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Supporting Sturgis History in Memory of Robert & Marian Hair

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

Introducing the Robert & Marian Hair Sturgis History Fund

A new permanent designated fund has been established with the Sturgis Area Community Foundation in memory of Robert and Marian Hair.

Designated funds allow donors to create a source of ongoing support for the nonprofits they love. Throughout their lives, Robert and Marian Hair were avid enthusiasts of Sturgis History. The Robert & Marian Hair Sturgis History Fund will continue their legacy as historians by providing annual support to the Sturgis Historical Society, an organization that both Robert and Marian were committed to as supporters and volunteers during their lives.

About Robert and Marian Hair

Robert "Bob" Hair was an award-winning writer, editor and Sturgis historian who was born April 11, 1921, in Winamac, Ind. Bob was a Rector Scholar at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., graduating with distinction in 1942 with a degree in English composition and journalism. He worked briefly for United Press wire service in Indianapolis before joining the U.S. Army Signal Corps on Aug. 13, 1942, and was assigned to Camp Atterbury, Ind. He was next sent to the University of Michigan for specialized training in German language and European geography before heading to northern Europe with the 1263d Engineer Combat Battalion as the battalion intelligence sergeant. Bob was discharged from the military in 1946 as a master sergeant. He joined the Sturgis Journal in 1946 as telegraph news editor and later became managing editor.

Marian (Emerson) Hair was born Aug. 13, 1922, in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. Her parents had moved from northern Indiana to Canada to farm, then returned to the United States when Marian was a toddler. She spent much of her childhood in Sturgis, Michigan, and in northern Indiana. She graduated from high school in Flint, Indiana, in 1939. Marian took bookkeeping and business courses and worked in offices in Sturgis.

Bob and Marian married in 1949. Bob's writing and editing career took the couple and their two children to cities in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Florida and Indiana. Throughout the moves, Marian drew on her business expertise to work at insurance, real estate and church offices, as well as in a large corporate accounting department in Miami.

Bob and Marian returned to Sturgis in 1988 and both were active in area historical organizations. Bob launched a quest to uncover local history, scouring old newspapers and putting out a call for residents willing to share their recollections, vintage postcards and family photographs. He wrote four books on Sturgis history. A local annual award for historian of the year is named in the couple's honor.

Marian volunteered with many organizations, including the Sturgis District Library and the First Presbyterian Church of Sturgis. She was also president of the garden club and recognized as Sturgis Citizen of the Year in 1999.

About Sturgis Historical Society

The Sturgis Historical Society's mission is to connect people to Sturgis and its history through the faithful sharing of stories, accurate representation of citizens, and the preservation of historical resources. Their work includes operating the Sturgis Historical Museum-At the Depot.

Support the Fund

If you would like to make a contribution to the Robert and Marian Hair Sturgis History Fund, you may do so using the button below or by clicking here.

The Sturgis Area Community Foundation is a $30M foundation committed to serving the charitable needs of our community and enriching the quality of life for all people in the Sturgis area. Through philanthropic services, strategic investments, and community leadership, Sturgis Area Community Foundation helps people support the causes they care about now and for generations. For more information on grants, scholarships or other donor services, email

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