MANITOWOC, Wis. (WFRV) – A man committed to making a lasting impact along the lakeshore may have passed on, but his mission of helping others will continue.
Rob ‘Gumby’ Roseff was a pillar in the Manitowoc community. His wife, Denise Roseff, shared he got the nickname Gumby in high school playing for the baseball team.
She said, “When he was trying to retrieve balls out in the outfield, he wasn’t bending very well, and somebody just yelled out, ‘Hey, you’re like a Gumby out there.'”
Gumby was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and passed away a few weeks ago. During that time, he turned his love of gold into Gumby’s Club Fore a Cure, a nonprofit to raise money for cancer survivors in Manitowoc.
“Rob was really a good source for those recipients to just talk about it. They were dealing with the same thing. He really enjoyed being able to help talk them through some of the issues they may have been having,” Denise said.
Over the last decade, the organization has raised more than $600,000.
Denise said about Gumby’s giving nature, “Rob didn’t really tell a lot of people when he was hurting. He would be more concerned about them and ask ‘how are you doing?'”
Gumby was not just a positive force in the community but a great friend. One of Gumby’s closest friends, Randy Heinzen, said, “Rob was such an icon in the community, a good personal friend, someone that I talked to probably just about every day. Not getting that phone call every day has been tough.”
He may no longer be around, but Gumby’s generosity will continue through his wife and their organization.
“We’ve always done this because it’s always been fun for us even when Rob was here, and I think, in true fashion, that’s what we’ll continue to do,” Denise said.
The organization is hosting a bike ride event at Tapped on the Lakeshore on Sunday at 10am. If you are interested in registering, click here.