In Memoriam: Robert M. Thrun (1931-2021)

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On December 2, 2021, Robert (“Bob”) M. Thrun, 90, passed away at his winter home in Estero, Florida.

For 68 years, Bob was married to Marjorie, 89, who preceded him in death in August 2021. Together, they raised one son, Richard, and two daughters, Susan (who died in 2019) and Karen. Four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren also survive.

Born on May 30, 1931 to Caroline and Fred Thrun, Bob graduated from Lansing Sexton High School, then earned a BA from Michigan State University and a JD with high distinction from Wayne State University.

In 1959, Bob began practicing law with his parents at Thrun Law Firm, focusing on municipal and school law. Bob and his father drafted the Michigan Community College Act of 1966. Bob’s expertise in school law, particularly election and public finance law, provided school clients with wise counsel over the years.

Known for his quick wit, Bob lobbed zingers with the speed and precision he acquired as a skilled artillery officer. Bob had a larger than life personality and enjoyed life to its fullest. Reflecting the mantra “work hard, play hard,” Bob loved his cars, motorcycles, and boats (the faster, the better), as well as fine wine.

For half a century, Bob oversaw the growth of Thrun Law Firm, mentoring (in his unique way) each new attorney. Bob quickly corrected any attorney who said “my client”, instead emphasizing that the client is the firm’s or “our” client. That philosophy continues to this day and is embodied in the “Team Thrun” approach to working with clients.

While Bob will be missed, his influence on our law practice remains strong. Over 500 Michigan public school organizations are served by 27 Thrun Law Firm attorneys, with offices in East Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Novi. Thrun Law Firm celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, a legacy to Bob and his parents.

Memorial donations may be sent to Capital Area Humane Society, Lansing, Michigan.