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July 20, 2019

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Bob Neff was active in many community organizations

Was a Bluffton HS graduate and a retired architect

Robert “Bob” D. Neff, 66, died Friday morning, Jan. 11, 2019, at Blanchard Valley Hospital in Findlay.  He was born Nov. 6, 1952, in Bluffton, Ohio, to Richard and Beulah (Burkholder) Neff who preceded him in death.

On May 6, 1978, Bob married Nancy (Schumacher) Neff, who survives.

CLICK HERE for a column about Bob's heart transplant.

Bob was a graduate of Bluffton High School, received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the Ohio State University and became a registered architect in the state of Ohio.

Prior to opening his own architectural firm in 1986, he worked at Automated Building Components, North Baltimore; Rooney & Musser, Architects, Findlay; Munger, Munger & Associates, Architects, Toledo; and Herbert W. Rettig & Associates, Inc., Lima.  As a Bluffton native, one of the joys of his professional life was being chosen as the architect for the Bluffton town hall renovations.  Bob officially retired Dec. 31, 2018.

On Nov. 7, 1985, one day after his 33rd birthday, Bob received a heart transplant at Presbyterian University Hospital in Pittsburgh.  On Nov. 7, 2018, he celebrated the 33rd anniversary of his transplanted heart.  Bob, one of the longest surviving single heart transplant recipients in the world, considered himself blessed for being given the gift of a “second“ life.

Bob was a member of the Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce board from 2007-2012, and a founding member of Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs (BCE).  As a lifelong member of English Lutheran Church in Bluffton, he served over the years as a church council member, member of various committees and a Sunday school teacher.

Surviving are a daughter, Rachel (Brian) Crawford of Brownsburg, Indiana, and a son, Rob  (Jaime) Neff of Ada, Ohio; 5 grandchildren:  Caden, Gavin and Madison Crawford, Makenzie and Carter Neff; four siblings, Deb (Milo) Luginbuhl of Lima, Tricia (Joe) Herrmann of Bluffton, Bryan (Gail) Neff of Bluffton, and Neil Neff of Bluffton.

Bob was preceded in death by a brother, Kevin Neff. 

Visitation will be held on Friday, Jan. 18, from 2-4 p.m. & 6-8 p.m. at Chiles-Laman Funeral & Cremation Services, Bluffton and one hour prior to the service at the church.  Services will be held on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 11 a.m. at English Lutheran Church, Bluffton.

Memorial contributions may be made to the English Lutheran Church-Building Fund.

Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.chiles-lamanfh.com.