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Robert Dewitt Allaben, M.D.

September 26, 1930 ~ March 15, 2018 (age 87)

It is with great sadness that the family of Robert D. Allaben, MD announces his passing on March 15, 2018 at the age of 87. Bob loved greatly, and was loved by his entire family, including his wife Joan, 3 children (Elizabeth, Janet, Bruce), 4 step-children (Deborah, Karyn, George, Robert), 13 grandchildren, 1 great-grandson, and many nieces and nephews. Also surviving are his brothers, Lawrence and John Randolph (Randy) Allaben and his first wife, Ruth Six Allaben. He was preceded in death by his sister, Dorothy Talbert.

Bob was born in Grand Rapids, MI and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and his medical degree from the Wayne State University School of Medicine.

Over the years, Bob was honored when he was contacted by former classmates, patients and colleagues. Although Bob retired from medicine in 1993, for the next 25 years he continued to remain current in the field of medicine via educational conferences and journals. Nothing gave Bob greater satisfaction than being able to support friends and neighbors with counsel and advice. This literally continued until the day preceding his death.

A dedicated surgeon and teacher of medicine, Bob was on staff at various Detroit hospitals and retired as Chief of Surgery for Grace Hospital. Bob was one of the first kidney transplant surgeons in Michigan and served as president of the Transplant Society of Michigan (Gift of Life Michigan).  He devoted much of his energy to the improvement of medicine as Speaker of the House of the Michigan State Medical Society and other leadership positions with the American College of Surgeons, the American Medical Association, and numerous local medical associations.

Bob was an avid traveler, and visited all 7 continents and all 50 states. He shared his time between Michaywé in Michigan and Tennessee, making close friends in both. Unlike many people, Bob loved to spend the winter in Michigan.

Bob gave his all to his marriage, his family, and to everything that he did, be it surgery, home maintenance, flying his plane, kayaking, computer work, or his determined perseverance as he faced his final challenge.

Those who wish are asked to consider memorial contributions to the Wayne State University School of Medicine Scholarship Fund or to the University of Tennessee Cancer Institute – Research Endowment.  

Services will be held at 1:00 PM Saturday, May 19, 2018 at Gaylord Community Funeral Home & Cremation Service where the family will visit with friends beginning at 12:00 noon.  Arrangements are by Gaylord Community Funeral Home & Cremation service. Please share your memories and personal messages with the family at