Governor Orr for his distinguished service to the state.

He served on many boards of directors, including Rotary Club of South Bend, South Bend Symphony, and local and statewide insurance groups. He was a founding member and past president of the South Bend Public Education Foundation, which helped support his lifelong belief in quality education for the children of the South Bend community. He was an active member of the Sunnyside Presbyterian Church since 1955 and served as an Elder and on various committees and held several offices throughout the years.

He loved to play bridge, to read historical novels and biographies, and watching University of Michigan athletics. He also enjoyed golf (with the PGL), tennis, and fishing. He especially enjoyed his Canadian fishing trips with his sons and grandsons over the years.

Visitation will be at Welsheimer Family Funeral Home at 521 N. William St., South Bend, from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 31st. Services will be held at Sunnyside Presbyterian Church, 115 S. Frances St., in South Bend, at Noon, Monday, April 1st. Family and friends may leave email condolences at

The family would like to thank the caregivers that Bob had over the last two years for their love, care, and support.

And as Bob would always say, “GO BLUE!”

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