The Reverend Doctor Robert Day McAmis passed away on September 21, 2018 in Florida, one day before his 95th birthday.
Bob was born in Chattanooga at home, at 415 Tremont Street, above the family florist shop. He was the third child of Adam Day and Vada McAmis. He graduated from the McCallie School in 1941 and joined the Merchant Marines. He was stationed and worked in Norfolk, VA building ships for the Navy during WWII. He also drew illustrations and instructions for the manual used by the facility. After the war, he returned to Chattanooga to work at his family business, Day McAmis Florist. During a spring vacation in Daytona Beach, FL he met Bobbie June Peace, who was also from Chattanooga. Bobbie June invited him to First Lutheran Church where he was confirmed. It was during his confirmation classes with Pastor Jahn that he felt called to be a Missionary to the Muslim people of the world. Bob and Bobbie were married in 1948. Bob attended Concordia Theological Seminary in Springfield, IL. He graduated in 1954 at the top of his class and was awarded a scholarship and attended Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO for one year, receiving his Master of Divinity degree. In 1955 he was commissioned to the Philippines (unable to get a visa to serve in the Muslim area) with his family. He was the fifth American Missionary to be sent to the Philippines.
Rev. McAmis served churches in Mindanao, in the southern Philippines. This included serving in Cagayan de Oro City, starting a church in Butuan City, serving at Iligan City and starting a church in Baloi. Finally, in 1962, Bob’s dream of serving the Muslims came true and he moved his family to a small Muslim village in Linuk, Tamparan, Lanao del Sur. In 1966, he prolonged his furlough in the States by one year and attended the University of Chicago and Concordia Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO, while teaching classes there. He received his Doctorate of Theology and was honored by the students he had taught with a standing ovation. He returned with his family to Linuk and spent over 20 years there, doing Bible translation into the local Maranao dialect and recording weekly radio programs. The radio program, “Call of the Agong”, was started to try and help improve Christian-Muslim relations, which was one of his primary goals while serving as a Missionary. In spite of dangers and uprisings in this area, Bob was not fearful and continued to stay in Lanao for many years. Bob also edited a book titled “The Muslim Filipinos”. He was instrumental in founding the Lutheran Church in the Philippines and in 1981 wrote a history of the church. He continued living in the Philippines off and on until his death.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Adam Day and Vada Kimmel McAmis; first wife Bobbie June Peace McAmis; siblings, Edna McAmis Frank and Kenneth Day McAmis; youngest daughter, Sheryl June McAmis Jahn Stapleton; grandson, Ryan McAmis Ruth.
He is survived by his wife, Patrona Abao McAmis; three daughters, Marsha (Rey) Castino, Vancouver, WA, Beverly (Joe) Jacks, Chattanooga, TN, Deana Trowbridge, Rosarita, Mexico; grandchildren, Shane Ruth, Traci (Kurt) Vanderzanden, Joshua (Christine) Ruth, Anna (Michael) Ovitt, Abigail (John) Thompson, Jonathan Castino, Adam (Molly) Trowbridge, Erin(David) Trowbridge, Madison (John) Templeton, Hayden Jahn, Karen (Dana) Nixon; great-grandchildren, Anthony Heaton, Payton Ruth-Rochon, Jillian Ruth, Gavin Ruth; Emma, Grace and Micah Thompson, Cara and Ella Ovitt, Harvey Templeton, Samantha, Matthew and Jaime Nixon; several great-great grandchildren; sister, Charlotte (McAmis) Levan.
Visitation will be on Saturday, September 29, 2018 from 2-9 PM and an evening Service of Remembrances at 7 PM at Joseph A Scarano, Stirling Memorial Chapel, 6300 Stirling Road, Davie, FL 33314.